Hi again MN-FISH members and supporters:

So ends the ice fishing season that never really was. Now, most state anglers await the trout opener or the state fishing opener for walleyes.

Meanwhile, MN-FISH remains focused on our state legislature and what is or isn’t happening. Currently the legislative news pertaining to fish or fishing is sparse, except for a few weird proposals floating around the Capitol.

You may recall MN-FISH has two bills awaiting legislative action, seeking bonding money for continued fish hatchery and public lake access repairs and improvements.

In addition, MN-FISH is proposing a $2 million appropriation to begin the task of replacing the outdated St. Paul fish hatchery and building a new metro hatchery that will supply the future stocking needs of the metro area and supply fish to neighborhood fishing ponds and lakes. Equally exciting: a modern metro hatchery could also be utilized by schools and others to learn about fishing and fish culture.

In the meantime, MN-FISH is keeping an eye on a number of bills that would impact angling:

One bill would require that DNR buy walleyes for stocking from private growers instead of using state hatcheries. My sources say the bill is already dead, but why such a proposal was even introduced remains a question.

Another head scratcher: harmful invasive carp continue to swim up the Mississippi River and there’s nothing stopping them. Oh, we’re told, there are “plans,’’ but no timetable and no money, just talk.

MN-FISH executive director Mark Holsten and board member Garry Leaf have been actively trying to move funding/construction of a carp barrier forward at DNR and the legislature. It’s a waiting game and the carp aren’t waiting.

Based on what I’ve learned, the bait shortage issue continues to improve now that DNR and the bait industry folks started talking to each other and reaching agreements. MN-FISH board member Tom Neustrom continues to get the two sides together to understand the issues.

Lead tackle bans continue to float around AGAIN.

Other fishing ideas that are lurking in the halls of government include: changing the statewide walleye limit from six to four; opening the statewide bass season to year-round; and who knows what yet is to be announced.

Never a dull moment when lawmakers are in town, right? Sometimes good; sometimes bad. Just like fishing.

Good fishing,

Ron Schara, President

Minnesota's Fish Hatchery System

angerls for better fishing


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