Anglers have more opportunities to fish for Minnesota sturgeon because of a new catch-and-release fishing season this year. Here’s what you need to know.
What does the new season mean for anglers?
The new catch-and-release season on inland waters began this year. Each year, it closes from April 15 to June 15 to protect sturgeon during spawning. During the season, anglers can intentionally fish for lake sturgeon on inland waters. This allows sturgeon fishing on waters like Otter Tail Lake and the Littlefork, Bigfork and Kettle rivers – all of which have good numbers of lake sturgeon. Anglers can also catch and release lake sturgeon on additional border waters like the Red, St. Louis and Mississippi rivers.
Why expand sturgeon fishing?
Comebacks staged by lake sturgeon in recent years are making new fishing opportunities possible. Sturgeon numbers have increased because of improved water quality, dam removals, restorative stocking efforts and conservative regulations. The new catch-and-release season is a very positive outcome of recovery. However, it will still be many years before lake sturgeon have recovered enough to allow for expanded harvest opportunities.
What about shovelnose sturgeon?
In March 2015, new regulations went into effect for shovelnose sturgeon, a species found mostly in the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River below St. Anthony Falls. Those regulations can be found on page 52 in the 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet.
Where can I find more info?
Lake sturgeon season details can be found at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn or in the fishing regulations booklet. Information on lake sturgeon tags is on page 43 of the booklet.