USA Minnesota

USA Statutes : minnesota
Title : GAME AND FISH
Chapter : Fishing
97C.001 Experimental waters. Subdivision 1. Definition; designation. (a)
Experimental waters are lakes and streams where special regulations
are used and evaluated to meet a specific fisheries objective.
(b) The commissioner may designate any waters of the state having
free access to the public as experimental waters. The designated
experimental waters may not exceed 200 lakes and 50 streams at one
time. For all experimental waters, the commissioner shall develop an
evaluation plan and specify a termination date. On the termination
date, the commissioner shall vacate or extend the experimental waters
designation, or designate the experimental waters as special
management waters under section 97C.005.
The commissioner shall by rule establish methods and criteria for
public initiation of experimental waters designation and for public
participation in the evaluation of the waters designated. (c)
Designation of experimental waters under this section is not subject
to chapter 14. Subd. 2. Public notice and meeting. (a)
Before the commissioner designates, or vacates or extends the
designation of, experimental waters, a public meeting must be held in
the county where the largest portion of the waters is located.
(b) At least 90 days before the public meeting and during the open
angling season for fish the taking of which is, or is proposed to be,
regulated under subdivision 3 on the waters under consideration,
notice of the proposed designation, vacation, or extension must be
posted at publicly maintained access points on the water. (c)
Before the public meeting, notice of the meeting must be published in
a news release issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of
general circulation in the area where the proposed experimental
waters are located. The notice must be published at least once
between 30 and 60 days before the meeting, and at least once between
seven and 30 days before the meeting. (d) The notices required
in this subdivision must summarize the proposed action, invite public
comment, and specify a deadline for the receipt of public comments.
The commissioner shall mail a copy of each required notice to persons
who have registered their names with the commissioner for this
purpose. The commissioner shall consider any public comments
received in making a final decision. (e) If a water to be
designated is a lake with a water area of more than 1,500 acres, or
is a stream or river with a reach of more than six miles, a public
meeting must also be held in the seven-county metropolitan area.
Subd. 3. Seasons, limits, and other requirements. The
commissioner may, in accordance with the procedures in subdivision 2
or by rule under chapter 14, establish open seasons, limits, methods,
and other requirements for taking fish on experimental waters. 97C.003 Repealed, 2002 c 351 s 34
97C.005 Special management waters. Subdivision 1. Definition;
designation. (a) Special management waters are waters that:
(1) have been subject to special regulations that have been evaluated
and proven effective under an experimental waters designation under
section 97C.001;
or (2) are classified by the commissioner for primary use as
trophy lakes, family fishing lakes, designated trout lakes,
designated trout streams, special species management lakes, and other
designated uses. (b) The commissioner may designate any waters
of the state, including experimental waters, as special management
waters. The commissioner shall by rule establish methods and
criteria for public participation in the evaluation and designation
of waters as special management waters. (c) Designation of
special management waters under this section is not subject to
chapter 14. Subd. 2. Public notice and meeting. (a)
Before the commissioner designates special management waters, public
comment must be received and, for waters other than those proposed to
be designated as trout streams or trout lakes, a public meeting must
be held in the county where the largest portion of the waters is
located. (b) For waters previously designated as experimental
waters, a proposed change in status to special management waters must
be announced before the public meeting by notice published in a news
release issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of general
circulation in the area where the waters are located. The notice
must be published at least once between 30 and 60 days before the
public meeting, and at least once between seven and 30 days before
the meeting. If a water proposed to be designated is a lake with a
water area of more than 1,500 acres, or is a stream or river with a
reach of more than six miles, a public meeting must also be held in
the seven-county metropolitan area. (c) For proposed special
management waters, other than designated trout lakes and designated
trout streams, that were not previously designated as experimental
waters, notice of the proposed designation must be given as provided
in this paragraph. The notice must be posted at publicly maintained
access points at least 90 days before the public meeting and during
the open angling season for fish the taking of which on the waters is
proposed to be regulated under subdivision 3. Before the public
meeting, notice of the meeting must be published in a news release
issued by the commissioner and in a newspaper of general circulation
in the area where the proposed special management waters are located.
The notice must be published at least once between 30 and 60 days
before the meeting, and at least once between seven and 30 days
before the meeting. If a water to be designated is a lake with a
water area of more than 1,500 acres, or is a stream or river with a
reach of more than six miles, a public meeting must also be held in
the seven-county metropolitan area. (d) For waters proposed to
be designated as trout streams or trout lakes, notice of the proposed
designation must be published at least 90 days before the effective
date of the designation in a news release issued by the commissioner
and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the
waters are located. In addition, all riparian owners along the
waters must be notified at least 90 days before the effective date of
the designation. (e) The notices required in this subdivision
must summarize the proposed action, invite public comment, and
specify a deadline for the receipt of public comments. The
commissioner shall mail a copy of each required notice to persons who
have registered their names with the commissioner for this purpose.
The commissioner shall consider any public comments received in
making a final decision. Subd. 3. Seasons, limits, and
other rules. The commissioner may, in accordance with the
procedures in subdivision 2, paragraphs (c) and (e), or by rule under
chapter 14, establish open seasons, limits, methods, and other
requirements for taking fish on special management waters.
97C.011 Muskellunge lakes. (a) The commissioner may, after preparing a statement
of need and reasonableness and holding a public meeting, designate
waters with muskellunge as muskellunge waters. (b) The
commissioner may prescribe rules for each designated muskellunge
waters that: (1) restrict spearing from a dark house; (2)
restrict angling from a dark house; (3) limit the open season to
take fish; (4) limit the size of fish that may be kept; and
(5) limit the number of each species of fish that may be kept.
(c) The commissioner must give notice and hold a hearing before
adopting rules under this subdivision. The rules must have a
termination date and may only be extended upon a showing by the
commissioner, at a hearing, that the muskellunge population in the
designated waters has been enhanced. (d) The provisions of
section 97C.385,
subdivision 1, requiring the angling season on a lake to be closed in
proportion to the spearing season do not apply to designated
muskellunge lakes. (e) The commissioner, in designating a
muskellunge water on lakes wholly or partially within an Indian
reservation, may not designate a whole lake larger than 29,775 acres
in surface area, except that sensitive areas of lakes larger than
29,775 acres may be designated if clause (a) is complied with. 97C.015 Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52
97C.02 Acquisition of critical aquatic habitat. The commissioner shall acquire
lands that are critical for fish and other aquatic life and that meet
criteria described for aquatic management areas in section 86A.05,
subdivision 14. The lands that are acquired may be developed to
manage lakes, rivers, streams, and adjacent wetlands and lands for
aquatic life, water quality, intrinsic biological value, public
fishing, and other compatible outdoor recreational uses. The land
may be acquired by gift, lease, easement, or purchase. The
commissioner shall designate land acquired under this subdivision as
aquatic management areas for the purposes of the outdoor recreation
system.
97C.021 Angling restricted in trout streams. A person may only take fish
from a designated trout stream during the open season for trout in
the stream.
