Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

      Fluid forum view allows members only to get right to the meat of this community; the topics. You can toggle between your preferred forum view just below to the left on the main forum entrance. You will see three icons. Try them out and see what you prefer.   Fluid view allows you, if you are a signed up member, to see the newest topic posts in either all forums (select none or all) or in just your favorite forums (select the ones you want to see when you come to Fishing Minnesota). It keeps and in real time with respect to Topic posts and lets YOU SELECT YOUR FAVORITE FORUMS. It can make things fun and easy. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media. If you, as a members want more specific topics, you can even select a single forum to view. Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.   The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.   Of course, members only can change the view to better suit your way of browsing.   You will notice a “grid” option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for members only to choose. This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don’t lose your place when you go back to the listing. The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for members only. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. You as a member will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page. We hope that fluid view, the new functionality is an asset that you enjoy .

2017 Bowfising regulations

Recommended Posts

Pikers1988    22

Hello fellow bowfisher,

I am new to the sport and have done extensive research to find up to date regulations so i know 100% what exactly i can and can not do. I am finding it rediculously hard to find such details, even on the mn dnr website it pulls up regs and posts from years ago. Here is what i have found thus far, though from 2009.

Anyone have a link of up to date regulations?

Have a wider range of available bowfishing lakes ie aitkin or crow wing areas?

Relating to the bottom 2013 post i found, now this it is "regular season", i can now shoot from land on backwaters and creeks?

Any tips on where to try are welcome, seems like the carp should be about to spawn given water temps if im not mistaen.....


A bow may be transported uncased and discharged while taking rough fish in a boat powered by an electric motor. Crossbows may not be used to take rough fish, except by disabled persons who have a valid crossbow permit. Permit applications are available from the DNR Information Center or through the DNR Web site.

  • Arrows must be attached to the bow with a tethered line. Broadheads must have barbs for night bowfishing.
  • Night bowfishing noise levels may not exceed 84 decibels.
  • Must take reasonable measures to retrieve arrows and wounded fish.
  • Rough fish may not be taken by spear, harpoon, archery, or dip net in designated trout lakes or streams.
  • Check local firearms and archery ordinances that may apply while bow-fishing in or near cities.
  • Licensed anglers and children under 16 may take rough fish by spearing, harpooning, archery, and hand-held dip nets on all inland waters, except where taking fish is prohibited. All rough fish, except cisco (tullibee), may be bought and sold.
  • Hand-held dip nets shall not have hoops exceeding 24 inches in diameter. (For more on smelt, see page 19.)
  • Harpoons (spears) must have a tethered line not more than 20 feet long, may be discharged only when the equipment and the operator are entirely under the surface of the water, and may not be used within 1,000 feet of a swimming beach.
  • It is unlawful to possess at or near waters a spear, net, or any device other than angling line that can take fish from Feb. 25, 2008–April 30, 2008 and Feb. 16, 2009–April 30, 2009. The exception is landing nets used for angling.
  • Speared or dead rough fish may not be returned to the water or left on the ice or banks of any lake or stream.

