Virtual meeting, in-person sessions to address proposed northwest Minnesota bluegill regulations
With the proposed changes, the DNR aims to protect and improve bluegill sizes by lowering bag limits on 118 lakes statewide, 50 of which are in northwest Minnesota.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages anglers in northwest Minnesota to attend a virtual town hall meeting from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, to share their thoughts on proposed special fishing regulations.
With the proposed changes, the DNR aims to protect and improve bluegill sizes by lowering bag limits on 118 lakes statewide, 50 of which are in northwest Minnesota. If adopted, the regulations will become effective next spring.
In response to growing concerns from anglers and resort owners about sunfish size quality, fisheries managers aim to increase the number of lakes with reduced bag limits from 60 to 250 by 2023. Managers will use proven 5 or 10 sunfish bag limits to protect and improve sunfish quality on select lakes with both biological potential to produce large sunfish and strong public support.
The Oct. 5 virtual town hall is one of five town halls the DNR will hold across the state on the bluegill initiative. Participants are encouraged to attend the virtual meetings and use the online comment option as an alternative to in-person meetings. Information on how to attend the virtual town hall is available on the sunfish page of the DNR website.
Consistent with state law, the DNR also will host in-person open houses in Beltrami, Becker, Clearwater, Cass, Hubbard, Otter Tail and Pope counties. Meetings will be conducted in town hall style and limited to 10 participants at any one time. There will be no presentation, but DNR staff will be available to answer questions and take comments. Information regarding county meetings can be found at public meetings .
Those unable to participate in the virtual or in-person meetings can use an online presentation and comment opportunity that was launched for the bluegill initiative in May. The DNR has received 2,500 comments through the online survey and will accept comments through Oct. 25.
The DNR posted notification of the proposed changes to special fishing regulations at the accesses to each lake for most of the summer. Questions about regulation proposals in northwest Minnesota can be directed to Henry Drewes, DNR northwest region fisheries manager, at (218) 308-2633.