97C.025 Fishing and motorboats restricted in certain areas. (a) The
commissioner may prohibit or restrict the taking of fish or the
operation of motorboats by posting waters that: (1) are
designated as spawning beds or fish preserves; (2) are being used
by the commissioner for fisheries research or management activities;
or (3) are licensed by the commissioner as a private fish
hatchery or aquatic farm under section 17.4984,
subdivision 1, or 97C.211,
subdivision 1. An area may be posted under this paragraph if
necessary to prevent excessive depletion of fish or interference with
fisheries research or management activities or private fish hatchery
or aquatic farm operations. (b) The commissioner will consider
the following criteria in determining if waters licensed under a
private fish hatchery or aquatic farm should be posted under
paragraph (a): (1) the waters contain game fish brood stock that
are vital to the private fish hatchery or aquatic farm operation;
(2) game fish are present in the licensed waters only as a result of
aquaculture activities by the licensee; and (3) no public access
to the waters existed when the waters were first licensed. (c) A
private fish hatchery or aquatic farm licensee may not take fish or
authorize others to take fish in licensed waters that are posted
under paragraph (a), except as provided in section 17.4983,
subdivision 3, and except that if waters are posted to allow the
taking of fish under special restrictions, licensees and others who
can legally access the waters may take fish under those special
restrictions. (d) Before March 1, 2003, riparian landowners
adjacent to licensed waters on April 30, 2002, and riparian
landowners who own land adjacent to waters licensed after April 30,
2002, on the date the waters become licensed waters, plus their
children and grandchildren, may take two daily limits of fish per
month under an angling license subject to the other limits and
conditions in the game and fish laws. (e) Except as provided in
paragraphs (c), (d), and (f), a person may not take fish or operate a
motorboat if prohibited by posting under paragraph (a). (f) An
owner of riparian land adjacent to an area posted under paragraph (a)
may operate a motorboat through the area by the shortest direct route
at a speed of not more than five miles per hour.
97C.031 Lakes with unbalanced fish populations. The commissioner may establish
and amend a list of lakes and rivers that have been found by the
fisheries director to contain an unbalanced fish population, or to
contain species of fish that have become stunted from overpopulation.
The list may not include more than 100 lakes and rivers, or more than
six in a county. The commissioner may, by rule, establish open
seasons, limits, and methods of taking fish from lakes and rivers on
the list. The rule must be published in each county containing the
lake or river.
97C.035 Endangered fish populations. Subdivision 1. Conditions. If the
commissioner determines that fish are in danger of dying, or if
waters will be restored with the use of piscicides, the commissioner
may rescue the fish under subdivision 2 or allow taking of the fish
under subdivision 3. Subd. 2. Rescue of fish. If the
commissioner rescues fish endangered by lack of oxygen in the winter,
the fish may be transferred to other waters, sold, or otherwise
disposed of. Subd. 3. Taking of fish. (a) The
commissioner may authorize residents to take fish: (1) in any
quantity; (2) in any manner, except by use of seines, hoop nets,
fyke nets, and explosives; and (3) for personal use only, except
rough fish may be sold. (b) The commissioner may authorize the
taking of fish by posting notice conspicuously along the shore of the
waters and publishing a news release in a newspaper of general
circulation in the area where the waters are located.
97C.041 Commissioner may remove rough fish and catfish. The commissioner may take
rough fish, lake whitefish, and rainbow smelt with seines, nets, and
other devices. The commissioner may also take catfish with seines,
nets, and other devices on the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary waters.
The commissioner may hire or contract persons, or issue permits, to
take the fish. The commissioner shall prescribe the manner of taking
and disposal. The commissioner may award a contract under this
section without competitive bidding. Before establishing the
contractor's compensation, the commissioner must consider the
qualifications of the contractor, including the contractor's
equipment, knowledge of the waters, and ability to perform the work.

97C.045 Removal of rough fish from boundary waters. The commissioner may enter
into agreements with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa,
relating to the removal of rough fish in boundary waters. The
agreements may include: (1) contracting to remove rough fish;
(2) inspection of the work; (3) the division of proceeds; and
(4) regulating the taking of rough fish.
97C.051 Special permits to use piscicides. Subdivision 1. Permit.
(a) The commissioner may issue a special permit, without a fee, to
apply piscicides to restore waters at the permittee's expense. The
commissioner may by rule prescribe insurance requirements for permit
applicants. (b) A permit under this section may be issued to an
individual, a group of riparian owners, or a lake improvement
association. The permit may only be issued if all riparian owners
have consented in writing. Subd. 2. Taking of fish. The
commissioner may set special open seasons, limits, and methods to
take fish before the piscicides are applied. The commissioner must
post the special provisions at or near the waters.
97C.055 Dead fish removal. The commissioner shall remove and dispose of dead
fish that accumulate in or upon the shores of public waters in
quantities that are a public nuisance or are detrimental to game
fish.
97C.061 Dragging a weight or an anchor through vegetation. A person
may not use a motorboat to drag an anchor or other weight through
aquatic vegetation, except by commissioner's rule.
97C.065 Pollutants in waters. A person may not dispose of any substance in state
waters, or allow any substance to enter state waters, in quantities
that injure or are detrimental to the propagation of wild animals or
taint the flesh of wild animals. Each day of violation is a separate
offense. An occurring or continuous violation is a public nuisance.
An action may be brought by the attorney general to enjoin and abate
nuisance upon request of the commissioner. This section does not
apply to chemicals used for pest control for the general welfare of
the public.
97C.071 Permit required for structure in public waters. A person may not
construct or maintain a dam or other obstruction, except a boat pier,
in or over public waters without a permit from the commissioner. The
commissioner may establish permit conditions for the construction or
modification of a fishway around or over a dam or obstruction. 97C.075 Fish screens in flowing waters. A person may not obstruct a creek,
stream, or river to prevent the passage of fish with a rack or screen
without the permission of the commissioner. The person that erected
the obstruction, or the owner of the land where the obstruction is
located, must immediately remove the obstruction upon order of the
commissioner.
97C.077 Fish screens in lakes. Subdivision 1. Lake in one county. If all
or a major part of a navigable lake is located within a single county
and has been stocked with fish by the United States government, the
county board, in order to maintain fish in the lake and prevent their
escape from the lake, may erect and maintain screens at the inlets
and outlets of the lake. The county board may appropriate from the
county treasury money for the erection and maintenance of the
screens. Subd. 2. Lake in more than one county. If a
lake is located in more than one county, the county boards of the
affected counties may jointly provide for the erection and
maintenance of screens. The expense of the screens and maintenance
must be paid equally between the counties, and the county boards must
appropriate money from the county treasury of their respective
counties to pay the expenses of the screens and maintenance. 97C.081 Fishing contests. Subdivision 1. Restrictions. A person may
not conduct a fishing contest on waters except as provided in this
section. Subd. 2. Contests without a permit. A person
may conduct a fishing contest without a permit from the commissioner
provided: (1) the following criteria are met: (i) there are
30 participants or less for open water contests and 150 participants
or less for ice fishing contests; (ii) the entry fee is $25 per
person or less; (iii) the total prize value is $25,000 or less;
and (iv) the contest is not limited to trout species only;
(2) the following criteria are met: (i) the contest is not
limited to specifically named waters; and (ii) the contest is not
limited to trout species only; or (3) all the contest
participants are age 18 years or under. Subd. 3. Contests
requiring a permit. (a) A person must have a permit from the
commissioner to conduct a fishing contest that does not meet the
criteria in subdivision 2. Permits shall be issued without a fee.(b) If entry fees are over $25 per person, or total prizes are
valued at more than $25,000, and if the applicant has either: (1)
not previously conducted a fishing contest requiring a permit under
this subdivision; or (2) ever failed to make required prize
awards in a fishing contest conducted by the applicant, the
commissioner may require the applicant to furnish the commissioner
evidence of financial responsibility in the form of a surety bond or
bank letter of credit in the amount of $25,000. Subd. 4.