  • The following described water bodies are open to night bowfishing from June 1 to the last day in August.
    County - Lake name - (DOW number) Location
    (1) Becker County:
    Big Cormorant (3-576) T.138, R.42, S.7,18,19,30; T.138, R.43, S.1,11-14,22-25
    Dahlberg (3-577) T.138, R.42, S.6; T.138, R.43, S.1; T.139, R.42, S.31; T.139, R.43, S.36
    Leif (3-575) T.138, R.42, S.5,6; T.138, R.43, S.1; T.139, R.42, S.31
    Larson (3-596) T.138, R.43, S.10
    Middle Cormorant (3-602) T.138, R.43, S.15,21,22
    Nelson (3-595) T.138, R.43, S.9,10,15,16
    Rossman (Erickson) T.138, R.43, S.3,4,9,10 (3-587)
    Upper Cormorant (3-588) T.138, R.43, S.4,5,8,9,15,16,17
    (2) Benton County:
    Little Rock (5-13) (upstream of the new T.37, R.31, S.2,3,10,11,14;
    Gordon Bridge) T.38, R.31, S.34,35
    (3) Big Stone County:
    Big Stone (6-152) T.121-124, R.46-49, S.Various
    (4) Blue Earth County:
    Loon Lake (7-96) T.107, R.28, S.2-4,10,11
    Crystal Lake (7-98) T.107, R.28, S.4,5; T.108, R.28, S.32,33
    (5) Carver County:
    Waconia (10-59) T.116, R.24, S.6,7,18; T.116, R.25, S.1,2,10-15
    (6) Chisago County:
    South Center Lake T.33, R.20, S.2,3,4,9,10; (13-27) T.34, R.20, S.34,35
    Green Lake, including T.33, R.20, S.6,7,18,19;
    Little Green (13-41) T.33, R.21, S.12,13,23,24,25,26
    (7) Cottonwood County:
    North Oaks Lake (17-44) T.105, R.38, S.5,8; T.106, R.38, S.32
    (8) Crow Wing County:
    Borden Lake (18-20) T.44, R.28, S.2,9,10,11, 14,15,16,22
    (9) Douglas County:
    Mary Lake (21-92) T.126,127, R.38, S.Various
    Maple Lake (21-79) T.127, R.37, S.19,20,29-32; T.127, R.38, S.25-36
    (10) Goodhue County:
    Byllesby (19-6) T.112, R.18, S.8,9,10,11, 14,15,16,17
    (11) Grant County:
    Pomme de Terre (26-97) T.129, R.41, S.5-7,29-32; T.130, R.42, S.12,25,36
    (12) Hubbard County:
    Upper Twin Lake (29-157) T.138,139, R.34, S.6,31
    (13) Jackson County:
    Loon Lake (32-20) T.101, R.35, S.18,19; T.101, R.36, S.13,24,25
    (14) Kandiyohi County:
    Big Kandiyohi (34-86) Bowfishing is not allowed within 330 T.117, R.34, S.3; feet of the island. T.118, R.34, S.20-23,26-29,31
    Long Lake (34-192) T.120, R.35, S.11-15,22,23
    East Solomon Lake T.120, R.35, S.20,21,28-30; (34-246) T.120, R.36, S.25
    (15) Lincoln County:
    Hendricks (41-110) T.112, R.46, S.18,19; T.112, R.47, S.13,24
    (16) Le Sueur County:
    Dora Lake (40-10) T.110, R.23, S.3,4,9,10
    Sabre Lake (40-14) T.110, R.23, S.29,30
    Gorman Lake (40-32) T.110, R.23, S.7; T.110, R.24, S.11-14
    German Lake (40-63) T.109, R.24, S.4,5,8,9
    East, Middle, and West
    Jefferson Lake (40-92) T.109-110, R.24-25, S.Various
    (17) Martin County:
    East Chain (46-10) T.101, R.29, S.7,18,19; T.101, R.30, S.13,24
    Cedar Lake (46-121) T.103, R.32, S.19,30; T.104, R.33, S.1,24,25,26
    Bright Lake (46-52) T.101, R.31, S.8,9,16,17
    (18) Meeker County:
    Jennie Lake (47-15) T.118, R.29, S.20,21,27-29,32,33
    Washington (47-46) T.118,119, R.29,30, S.Various
    (19) Murray County:
    Currant Lake (51-82) T.108, R.42, S.7,18;
    T.108, R.43, S.12,13
    Bloody Lake (51-40) T.108, R.40, S.20,28,29
    Fox Lake (51-43) T.108, R.40, S.21,22,27,28
    First Fulda
    (South Fulda Lake) T.105, R.40, S.35,36 (51-21)
    (20) Nobles County:
    West Graham Lake T.104, R.39, S.15,16,21,22 (53-21)
    (21) Olmsted County:
    Zumbro Lake (55-414) T.108, T.109, R.14, S.Various
    Shady Lake (55-5) T.108, R.14, S.7,8,17,18; T.108, R.15, S.12
    (22) Ottertail County:
    Big Pine (56-130) T.136,137, R.38, S.Various
    Eagle (56-253) T.131, R.40, S.10,11,14,15
    Jolly Ann (56-370) T.131, R.40, S.13,24; T.131, R.41, S.13,24
    Pickerel (56-475) T.134, R.41, S.10-15
    North Ten Mile (56-604) T.131, R.42, S.16,17,20,21
    Ten Mile (South Ten Mile) (56-613) T.131, R.42, S.21,27-29,32-34
    (23) Pine County:
    Pokegama (58-142) between the Pine County Highway 11 bridge on the north end of the lake and the Pine County Highway 53 bridge and Pine County Highway 7 on the south T.39, R.22, S.13,14,23,24, end of the lake 25,26,35,36
    (24) Polk County:
    Union (60-217) T.147,148, R.42,43, S.Various
    Maple (60-305) T.148,149, R.43,44, S.Various
    (25) Pope County:
    Reno (61-78) T.126,127, R.37,38, S.Various
    Minnewaska (61-130) T.125, R.38,39, S.Various
    (26) Rice County:
    Circle Lake (66-27) T.111, R.21, S.15-17,21,22
    Fox Lake (66-29) T.111, R.21, S.26,27
    Union Lake (66-320) T.136,137, R.38, S.Various
    Rice Lake (66-48) T.110, R.22, S.16,17,20,21
    (27) Scott County:
    Cedar (70-91) T.113, R.22, S.7,18,19; T.113, R.23, S.12,13,24
    (28) Swift County:
    Monson Lake (76-33) T.121, R.37, S.3; T.122, R.37, S.35,36
    Camp Lake (76-72) T.122, R.38, S.1; T.123, R.38, S.36
    Oliver Lake (76-146) T.121, R.43, S.1; T.122, R.43, S.26,27,35,36
    (29) Traverse County:
    Traverse (78-25) T.125,127, R.47-49, S.Various


