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Minnesota adults can fish free, with no license, if they bring kids this weekend

Adults must bring at least one angler age 15 or under.

Child and adult kneel on ice with ice fishing rod
Minnesota residents can fish free, without a license, this weekend if they bring at least one angler age 15 or younger.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is Saturday through Monday.

During the weekend, which includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, any Minnesota resident can go ice fishing for free if fishing with a child age 15 or younger. Minnesotans under age 16 don’t need fishing licenses any time of the year.

“For anyone who wants to try ice fishing, we have helpful information on our website to get you started on the way toward drilling holes through the ice and catching fish,’’ said Benji Kohn, volunteer mentor program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Go to mndnr.gov/GoFishing/Learn-Ice-Fish.html for more information about ice fishing, including a recorded webinar with tips and techniques anglers can use to have fun catching sunfish, crappie and perch.

Ice conditions vary and there is no such thing as 100% safe ice. Always check local ice conditions before heading out to a lake or river.


As amended and passed, HB 1151 would allow baiting on private property from Aug. 25 through Jan. 7, among other stipulations.
New North Dakota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses are required beginning Saturday, April 1.
Based on DNR creel surveys, anglers landed an estimated 15,000 crappies this winter on Upper Red, compared with about 900 crappies, on average, over the previous 10 winters or more.
HB 1151, which the House passed 76-18, would strip the Game and Fish Department of its authority to ban hunting big game over bait as a way to mitigate potential spread of chronic wasting disease.
The big pike was caught Jan. 22 on Mille Lacs Lake.
Season details for 2023 have not yet been set, but information will be available in May. The deadline to submit comments on the proposal is Thursday, March 30.
Minnow tanks around North Dakota are empty. A shortage of live bait may impact more than just those looking to fish.
HB 1538 would establish in Century Code the fee structure and policies for holding fishing contests in North Dakota, whether they be professional events or local charity fundraisers.
Motorists are reminded that there are a large number of eagles moving back into the area and they feed heavily on car-killed deer, many of which are on the shoulder of the highways.
Fish houses may be used after March 15 if they are removed daily, when not occupied, the department said.

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