Restrictions. The commissioner may by rule establish restrictions
on fishing contests to protect fish and fish habitat and for the
safety of contest participants. Subd. 5. Ice fishing
contest in conjunction with raffle. An organization that is
permitted under this section and licensed by the lawful Gambling
Control Board to conduct raffles may conduct a raffle in conjunction
with an ice fishing contest. The organization may sell a combined
ticket for a single price for the ice fishing contest and raffle,
provided that the combined ticket states in at least eight-point type
the amount of the price that applies to the ice fishing contest and
the amount that applies to the raffle. All other provisions of
sections 349.11
to 349.23
apply to the raffle. Subd. 6. Permit application
process. (a) Beginning September 1 each year, the commissioner
shall accept permit applications for fishing contests to be held in
the following year. (b) If the number of permit applications
received by the commissioner from September 1 through the last Friday
in October exceeds the limits specified in subdivisions 7 and 8, the
commissioner shall notify the affected applicants that their
requested locations and time period are subject to a drawing. After
notification, the commissioner shall allow the affected applicants a
minimum of seven days to change the location or time period requested
on their applications, provided that the change is not to a location
or time period for which applications are already at or above the
limits specified in subdivisions 7 and 8. (c) After the
applicants have been given at least seven days to change their
applications, the commissioner shall conduct a drawing for all
locations and time periods for which applications exceed limits.
First preference in the drawings shall be given to applicants for
established or traditional fishing contests, and second preference to
applicants for contests that are not established as traditional
fishing contests based on the number of times they have been
unsuccessful in previous drawings. Except for applicants of
established or traditional fishing contests, an applicant who is
successful in a drawing loses all accumulated preference. (d)
The commissioner has until December 7 to approve or deny permit
applications that are submitted by 4:30 p.m. on the last Friday in
October. The commissioner may approve a permit application that is
received after 4:30 p.m. on the last Friday in October if approving
the application would not result in exceeding the limits in
subdivisions 7 and 8. Subd. 7. Weekend limitations. (a)
On all waters 55,000 acres or less, the commissioner may ensure that
each of the state's waters has at least two weekends per month with
no permitted fishing contests. (b) Unless otherwise authorized
by the commissioner, permitted fishing contests that are conducted
for more than one day may not include more than one weekend day from
Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. (c) The
commissioner may not approve permits for fishing contests on a
weekend with a fishing season opener if the contest targets a species
for which the season is opening. Subd. 8. Limits on number
of fishing contests. (a) The number of permitted fishing contests
allowed each month on a water body shall not exceed the following
limits: Maximum number Maximum number Maximum number of permitted
of large of permitted fishing permitted fishing contests fishing
contest contests days Size/acres less than 2,000 2 0 4
2,000-4,999 3 1 6 5,000-14,999 4 2 8 15,000-55,000 5 3 10 more than
55,000 no limit no limit no limit (b) For boundary waters, the
limits on the number of permitted fishing contests shall be
determined based on the Minnesota acreage. Subd. 8a.
Additional fishing contest permits. Notwithstanding the limits in
subdivision 8, the commissioner may allow up to five additional
permits each year for fishing contests on bodies of water that are
5,000 acres or more in size. No more than one additional contest may
be permitted on one body of water in a single year. For additional
fishing contests permitted under this subdivision, the fishing
contest permit applicant must demonstrate to the commissioner that
the contest will: (1) provide economic benefits to the local
area; (2) promote public awareness of fishing and the state's
resources; and (3) conform to best management practices for the
lake. Subd. 9. Permit restrictions. (a) The
commissioner may require fishing contest permittees to limit
prefishing to week days only as a condition of a fishing contest
permit. The commissioner may require proof from permittees that
prefishing restrictions on the permit are communicated to fishing
contest participants and enforced. (b) The commissioner may
require permit restrictions on the hours that a permitted fishing
contest is conducted, including, but not limited to, starting and
ending times. (c) The commissioner may require permit
restrictions on the number of parking spaces that may be used on a
state-owned public water access site. The commissioner may require
proof from permittees that parking restrictions on the permit are
communicated to fishing contest participants and enforced. (d)
To prevent undue loss of fish, the commissioner may require
restrictions for off-site weigh-ins on a fishing contest permit or
may deny permits requesting an off-site weigh-in. (e) A person
may not transfer a fishing contest permit to another person. (f)
Failure to comply with fishing contest permit restrictions may be
considered grounds for denial of future permit applications.
Subd. 10. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the
following terms have the meanings given: (a) "Permitted fishing
contest" means an open water fishing contest or ice fishing contest
that requires a permit from the commissioner under subdivision 3.(b) "Large permitted fishing contest" means an open water fishing
contest with more than 50 boats or more than 100 participants that
requires a permit from the commissioner under subdivision 3. (c)
"Participant" means a person who is taking part in a fishing contest.(d) "Permitted fishing contest day" means a day on a water body
where a permitted fishing contest is held. Two permitted fishing
contests that are held on the same water body on the same day count
as two permitted fishing contest days. (e) "Off-site weigh-in"
means a weigh-in of fish from a fishing contest at a location that is
not adjacent to the waters listed on the fishing contest permit.
(f) "Prefishing" means fishing by participants of a permitted fishing
contest prior to the scheduled dates of the contest on waters listed
on the fishing contest permit.
97C.085 Permit required for tagging fish. A person may not tag or otherwise
mark a live fish for identification without a permit from the
commissioner, except for special fish management tags as authorized
under section 97A.551.

97C.087 Special fish management tags. Subdivision 1. Tags to be issued.
If the commissioner determines it is necessary to require that a
species of fish be tagged with a special fish management tag, the
commissioner shall prescribe, by rule, the species to be tagged,
tagging procedures, and eligibility requirements. Subd. 2.
Application for tag. Application for special fish management tags
must be accompanied by a $5, nonrefundable application fee for each
tag. A person may not make more than one tag application each year.
If a person makes more than one application, the person is ineligible
for a special fish management tag for that season after determination
by the commissioner, without a hearing.
97C.201 State fish stocking prohibited without public access. The
commissioner and state agencies may only stock fish in waters where
there is public access. The commissioner may stock fish in any
stream within privately owned lands where the public is granted free
access to and use of the stream for fishing purposes.
97C.203 Disposal of state hatchery products. The commissioner shall dispose of
fish hatchery products according to the following order of
priorities: (1) distribution of fish eggs and fry to state
hatcheries to hatch fry or raise fingerlings for stocking waters of
the state for recreational fishing; (2) transfer to other
government agencies in exchange for fish or wildlife resources of
equal value or private fish hatcheries in exchange for fish to be
stocked in waters of the state for recreational fishing; (3) sale
to private fish hatcheries or licensed aquatic farms at a price not
less than the fair wholesale market value, established as the average
price charged at the state's private hatcheries and contiguous states
per volume rates; (4) transfer to other government agencies,
colleges, or universities for cooperative fish management and
research purposes; and (5) sale of not more than $25 fair market
value to any school, museum, or commercial enterprise for curriculum
implementation, educational programs, public exhibition, or
cooperative displays.