    Found this 2013 post...

    Early Bowfishing Season – We now have an area in the state which bowfishing will be allowed year round. During what we know as the closed season now we will be able to bowfish with the following restrictions:
    -The early bowfishing season zone will be south of Hwy 210.
    -You must be in a boat. NO shore shooting during the early season!
    -You must be on a lake or the Mississippi, Minnesota, or St. Croix Rivers. No creeks, streams, or tributaries!

    The start of the regular season will now be the last Saturday in April. From that point you would be able to shoot from the shore and head into areas not allowed in the early season. This is a great opportunity for bowfishers to hit the waters as soon as the ice comes off south of Hwy. 210! 





    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    ZachD    357

    Well I am setting up a bow for it right now what I don't get is


    *Check local firearms and archery ordinances that may apply while bow-fishing in or near cities.


    I know lakes within cities that have a no shooting ordinance but I know everyone blowfishes the lakes is there an exception if your on a boat or what? Or can you from shore as well or is everyone breaking the rules?

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Pikers1988    22

    The differing ordinances mean that on some parts of Lake Minnetonka for instance it is illegal to bowfish, and on yet others bowfishing is allowed but there are some additional regulations on top of the state laws that must be followed ie distance from docks. I was at my sisters on the north arm the other weekend and sure enough their were a couple guys bowfishing, too bad i didnt bring my rig as we saw one swim by the dock. Keeping the different rules in mind and figuring out where city boundaries lie in the water have caused much confusion for people looking to bowfish.

     In Orono, people must get a permit from the police department before bowfishing and the sport is prohibited at night. The Orono City Council voiced its support at its Feb. 11 meeting for one lake-wide ordinance that bans nighttime bowfishing and requires a permit through the LMCD or Water Patrol.


    Again, this was published in 2013

    but i have heard that you may need to contact local law enforcement for a permit

    Now that the official season has started we are allowed to bowfish from shorelines, i recall my dad saying he saw a kid last year bowfishing the drainage ditches in ham lake by the sod farms, he said it was an over flow from the rice creek chain.

    The general rule(s) of thumb are pretty obvious, despite there being a lot of them. Don't be a dick, don't leave traces you were there (Fish on the shore), don't knowingly trespass, don't shoot near people's boats, don't shoot towards houses if you can avoid it (Or at the very least make sure you're a good ~100yds+ away from it if shooting in that direction), never, ever, ever shoot near swimmers/divers/swimming areas, don't shoot near kids, don't shoot sportfish, never aim at anything you don't intend to shoot, if someone complains, don't argue, just apologize and move on. Basically, all that boils down to use common sense, and go out of your way to avoid confrontations/issues

    • Like 1

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    ZachD    357

    I guess I will have to call the dnr about the couple spots I am in question of. Ones a darn and you can easily pick them off all day almost year round

