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double_dog

Fishing with your limit

67 posts in this topic

A post brought up in another forum brought me to this question.

Is is legal to catch your limit of, say walleye, and continue to fish catching and releasing? I would think it would be as long as I'm not just trying to catch bigger walleye and sorting through my livewell. I'm pretty sure that would be illegal?

Thanks.

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I'm pretty sure it's not legal to knowingly fish for the same fish you have a limit on. I would say stay one short of the limit and then you can keep fishing.

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This question has been on here before and you will probably get a 50-50 split on what people think.

Here are the regs on this quoted from the 2007 regs book. (page 10)

• Once a daily or possession limit of fish has been reached, no culling or live-well sorting is allowed.

Its doesn't mention you have to stop fishing, but it does say you can not sort your fish.

So based off what the book says it is legal to keep on fishing but its catch and release after the last one goes in the live well.

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My reading of the regs is that

1) You can't sort fish, such as keeping a limit in a livewell or on a stringer, and then fishing for another keeper to replace a smaller fish.

2) You can't possess more than a limit.

3) Catching a fish for immediate release is not considered possession.

4) If you have a limit and you let a fish go, then you're not sorting or possessing more than your limit.

5) If the fish you just caught dies before you can release it, then you need to return it to the water because you cannot keep it. This is not legally considered wanton waste.

6) Having a limit in possession can include having a limit in your freezer at home. It does not pertain to just fish you possess in the immediate vicinity of where you are fishing.

Unless I've missed something in the regs, then it's OK to keep fishing while you possess a limit.

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Thats exactly how I read it as well. If it were illeagal then it would have to be clearly laid out in the regs and it never even mentions it.

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I'm going to have to re-read the regs to verify, but I believe the majority of forum users who have weighed in on this question say you have to stop when you have your limit.

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2007 Fishing Regulations

Here is a link to the 2007 regs. I guess everyone can read them for themselves and make your own determination (its a good idea we all read them again anyways.) I think most of the info is on page 10.

I also emailed the DNR in hopes of getting the info straight from the source. I'll let you know if they reply.

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Few years ago we were trolling on opening day and had a limit in the boat. It was to early to go in so we kept fishing. Happened to hit 2 fish at the same time. Got them in the boat and one unhooked and released as the DNR pulled up. Ended up with a ticket for one over limit. Fish was in hand so in possesion. We now quit when we have a limit.

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This topic seems to come up every year and the issue seems to focus on the meaning of "possession" - for example at a bass tourney you put your first five legal fish in the live well and then cull with your sixth fish. Some argue that holding the 6th fish at all is possession and you are done and others say that as long as it does not hit the live well you are fine.

I tend to side with those who feel that a fish is not in possession until it is in the live well or the DNR would certainly have slapped bass tourneys down years ago and they are well aware of the practice so by permitting it they are giving us the correct interpretation of the law.

That's my 2 cents.

Daze Off

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Quote:

5) If the fish you just caught dies before you can release it, then you need to return it to the water because you cannot keep it. This is not legally considered wanton waste.


I would say this should be reason enough to stop for the day.

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According to the 2007 regs, it looks like you are under no obligation to stop fishing if a limit is reached. See definition of possession on page 4, where possession is defined:

Daily and possession limits (bags)– For most species of fish,

the daily and possession limit is the same. One exception would be the

inland limit on yellow perch, which is 20 per day and 40 in possession.

The daily and possession limits include fish possessed by the person at

all locations including such places as livewell, at home or at a resort.

Any fish not immediately released back to the water are in possession

(reduced to possession). Daily limit is the number of fish an angler can

take in one calendar day. Eating those fish or gifting them away on the

same day does not allow

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page 10 of the regs seems to imply that your possession and daily limit are the same. Whether on hand, in cold storage, in transport or elsewhere. Thus if you have fish at home in storage, like say a package of three walleyes, after you catch your third walleye on a fishing trip, technically you should be done, for you have reached your possession/daily limit.

On page 12, by design or not there seems to be a distinction between cold storage and frozen fish. I am not sure if there is a difference or not.

The biggest problem I could see with continuing to fish after a limit has been kept is the "Fish of a lifetime" It would seem, that immediate release would have to happen, No photo's, no measuring, no admiring, unhook it get it back in the water or be subject to being in possession and a potential ticket. If it were a trophy that could mean making restitution for a trophy if someone carried it to the Nth degree of the letter of the law.

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I'm not advocating either direction on this one, but based on other fishing regulations and applying the same logic it would seem to be arguable. There are certain waters where fishing is allowed, but catch and release only. If you catch a fish in said waters, handling (or possessing until you extract the hook) in order to release it is implied. I don't see how that differs from continuing to fish after your limit is in the boat. Not all CO's would think alike on this point.

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After reading this, I would say it is legal. What is the difference how many fish you have/don't have if you are returning everything you catch back into the water? Possession seems to be outlined as in the livewell.

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As with all matters regulatory: the professionals interpret aggressively.

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I think you can keep fishing. Not that you couldn't be ticketed by a CO who sees things differently...I usually solve this problem by stopping one short of the limit, and if I come up one short at the end, oh well. Usually if I'm on a bite thats good enuf to yield a limit I end up catching more and eventually leaveing with my limit. I wish this was an issue that came up more often:)

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I have an email from the MN DNR that states you can continue to fish for the same species as long as you do not "sort". I have it saved somewhere(not going to look for it now)but if I or anybody gets busted for over the limit you can be sure I will bring it to court with me!

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If catching and releasing is temporary possession (thus over limit by one), then you cannot legally fish for walleye on Pool 2.

I think the CO was wrong.

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this is interesting wouldnt it technically be in you posession to remove the hook. also why then wouldnt it be legal to knowingly fish for a species out of season if its immediately returned to the water. how can the posession rule apply to one and not the other. id clarify with a co before having a limit and continuing to fish for more just to release them.

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You can not fish for bass if they are not in season. You can not even catch and release them if they are not in season. It seems to me then that reasoning would indicate since you have a limit of fish already you must stop fishing for that species. How is the CO going to know that you are catching and releasing? All he knows for sure is that you have a limit and you are still targeting that same species of fish! Seems to me that if you are allowed 3 and you keep 2 in the live well then you can fish for them all day as long as you catch and release. Why would you even want to chance it? Just seems to me like it is not worth pushing the matter. This reminds me of the “If I have my 4 year old out with me can I catch 2 limits of fish” question. Just my .02 Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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This should settle it

Hello,

Yes, you can continue to fish for walleye. You can not cull once you

have a possession in your live well. Not that it matters right now. But

the season does need to be open on the type of fish your targeting. I've

added that because we do get questions on whether you can fish and catch

and release a species that is closed or the season has ended.

good

luck

jim

James Abernathy

DNR Information Consultant

500 Lafayette Rd Box 40

St Paul Mn 55155

651-296-6157

1-888-646-6367

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Thats unreal... Yet another law/rule/reg that flies in the face of everything I have known and been told over the years.

It sure seams to me like they clarified what it means to be in possession and that has opened up some confusion. Funny... a clarification that causes confusion. confused.gif

The one thing to remember, and this goes for any regulation, is that every CO interprets these laws differently, whether they are supposed to or not. confused.gif

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Print the page above and keep it with your license.

PS if you get fined, do not blame FM... grin.gif

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Thanks for posting that eyewarrior. I've kept a copy just in case it ever comes up.

This is a good example of why I love fishingMinnesota.com

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The only exception that I know of is with smallmouth bass - after a certain day in early September you cannot keep them but it is still perfectly legal to fish for them.

Daze Off

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