97C.205 Rules for transporting and stocking fish. (a) The commissioner may
adopt rules to regulate: (1) the transportation of fish and fish
eggs from one body of water to another; and (2) the stocking of
waters with fish or fish eggs. (b) The commissioner shall
prescribe rules designed to encourage local sporting organizations to
propagate game fish by using rearing ponds. The rules must: (1)
prescribe methods to acquire brood stock for the ponds by seining
public waters; (2) allow the sporting organizations to own and
use seines and other necessary equipment; and (3) prescribe
methods for stocking the fish in public waters that give priority to
the needs of the community where the fish are reared and the desires
of the organization operating the rearing pond. (c) A person age
16 or under may, for purposes of display in a home aquarium,
transport largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, rock bass,
black crappie, white crappie, bluegill pumpkinseed, green sunfish,
orange spotted sunfish, and black, yellow, and brown bullheads taken
by angling. No more than four of each species may be transported at
any one time, and any individual fish can be no longer than ten
inches in total length.
97C.209 Repealed, 1992 c 566 s 23
97C.211 Private fish hatcheries. Subdivision 1. License required. A
person may not operate a private fish hatchery without a private fish
hatchery license. A private fish hatchery is a facility for raising
fish, including minnows, for sale, stocking waters, angling, or
processing. A private fish hatchery license is valid for five years
but must be renewed annually. Subd. 2. Rules for
operation. The commissioner shall prescribe rules that allow a
person to maintain and operate a private fish hatchery to raise and
dispose of fish. The commissioner shall establish and assess a fee
to cover the cost of inspection and disease certification of private
hatcheries. Subd. 2a. Acquisition of fish. (a) A
private fish hatchery may not obtain fish outside of the state unless
the fish or the source of the fish are approved by the commissioner.
The commissioner may apply more stringent requirements to fish or a
source of fish from outside the state than are applied to fish and
sources of fish from within the state. The commissioner must either
approve or deny the acquisition within 30 days after receiving a
written request for approval. Minnows acquired must be processed and
not released into public waters, except as provided in section 97C.515,
subdivision 4. A request may be for annual acquisition. (b) If
the commissioner denies approval, a written notice must be submitted
to the applicant stating the reasons for the denial and the
commissioner must: (1) designate approved sources to obtain the
desired fish or fish eggs; or (2) sell the fish or fish eggs from
state fish hatcheries at fair market value. Subd. 3.
Fishing license not required for persons to take fish. A person
may take fish by angling without a fishing license at a licensed
private fish hatchery or an artificial pool containing only fish
purchased from a private fish hatchery, if the operator of the
hatchery or pool furnishes each person catching fish a certificate
prescribed by the commissioner. The certificate must state the
number and species of the fish caught and other information as
prescribed by the commissioner. A person without a fishing license
may possess, ship, and transport within the state the fish caught in
the same manner as fish taken by a resident with a fishing license.Subd. 4. License required to take sucker eggs. A person
may not take sucker eggs from public waters for a private fish
hatchery without a license to do so. Subd. 5. Price of
walleye fry. The commissioner may not sell walleye fry for less
than fair market value, defined as the average price charged by
private walleye fry wholesalers located in Minnesota. Subd. 6.Nonpublic records. Information on production, harvest, and
sales of aquatic life by a private fish hatchery is nonpublic
information.
97C.215 Special permits for United States agents. The commissioner may issue
a special permit, without a fee, to an authorized agent of the United
States to conduct fish culture operations, rescue work, and related
fishery operations.
97C.301 License required to take fish. Subdivision 1. Requirement.
Unless exempted under section 97A.445,
97A.451,
or 97A.465,
subdivision 1, a person must have a license to take fish as provided
in this section. Subd. 2. Angling. A person may not
take fish without an angling license. Subd. 3.
Spearing. A person may not take fish by spearing from a dark
house without a dark house spearing license and an angling license.Subd. 4. Netting. A person may not take fish by netting
without the required license to net fish and an angling license.
Subd. 5. Aquatic farms. An aquatic farm licensee may take
aquatic life under the aquatic farm license and its endorsements as
authorized without additional licenses under the game and fish laws.

97C.305 Trout and salmon stamp validation. Subdivision 1.
Requirement. Except as provided in subdivision 2 or section 97A.405,
subdivision 2, a person over age 16 and under age 65 required to
possess an angling license must have a trout and salmon stamp
validation to: (1) take fish by angling in: (i) a stream
designated by the commissioner as a trout stream; (ii) a lake
designated by the commissioner as a trout lake; or (iii) Lake
Superior; or (2) possess trout or salmon taken in the state by
angling. Subd. 2. Exception. A trout and salmon stamp
validation is not required to take fish by angling or to possess
trout and salmon if: (1) the person: (i) possesses a license
to take fish by angling for a period of 24 hours from the time of
issuance under section 97A.475,
subdivision 6, clause (5), or subdivision 7, clause (5), and (ii)
is taking fish by angling, or the trout or salmon were taken by the
person, during the period the license is valid; (2) the person is
taking fish, or the trout or salmon were taken by the person, as
authorized under section 97C.035;
or (3) the person has a valid license issued under section 97A.441,
subdivision 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.
97C.311 Lake Superior fishing guide license. Subdivision 1. License
required. A person may not operate a charter boat and guide
anglers on Lake Superior or the St. Louis River Estuary for
compensation without a fishing guide license. For purposes of this
subdivision and section 97A.475,
subdivision 15, "St. Louis River Estuary" means the United States
Coast Guard navigable waters of the lower St. Louis River to the
Minnesota State Highway No. 23 bridge. Subd. 2. Rules.
The commissioner shall adopt rules for: (1) issuance of the
licenses, including qualifications for licensees; and (2) record
keeping and reporting by licensees. Subd. 3. Federal
requirements. A person may not use a watercraft for activities
authorized under this section unless the watercraft complies with all
applicable licensing and safety requirements of the United States
Coast Guard.
97C.315 Angling lines and hooks. Subdivision 1. Lines. An angler may not
use more than one line except: (1) two lines may be used to take
fish through the ice; and (2) the commissioner may, by rule,
authorize the use of two lines in areas designated by the
commissioner in Lake Superior. Subd. 2. Hooks. An
angler may not have more than one hook on a line, except: (1)
three artificial flies may be on a line used to take largemouth bass,
smallmouth bass, trout, crappies, sunfish, and rock bass; and (2)
a single artificial bait may contain more than one hook.
97C.317 Fishing as a party. While two or more persons are taking fish by angling
as a party, the total number of fish taken and the total number of
fish possessed by the party may not exceed the limit of the number of
persons in the party that may take and possess fish by angling. For
the purpose of this section, a party means: (1) for persons who
are not on the water, the persons are maintaining unaided visual and
vocal contact; (2) for persons who are on frozen water surfaces,
the persons are maintaining unaided visual and vocal contact; and
(3) for persons who are on open water surfaces, the persons are
angling from a single watercraft.
97C.321 Restrictions on unattended lines. Subdivision 1. General
prohibition. A person may not take fish by angling with a set
line or an unattended line except as provided in this section and
rules adopted under the game and fish laws. Subd. 2. Ice
fishing. A person may use an unattended line to take fish through
the ice if: (1) the person is within sight of the line; or
(2) a tip-up is attached to the line and the person is within 200
feet of the tip-up.