    Share this post

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

    • Posts

      • Guatican
        So a buddy and I are looking to see where we can get on some nice Pike action around the Kato area. We have no access to a boat so we'll be doing it from shore. Any insight on a good pike or any game fish bite would be awesome! Fall tends to be our Achilles's heel. 
      • Troy Smutka
        9/25/17     Hunted the hot, steamy MN duck opener on a public lake in central MN. Could see lightning to the west and north all morning until the sun came up. Must have been some serious lightning in those storms that were 100 miles away. Could still see the flashes, but of course could not hear any thunder. Saturday morning we saw the most bluewing teal I have seen on an opener since the 1980s. Must have seen a thousand teal and hundreds of mallards and wood ducks. Weren't in the best spot since we were the third boat on the lake, but still managed to shoot some teal and wood ducks. Busy watching ducks all morning. The teal I cleaned were migrators with quite a bit of fat--none on the wood ducks. Sunday morning was a different day--most of the teal were gone and the mallards and wood ducks were more wary. Managed two juvenile mallards. Think the shooting and the weather front moving in got a lot of the BWT on their way further south. All in all, a decent start to the MN waterfowl season, especially considering the temps were more like mid August. See what this weather and some cooler temps brings to the decoys this weekend. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
      • delcecchi
        Any thoughts as to which will hold up better, or be easier to fix?
      • Rick
        With 59 state forests that cover 4.2 million acres, Minnesota state forests are a great place to view fall color, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  “Forests with a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees offer a wonderful fall color experience,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist. “The dark green needles of conifers accent the yellow, orange and red leaves of deciduous trees.” Here are a few routes to consider: Late September Bear Island State Forest From Ely head south on State Highway 1 toward Isabella for about 20 miles. Take a right on New Tomahawk Road toward Babbitt for about 17 miles. Turn right on County Road 21 for 15 miles back to Ely. Kabetogama State Forest From Orr head north on State Highway 53 for 4 miles. Turn right on County Road 180 to head east for 16 miles. Turn right on Forest Road 203 to head east for about 4.5 miles. Turn right on Vermillion Falls road to head east for 8 miles. Turn right on County Road 24/23 and follow to Orr for 26 miles. White Earth State Forest starting at Roy Lake head east on State Highway 200 for 1.5 miles. Turn right on Strawberry Mountain Road to head south for 5 miles. At Norris Trail turn left to head east for 3 miles. Turn left on Height of Land Road to head north back to Highway 200. For a longer loop follow Strawberry Mountain road to State Highway 113. Turn right on State Highway 113 to head east. Turn left on Height of Land Road to head north back to Highway 200. Early to mid-October Croix and Nemadji state forests loop. From I35, take Hinckley exit #183 and head east on State Highway 48 for 19 miles. Turn left to head north on County Road 24 and follow as it curves east and north for 7 miles. Turn right on County Road 25 to head east for 9.5 miles. At Markville, head north on County Road 31 for about 12 miles. Turn left on Park Forest Road/Park Truck Trail to head west for 13 miles. Turn right on County Road 171 to head north for 2 miles. Turn left onto County Road 154/Kerrick Road to head west for 5 miles. At Kerrick, head south on State Highway 23 for 18 miles to I35 exit #195. Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest From downtown Red Wing head south on Highway 61 for 10.5 miles. At Frontenac take a right onto Country 2 to head east for 9 miles. Take a right onto County Road 3 to head east for 4 miles. Take a right onto State Highway 58 to head north for 1.5 miles. Take a left onto Hay Creek Trail to head north for about 4.5 miles. Hey Creek Trail turns into Twin Bluff Road at Pioneer Trail. Continue on Twin Bluff Road for 1.5 miles and turn left on East Ave to return to downtown Red Wing. Visit for additional scenic routes and state forest information. Entrance into a state forest is free. State forest campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $14 a night. Visit the Minnesota state parks and trails Fall Color Finder at to find areas in Minnesota with peak fall color. The Fall Color Finder is updated every Thursday through the end of October.   Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
      • Rick
