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I have a couple of ponds that have minnows in them. I have fathead, shiners and river chubs. My son loves to trap minnows as well as I do. I was thinking on teaching him the value of a dollar and some small business lessons. Is there a market to see these to? I would just like to sell them to baitshops or a reasonable bulk type of sale. I'd rather not have people coming to the house all of the time. Do baitshops buy them in bulk (gallons)? What would be the best type of minnow to raise?

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Erik, there is a market but most, if not all, of the bait shops get all their bait from one source, a wholesaler.

If you wanted to get in the wholesale game you would have to spend some money for tanks, filters and a system of airation. I don't think it would be very cost effective on a small scale.

You might be better off contacting a current wholesaler and asking him if he wants to trap your pond(s) or if they would buy what you son trapped. If you had your son trap and sell to the wholesaler you would still probably need a way to keep the minnows fresh.

But it's worth a try, good luck.

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You need a 'minnow dealer' license [$310.00] as well to sell wholesale, as well as a 'minnow dealers vehicle license' for each vehicle used for transport [$15.00]


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Thats all a bit more complicated than I had thought. So itt appears it would an easier path be to find someone that already traps in the area and make a deal with them to trap the pond. I have also heard of people raising game fish and selling them. Is that a better option? I am not thinking I will get rich by any stretch. I just want to attempt to have a small home business that would be fun and to get my sons involved to learn that a dollar is not earned by just doing their homework. Any help would be appreciated.



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I would think you would need a license to sell gamefish aswell, and I cant see there being a big market to make it worth your while. Although, I bet if you put some fish in with all those minnows you would get some big fish that would be fun for you and your son to catch.

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id catch a bunch bass and throw em in thier and in 10 years youll have the worlds prettiest bass nothin beats the look of a nice healthy minnesota lunker

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Erik, yes I think you'd be better off finding someone who already has a baitdealers license to trap your ponds.

My brother has a couple of ponds on his property up by Battle Lake and he has one of the local baitdealers trap his ponds for leeches. He gets a couple of hundred dollars per year.

I also like the idea of throwing in a few smaller bass or other game fish. Problem is I think the DNR might have a problem with it. I'm not sure but I'd check it out before you try it.

You also might be albe to purchase Bass or other game fish for your own stocking, again check with DNR first.

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I think if you find a dealer worth his salt, you could work out a deal to have your kid help him work the traps occasionally. I think there are guys out there who would like to teach a kid about the business and exactly the values you are trying to teach. Depending on the age, the dealer would get a little extra help and just officially pay for the minnows, unofficially for the help. My thoughts, for what they're worth.

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A little off topic but if somehow you can sell shiner minnows then you'd make some money. For some Odd reasons, and I don't know why, all bait shop stop selling shiner minnows in April or so. I know a lot of people use shiners for White Bass and Walleyes in the St. Croix.

Your best bet is if your near a area that people fish heavily. You can advertise to the locals about your son selling minnows. It can be like a lemonade stand, but to actually make great money, then I doubt it. You'll never be able to compete with the bait shop unless you open a bait shop yourself.

Good luck.

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