97C.325 Prohibited methods of taking fish. (a) Except as specifically
authorized, a person may not take fish with: (1) explosives,
chemicals, drugs, poisons, lime, medicated bait, fish berries, or
other similar substances; (2) substances or devices that kill,
stun, or affect the nervous system of fish; (3) nets, traps, trot
lines, or snares; or (4) spring devices that impale, hook, or
capture fish. (b) If a person possesses a substance or device
listed in paragraph (a) on waters, shores, or islands, it is
presumptive evidence that the person is in violation of this section.(c) The commissioner may, by rule, allow the use of a
nonmotorized device with a recoil mechanism to take fish through the
ice.
97C.327 Measurement of fish length. For the purpose of determining compliance
with size limits for fish in this chapter or in rules of the
commissioner, the length of a fish must be measured from the tip of
the nose or jaw, whichever is longer, to the farthest tip of the tail
when fully extended.
97C.331 Snagging fish prohibited. Subdivision 1. General prohibition. A
person may not: (1) intentionally take fish by snagging; or
(2) use a snagline, snagpole, snaghook, or cluster of fish hooks,
designed to be placed in or drawn through the water to hook the body
of a fish. Subd. 2. Prohibition on Lake Superior
tributaries. On tributaries to Lake Superior below the posted
boundaries, and on tributaries to Lake Superior with no posted
boundaries, a fish that is hooked in any part of the body except in
the mouth must be immediately unhooked and returned to the water.

97C.335 Use of artificial lights to take fish prohibited. A person may not
use artificial lights to lure or attract fish or to see fish in the
water while spearing, except that while angling, a person may affix
to the end of a fishing line a lighted artificial bait with hooks
attached. Any battery that is used in lighted fishing lures cannot
contain any intentionally introduced mercury.
97C.341 Certain fish prohibited for bait. A person may not use live minnows
imported from outside of the state, game fish, goldfish, or carp for
bait.
97C.345 Restrictions on use and possession of nets and spears.
Subdivision 1. Period when use prohibited. Except as
specifically authorized, a person may not take fish from the third
Monday in February to April 30 with a spear, fish trap, net, dip net,
seine, or other device capable of taking fish. Subd. 2.
Possession. (a) Except as specifically authorized, a person may
not possess a spear, fish trap, net, dip net, seine, or other device
capable of taking fish on or near any waters. Possession includes
personal possession and in a vehicle. (b) A person may possess
spears, dip nets, bows and arrows, and spear guns allowed under
section 97C.381
on or near waters between sunrise and sunset from May 1 to the last
Sunday in February, or as otherwise prescribed by the commissioner.Subd. 3. Dip nets. A person may possess and use a dip
net between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset from
May 1 to the third Sunday in February. Subd. 4.
Exceptions. Subdivisions 1 to 3 do not apply to: (1) nets
used to take rainbow smelt during the open season; (2) nets used
to land game fish taken by angling; (3) seines or traps used for
the taking of minnows for bait; (4) nets, seines, or traps
possessed and used under an aquatic farm license; and (5) angling
equipment. Subd. 5. Rules. The commissioner may adopt
rules to regulate the use of nets to take fish.
97C.347 Repealed, 1988 c 588 s 17
97C.351 Fish nets must have tag attached. A person may not possess a fish net
unless specifically authorized or a tag is attached bearing the name
and address of the owner when the net is not in use and the name and
address of the operator when the net is in use, as prescribed by the
commissioner. This section does not apply to minnow nets, landing
nets, dip nets, and nets in stock for sale by dealers.
97C.355 Dark houses and fish houses. Subdivision 1. Identification
required. All shelters on the ice of state waters, including dark
houses and fish houses, must have: (1) the owner's name and address,
(2) the owner's driver's license number, or (3) the "MDNR#" license
identification number issued to the owner legibly displayed on the
exterior with characters at least two inches high. Subd. 2.
License required. A person may not take fish from a dark house or
fish house unless the house is licensed and has a license tag
attached to the exterior in a readily visible location, except as
provided in this subdivision. The commissioner must issue a tag with
a dark house or fish house license, marked with a number to
correspond with the license and the year of issue. A dark house or
fish house license is not required of a resident on boundary waters
where the adjacent state does not charge a fee for the same activity.Subd. 3. Door must open from outside. A person may not
use a dark house or fish house unless the door is constructed so that
it can be opened from the outside when it is in use. Subd. 4.Distance between houses. A person may not erect a dark house
or fish house within ten feet of an existing dark house or fish
house. Subd. 5. Burning of structures. A person may not
burn a structure on the ice of state waters without permission of the
commissioner. The commissioner may allow burning only after
determining that the structure cannot be removed from the ice by
another reasonable manner. The owner must remove the remains of the
burned structure from the ice. Subd. 6. Restrictions for
nonresidents. A nonresident may obtain a license for a fish house
but the house may not be unattended. Subd. 7. Dates and
times houses may remain on ice. (a) Except as provided in
paragraph (d), a fish house or dark house may not be on the ice
between 12:00 a.m. and one hour before sunrise after the following
dates: (1) the last day of February, for state waters south of a
line starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border and formed by
rights-of-way of U.S. Route No. 10, then east along U.S. Route No. 10
to Trunk Highway No. 34, then east along Trunk Highway No. 34 to
Trunk Highway No. 200, then east along Trunk Highway No. 200 to U.S.
Route No. 2, then east along U.S. Route No. 2 to the
Minnesota-Wisconsin border; and (2) March 15, for other state
waters. A fish house or dark house on the ice in violation of
this subdivision is subject to the enforcement provisions of
paragraph (b). The commissioner may, by rule, change the dates in
this paragraph for any part of state waters. Copies of the rule must
be conspicuously posted on the shores of the waters as prescribed by
the commissioner. (b) A conservation officer must confiscate a
fish house or dark house in violation of paragraph (a). The officer
may remove, burn, or destroy the house. The officer shall seize the
contents of the house and hold them for 60 days. If the seized
articles have not been claimed by the owner, they may be retained for
the use of the division or sold at the highest price obtainable in a
manner prescribed by the commissioner. (c) When the last day of
February, under paragraph (a), clause (1), or March 15, under
paragraph (a), clause (2), falls on a Saturday, a fish house or dark
house may be on the ice between 12:00 a.m. and one hour before
sunrise until 12:00 a.m. the following Monday. (d) A person may
have a fish house or dark house on the ice between 12:00 a.m. and one
hour before sunrise on waters within the area prescribed in paragraph
(a), clause (2), but the house may not be unattended during those
hours. Subd. 7a. Houses left overnight. A fish house or
dark house left on the ice overnight must be marked with reflective
material on each side of the house. The reflective material must
measure a total area of no less than two square inches on each side
of the house. Violation of this subdivision is not subject to
subdivision 8 or section 97A.301.Subd. 8. Confiscation of unlawful structures. Structures
on the ice in violation of this section may be confiscated and
disposed of, retained by the division, or sold at the highest price
obtainable, in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.
97C.361 Restrictions on fish houses and dark houses in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. A person may only use a portable fish house or dark
house within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The house must be
removed from the waters and collapsed or disassembled each night.
The house may not remain in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area if the
person leaves the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
97C.365 Spears prohibited while angling in fish house or dark house. A person may not have a spear within a dark house or fish house
while angling.
97C.371 Spearing fish. Subdivision 1. Species allowed. Only rough
fish, catfish, lake whitefish, and northern pike may be taken by
spearing. Subd. 2. Dark houses required for certain
species. Catfish, lake whitefish, and northern pike may be
speared only from dark houses. Subd. 3. Restrictions while
spearing from dark house. A person may not take fish by angling
or the use of tip-ups while spearing fish in a dark house. Subd.