        Hunter success was just slightly below average the five-year average on three popular waterfowl lakes for the 2017 waterfowl hunting opener in the Grand Rapids area. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife staff conducted waterfowl bag checks on opening day September 23rd on Big White Oak Lake, Mud Lake (both near Deer River) and Big Rice Lake near Remer. Hunter success in terms of ducks bagged per hunter was 2. The average take the previous five years was 2.2 ducks per hunter. Blue-winged teal, wood ducks and mallard ducks were the most common birds in the bag with blue-winged teal the most commonly bagged bird at all three lakes. Based on vehicle counts at these lakes, hunter numbers were down about 25% from the five-year average. “Hunters had to contend with an early morning thunderstorm which may have kept hunter numbers lower than in previous years. Some hunters delayed going out or decided to try another day because of the rain and lightning from the storm,” said Mark Spoden, acting area wildlife manager. This year’s duck hunting season is 60 days in length. The duck bag limit is six ducks daily and may not include more than any combination of the following: four mallards (two may be hen mallard), three scaup, three wood ducks, one pintail, two redheads, two black ducks, and two canvasbacks. If not listed, up to six ducks of a species may be taken. The daily bag limit for coot and moorhen is 15. The daily bag limit for merganser is five, no more than two of which may be a hooded merganser. More information about waterfowl hunting in Minnesota including weekly waterfowl migration reports can be found at online at Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
      • Muskieman1977
        Thanks Rick, we will be launching out of Long Lake, so Becker may be our best bet.  I assume Schneider is a long haul from Long Lake?  Do you think we should just fish outside weed edges or do you think the fish will still be on the docks?  I'm a bit concerned with the lower temps this week. 
      • Rick G
        Cedar Island for smallies, Becker or Schneider for largies
      • Muskieman1977
        My partner and I will be fishing a 10 boat bass tournament this Sunday (Oct 1st) on the Horseshoe chain.  We have never fished this water, so we are at a loss right now.  Do any of you have any recommendations on what areas to fish, types of lures, etc..  No sure where the fish would be around this time of year, but any advice would be much appreciated!!!  Thanks so much
      • Rick
        Anyone with a 2017 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Twins logo cap thanks to a special ticket offer online at, with the final game in this offer coming up Saturday, Sept. 30, vs. the Detroit Tigers.  As part of the Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins, license holders can purchase a reserved game ticket and receive a special Twins cap. Ticket prices vary by game and seat locations are either in the Field Box or Home Run Porch sections. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Instructions for purchasing tickets are at Buy fishing and hunting licenses at any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device at, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
      • Rick
        New fall hours take effect Oct. 1 Hours for the bison range road at Minneopa State Park will change for the month of October due to decreasing daylight hours. Starting Oct. 1, the range road will be open Thursday through Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The road will be closed on Wednesdays for regular maintenance.  Hiking trails around the bison range provide more bison viewing opportunities. Trails are open daily year round during regular park hours. A vehicle permit ($7 daily or $35 year-round) is required to enter the park. Bison range road hours will be adjusted again to follow daylight hours for the winter. Beginning Nov. 1, winter hours will be 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Minneopa State Park’s bison herd arrived in September 2015 and has been a popular attraction for the park since then. The bison are part of the Minnesota Bison Conservation Herd, managed through a formal agreement between the DNR and Minnesota Zoo. The partners are working together to preserve American plains bison. The plan is to grow the herd to 500 animals at several locations, including Blue Mounds State Park, Minneopa State Park and the Minnesota Zoo. Genetic testing of the herd from 2011 to 2014 found them largely free of any genetic material that would have come from cross-breeding with cattle. Less than 1 percent of all American plains bison tested so far have been found free of cattle genes. Bison viewing tips: Bison may be difficult to spot at times. Visitors should drive slowly and keep a watchful eye as they go through the range. Remain inside vehicle while driving through the bison range. Bison should be given clearance of at least 75 feet from people and vehicles at all times. Dogs can make bison nervous, so pets must be kept on a leash while in the park and hiking around the bison range. Bison get nervous around loud noises or lots of activity, so keeping voices down and movements to a minimum may help keep the bison within easy viewing. Hiking is not allowed inside the range, but there are hiking trails all the way around the outside of the range that can provide some fantastic views of the bison. For information on the Minneopa State Park bison herd, see: Resources on bison can be found here: For more information on Minneopa State Park, call 507-389-5464 or visit: Discuss below - to view set the hook here.