4. Open season. The open season for spearing through the ice
is December 1 to the third Sunday in February.
97C.375 Taking rough fish by spearing or archery. A resident or nonresident may
take rough fish by spearing or archery during the times, in waters,
and in the manner prescribed by the commissioner.
97C.381 Harpooning rough fish. A resident or nonresident may use a rubber
powered gun, spring gun, or compressed air gun to take rough fish by
harpooning. The harpoon must be fastened to a line not more than 20
feet long. The commissioner may prescribe the times, the waters, and
the manner for harpooning rough fish.
97C.385 Commissioner's authority to regulate winter fishing. Subdivision 1. Summer angling season to be closed in same
proportion. If the commissioner closes the statutory open season
for the spearing of a game fish species in any waters, the
commissioner must, in the same rule, close the following statutory
open season for angling for the same species in the waters in the
same proportion. Subd. 2. Summer angling limits must be
same as spearing. If the commissioner reduces the limit of a
species of game fish taken by spearing in any waters under section 97A.045,
subdivision 2, the commissioner must reduce the limit for taking of
the species by angling in the waters during the following open season
for angling. Subd. 3. Closing lakes and streams in a
county. The commissioner may not close the open season for taking
game fish through the ice on more than 50 percent of the named lakes
or streams of a county under section 97A.045,
subdivision 2.
97C.391 Buying and selling fish. Subdivision 1. General restrictions.
A person may not buy or sell fish taken from the waters of this
state, except: (1) minnows; (2) rough fish excluding ciscoes;(3) smelt taken from Lake Superior and rivers and streams that
flow into Lake Superior; (4) fish taken under licensed commercial
fishing operations; (5) fish that are private aquatic life; and(6) fish lawfully taken and subject to sale from other states and
countries. Subd. 2. Restrictions on certain game fish.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, muskellunge, and sunfish
may be bought or sold by a private hatchery or aquatic farm, or as
prescribed by the commissioner.
97C.392 Never effective, 2004 c 215 s 29; 2004 c 255 s 51
97C.395 Open seasons for angling. Subdivision 1. Dates for certain
species. (a) The open seasons to take fish by angling are as
follows: (1) for walleye, sauger, northern pike, muskellunge,
largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass, the Saturday two weeks prior to
the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to the last Sunday in February;(2) for lake trout, from January 1 to October 31; (3) for
brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, and splake, between January
1 to October 31 as prescribed by the commissioner by rule except as
provided in section 97C.415,
subdivision 2; and (4) for salmon, as prescribed by the
commissioner by rule. (b) The commissioner shall close the
season in areas of the state where fish are spawning and closing the
season will protect the resource. Subd. 2. Continuous
season for certain species. For sunfish, white crappie, black
crappie, yellow perch, catfish, rock bass, white bass, lake
whitefish, and rough fish, the open season is continuous.
97C.401 Limits. Subdivision 1. Commissioner authorized to prescribe
limits. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, the
commissioner shall, by rule, prescribe the limits on the number of
each species of fish that may be taken in one day and the number that
may be possessed. Subd. 2. Walleye; northern pike. (a)
Except as provided in paragraph (b), a person may take no more than
one walleye larger than 20 inches and one northern pike larger than
30 inches daily. (b) The restrictions in paragraph (a) do not
apply to boundary waters.
97C.402 Repealed, 1988 c 588 s 17
97C.403 Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52
97C.405 Muskellunge size limits. (a) Except as allowed under paragraph (b), if a
person catches a muskellunge less than 40 inches long, the person
must immediately release the fish into the waters. (b) The
commissioner may designate lakes north of Trunk Highway No. 210 where
muskellunge less than 40 inches, but not less than 30 inches long,
may be retained.
97C.411 Sturgeon and paddlefish. Lake sturgeon, shovelnose sturgeon, and
paddlefish may not be taken, bought, sold, transported or possessed
except as provided by rule of the commissioner. The commissioner may
only allow the taking of these fish in waters that the state boundary
passes through and in tributaries to the St. Croix River.
97C.415 Trout and salmon. Subdivision 1. Hours for taking trout
restricted. A person may not take trout, except lake trout,
between 11:00 p.m. and one hour before sunrise. Subd. 2.
Lake Superior streams. The commissioner may prescribe the open
season and conditions for taking brook trout, brown trout, rainbow
trout, steelhead trout, and salmon in any portion of a stream that
flows into Lake Superior. Subd. 3. Salmon. The
commissioner may prescribe, by rule, the method of taking and
possessing salmon.
97C.501 Minnow licenses required. Subdivision 1. Minnow retailers.
(a) A person may not be a minnow retailer without a minnow retailer
license except as provided in subdivisions 2, paragraph (d), and 3.
A person must purchase a minnow retailer license for each minnow
retail outlet operated, except as provided by subdivision 2,
paragraph (d). (b) A minnow retailer must obtain a minnow
retailer's vehicle license for each motor vehicle used by the minnow
retailer to transport more than 12 dozen minnows to the minnow
retailer's place of business, except as provided in subdivision 3. A
minnow retailer is not required to obtain a minnow retailer's vehicle
license if minnows are being transported by common carrier and
information is provided that allows the commissioner to find out the
location of the shipment in the state. Subd. 2. Minnow
dealers. (a) A person may not be a minnow dealer without a minnow
dealer license except as provided in subdivision 3. (b) A minnow
dealer must obtain a minnow dealer's vehicle license for each motor
vehicle used to transport minnows. The serial number, motor vehicle
license number, make, and model must be on the license. The license
must be conspicuously displayed in the vehicle. (c) A minnow
dealer may not transport minnows out of the state without an
exporting minnow dealer license. A minnow dealer must obtain an
exporting minnow dealer's vehicle license for each motor vehicle used
to transport minnows out of the state. The serial number, motor
vehicle license number, make, and model must be on the license. The
license must be conspicuously displayed in the vehicle. (d) A
person with a minnow dealer's license may sell minnows at one retail
outlet. A minnow dealer must obtain a minnow retailer license for
each additional retail outlet operated. A minnow dealer operating a
retail outlet under a minnow dealer's license must list the following
information for the retail outlet: name of the business; city; state;
zip code; and legal description or fire number. The retail outlet
name and location may be changed by making application to the
commissioner. Subd. 3. License exemption for minors selling
leeches. A resident under age 18 may take leeches, sell leeches
at retail, and transport leeches without a minnow retailer or dealer
license. Subd. 4. Nonresident exporting minnow dealers.
(a) A nonresident must obtain an exporting minnow dealer's vehicle
license for the motor vehicle used to transport minnows. The serial
number, motor vehicle license number, make, and model must be on the
license. The license must be conspicuously displayed in the vehicle.(b) Only one nonresident exporting minnow dealer vehicle license
may be issued to a nonresident exporting minnow dealer.
97C.505 Minnows. Subdivision 1. Authority to take, possess, buy, and
sell. (a) Minnows may be taken, possessed, bought, and sold,
subject to the restrictions in this chapter and in rules adopted by
the commissioner under paragraph (b). A person may not take,
possess, or sell minnows except for use as bait or for ornamental or
aquacultural purposes. (b) The commissioner may adopt rules for
the taking, possession, purchase, sale, and transportation of
minnows. Subd. 2. Continuous open season. The open
season for taking minnows is continuous, except as provided in
subdivisions 3 and 4. Subd. 3. Closing waters. The
commissioner may close any state waters for commercially taking
minnows if a survey is conducted and the commissioner determines it
is necessary to close the waters to prevent depletion or extinction
of the minnows. Subd. 4. Repealed, 1Sp1995 c 1 s 48 Subd. 5.Restrictions on taking from trout waters. A person may not
take minnows from designated trout lakes or trout streams without a
special permit issued by the commissioner. Subd. 6.
Approved equipment required. A person must use equipment approved
by the commissioner to possess or transport minnows for sale. This
subdivision does not apply to licensed aquatic farms. Subd. 7.Interference prohibited. A person may not knowingly damage,
disturb, or interfere with legal commercial minnow harvest
operations. Subd. 8. Possession for minnow dealers.
When nets and traps are lawfully set and tended, minnows and
incidentally taken game fish under four inches in length are not
considered to be in possession until the minnows or game fish are
placed on a motor vehicle or trailer for transport on land. 97C.511 Minnow seines. Subdivision 1. Size restrictions. Except as
provided in subdivision 2, a person may not take minnows with a seine
longer than 25 feet, and deeper than: (1) 148 meshes of 1/4 inch
bar measure; (2) 197 meshes of 3/16 inch bar measure; or (3)
four feet of material of less than 3/16 inch bar measure. Subd.
2. Licensed minnow dealers. A minnow dealer may take minnows
with a seine that is not longer than 50 feet, and not deeper than:(1) 222 meshes of 1/4 inch bar measure; (2) 296 meshes of
3/16 inch bar measure; or (3) six feet of material of less than
3/16 inch bar measure.
97C.515 Imported minnows. Subdivision 1. General prohibition. A
person may not bring live minnows into the state except as provided
in this section. Subd. 2. Permit for transportation. A
person may transport minnows through the state with a permit from the
commissioner. The permit must state the name and address of the
person, the number and species of minnows, the point of entry into
the state, the destination, and the route through the state. The
permit is not valid for more than 12 hours after it is issued.
Subd. 3. Use in home aquariums allowed. A person may bring
live minnows into the state for home aquariums. Subd. 4.
Private fish hatchery or aquatic farm. A person with a private
fish hatchery or aquatic farm license may transport minnows from
contiguous states to the private fish hatchery or aquatic farm,
provided the minnows are used for processing or feeding hatchery
fish. The commissioner may require inspection of minnows transported
from outside the state. Subd. 5. Special permits. (a)
The commissioner may issue a special permit, without a fee, to allow
a person with a private fish hatchery license to import minnows from
other states for export. A permit under this subdivision is not
required for importation authorized under subdivision 4. (b) An
applicant for a permit under this subdivision shall submit to the
commissioner sufficient information to identify potential threats to
native plant and animal species and an evaluation of the feasibility
of the proposal. The permit may include reasonable restrictions on
importation, transportation, possession, containment, and disposal of
minnows to ensure that native species are protected. The permit may
have a term of up to two years and may be modified, suspended, or
revoked by the commissioner for cause, including violation of a
condition of the permit.
97C.521 Transportation of carp fingerlings prohibited. Except as
provided in section 17.4984,
subdivision 2, paragraph (g), a person may not transport live carp
fingerlings.
97C.525 Restrictions on transportation of minnows. Subdivision 1.
Applicability. This section does not apply to the transportation
of 24 dozen minnows, or less, or to transportation with a permit
issued under section 97C.515,
subdivision 2. Subd. 2. Transporting out of the state.
A person may not transport minnows out of the state, except as
provided in this section. Subd. 3. Minnow dealers. A
resident minnow dealer or a nonresident exporting minnow dealer may
transport minnows out of the state. A nonresident exporting minnow
dealer must possess a bill of lading issued by a resident minnow
dealer with an exporting minnow dealer's license. The bill of lading
must be on a form furnished by the commissioner and must state the
nonresident exporting minnow dealer's name and address, the route
through the state, number and species of minnows, and the time it was
issued. Subd. 4. Minnow retailers. A minnow retailer
transporting minnows from a place of wholesale purchase to the
retailer's place of business must use the most reasonably direct
route. Subd. 5. Out-of-state vehicles. The nonresident
exporting minnow dealer must transport the minnows out of the state
within 24 hours of the time of issuance stated on the bill of lading.
A person may not transport minnows in a motor vehicle licensed in
another state without an exporting minnow dealer's vehicle license.Subd. 6. Common carrier. An exporting minnow dealer may
transport minnows by common carrier and must provide on request by
the commissioner information pertaining to product, quantity, and
destination.
97C.601 Frogs. Subdivision 1. Season. The open season for frogs is May
16 to March 31. The commissioner may, by rule, establish closed
seasons in specified areas. Subd. 2. License required.
(a) A person may not take or possess frogs without an angling license
if the person is required to have an angling license to take fish.(b) A person may not purchase, possess, and transport frogs for
purposes other than bait without a license to purchase, possess, and
transport frogs. (c) A person may not take, possess, transport,
and sell frogs for purposes other than bait without a license to
take, possess, transport, and sell frogs. Subd. 3. Taking
with cloth screens prohibited. A person may not use cloth screens
or similar devices to take frogs. Subd. 4. Taking with
artificial lights. The commissioner may issue permits to take
frogs with the use of artificial lights in waters designated in the
permit. Subd. 5. Limits. (a) A person may possess
frogs, up to six inches long, without limit if the frogs are
possessed, bought, sold, and transported for bait. (b) Unless
the commissioner prescribes otherwise, a person may possess frogs
over six inches long and: (1) transport the frogs, except by
common carrier; and (2) sell the frogs in any quantity during the
open season. (c) The length of a frog is measured from the tip
of the nose to the tip of the hind toes, with the legs fully
extended. Subd. 6. Rules. The commissioner shall
prescribe rules for taking, buying, selling, possessing, importing,
and transporting frogs for purposes other than bait. Subd. 7.For human consumption. The commissioner may issue permits for
importing, raising, and selling frogs for human consumption. 97C.605 Turtles. Subdivision 1. Resident angling license required. In
addition to any other license required in this section, a person may
not take, possess, or transport turtles without a resident angling
license, except as provided in subdivision 2c. Subd. 2.
Turtle seller's license. (a) A person may not take, possess, buy,
or transport turtles for sale; sell turtles; or take turtles for sale
using commercial equipment without a turtle seller's license, except
as provided in subdivision 2c. (b) Except for renewals, no new
turtle seller's licenses may be issued after August 1, 2002. (c)
A turtle seller's license is transferable by the turtle seller
licensee by making application to the commissioner. A turtle
seller's license may be transferred only once under this paragraph
and the transfer must be to a child of the person holding the turtle
seller's license. Subd. 2a. Recreational turtle
license. A person who does not possess a turtle seller's license
must obtain a recreational turtle license to take turtles for
personal use with commercial equipment. Subd. 2b. Turtle
seller's apprentice license. (a) A person with a turtle seller's
license may list one person as an apprentice on the license. A
person acting as an apprentice for a turtle seller licensee must have
an apprentice license and may assist the turtle licensee in all
licensed activities. (b) The turtle seller licensee or turtle
seller's apprentice licensee must be present at all turtle operations
conducted under the turtle seller's license. Turtle operations
include going to and from turtle harvest locations; setting, lifting,
and removing commercial turtle equipment; taking turtles out of
equipment; and transporting turtles from harvest locations. (c)
A turtle seller's apprentice license is transferable by the turtle
seller licensee by making application to the commissioner. A person
listed as an apprentice by a turtle seller licensee must not be
listed as an apprentice by another turtle seller licensee nor may an
apprentice possess a turtle seller's license or a recreational turtle
license. Subd. 2c. License exemptions. A person does
not need a turtle seller's license or an angling license: (1)
when buying turtles for resale at a retail outlet; (2) when
buying a turtle at a retail outlet; (3) if the person is a
nonresident buying a turtle from a licensed turtle seller for export
out of state. Shipping documents provided by the turtle seller must
accompany each shipment exported out of state by a nonresident.
Shipping documents must include: name, address, city, state, and zip
code of the buyer; number of each species of turtle; and name and
license number of the turtle seller; or (4) to take, possess, and
rent or sell up to 25 turtles greater than four inches in length for
the purpose of providing the turtles to participants at a nonprofit
turtle race, if the person is a resident under age 18. The person is
responsible for the well-being of the turtles. Subd. 3.
Taking; methods prohibited. (a) A person may take turtles in any
manner, except by the use of: (1) explosives, drugs, poisons,
lime, and other harmful substances; (2) traps, except as provided
in paragraph (b) and rules adopted under this section; (3) nets
other than anglers' fish landing nets; or (4) commercial
equipment, except as provided in rules adopted under this section.(b) Until new rules are adopted under this section, a person with
a turtle seller's license may take turtles with a floating turtle
trap that: (1) has one or more openings above the water surface
that measure at least ten inches by four inches; and (2) has a
mesh size of not less than one-half inch, bar measure. Subd. 4.
Repealed, 2002 c 351 s 34 Subd. 5. Interference with
commercial or recreational turtle operations. A person may not:(1) knowingly place or maintain an obstruction that will hinder,
prevent, or interfere with a licensed turtle operation; (2)
remove turtles, other wild animals, or fish from a floating or
submerged trap licensed under the game and fish laws; or (3)
knowingly damage, disturb, or interfere with a licensed turtle
operation. Subd. 6. Rules. The commissioner may adopt
rules for taking turtles. The commissioner may prescribe seasons,
limits, closed areas, and other restrictions and requirements the
commissioner deems necessary for the conservation of turtles.
97C.611 Snapping turtles; limits. A person may not possess more than three
snapping turtles of the species Chelydra serpentina without a turtle
seller's license. Until new rules are adopted under section 97C.605,
a person may not take snapping turtles of a size less than ten inches
wide including curvature, measured from side to side across the shell
at midpoint. After new rules are adopted under section 97C.605,
a person may only take snapping turtles of a size specified in the
adopted rules.
97C.615 Repealed, 1989 c 266 s 5
97C.621 Areas may be closed to taking turtles. The commissioner may prohibit the
taking of turtles from state waters where operations are being
conducted to aid fish propagation.
97C.701 Taking mussels. Subdivision 1. Commissioner's authority.
The commissioner may by rule set size limits and prescribe conditions
for the taking, possession, transportation, sale, and purchase of
mussels. Subd. 1a. Hand-picking required. A person may
only harvest mussels by hand-picking. Subd. 2. Repealed, 1993 c
269 s 32 Subd. 3. Repealed, 1993 c 269 s 32 Subd. 4.
Repealed, 1993 c 269 s 32 Subd. 5. Repealed, 1993 c 269 s 32
Subd. 6. Possession, sale, and transportation. Mussels and
clams may be possessed, bought, sold, and transported in any quantity
during the open season and seven days after the season closes.
97C.705 Mussel seasons. Subdivision 1. Open seasons. (a) The open
season for taking mussels is from May 16 to the last day of February.(b) The commissioner may by rule restrict the open season for
taking mussels for commercial purposes. Subd. 2. Closed
areas. The commissioner may close up to 50 percent of the
mussel-producing waters of the state to the taking of mussels.
97C.711 Undersized mussels. A person must return undersized mussels to the
water without injury.
97C.801 Taking rough fish on Mississippi River. Subdivision 1. Repealed, 1997 c
216 s 90; 1997 c 226 s 51 Subd. 2. Commercial fish netting
on Mississippi River. (a) A license is required to commercially
take rough fish with seines in the Mississippi River from the St.
Croix River junction to St. Anthony Falls. (b) A person may take
rough fish in the Mississippi River, from the St. Croix River
junction to St. Anthony Falls, only with the following equipment and
methods: (1) operations shall be conducted only in the flowing
waters of the river and in tributary backwaters prescribed by the
commissioner; (2) seines may be used only as prescribed by this
section and rules adopted by the commissioner; (3) seines must be
hauled to a landing immediately after being placed; (4) two
seines may not be joined together in the water; and (5) a seine
may not be landed between sunset and sunrise.
97C.805 Netting of lake whitefish and ciscoes. Subdivision 1. Open
season. (a) The commissioner shall, by rule, prescribe the open
season and open state waters for netting lake whitefish and ciscoes.
The commissioner may open specific lakes and waters that are
otherwise closed if the commissioner posts notice of the date and
time in appropriate public places at least 48 hours before the open
season begins. (b) The commissioner may close specific lakes and
waters that are otherwise open under this subdivision if the
commissioner posts notice of the closing at a minimum of three sites
on the shore of the waters, including all public water access sites.
Before closing waters under this paragraph, the commissioner shall
determine that the closure is necessary to protect game fish
populations. Subd. 2. Restrictions. (a) The netting of
lake whitefish and ciscoes is subject to the restrictions in this
subdivision. (b) A person may not use: (1) more than two
nets; (2) a net more than 100 feet long; or (3) a net more
than three feet wide. (c) The mesh size of the nets may not be
less than: (1) 1-3/4 inches, stretch measure, for nets used to
take ciscoes; and (2) 3-1/2 inches, stretch measure, for all
other nets. (d) A net may not be set in water, including ice
thickness, deeper than six feet. (e) The commissioner may
designate waters where nets may be set so that portions of the net
extend into water deeper than six feet under conditions prescribed by
the commissioner to protect game fish. A pole or stake must project
at least two feet above the surface of the water or ice at one end of
each net. (f) A net may not be set within 50 feet of another
net. (g) A person may not have angling equipment in possession
while netting lake whitefish or ciscoes. Subd. 3. Fish may
not be sold. Notwithstanding section 97C.391,
subdivision 1, lake whitefish and ciscoes taken under this section
may not be bought or sold. Subd. 4. No limit on rough fish
netted. Lake whitefish and ciscoes taken under this section may
be taken and possessed without limit. Rough fish caught while
netting may be retained. All other fish taken while netting must be
returned to the water immediately.
97C.811 Commercial fishing in inland waters. Subdivision 1. Inland waters
defined. For the purposes of this section and section 97A.475,
subdivision 30, "inland waters" means all waters entirely located
within the boundaries of the state and the border waters between
Minnesota and North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa, excluding those
waters described in section 97C.801.Subd. 2. Commercial fish defined. For purposes of this
section and section 97A.475,
subdivision 30, "commercial fish" are carp; bowfin; burbot; cisco;
goldeye; rainbow smelt; black bullhead, brown bullhead, and yellow
bullhead; lake whitefish; members of the sucker family, Catostomidae,
including white sucker, redhorse, bigmouth buffalo, and smallmouth
buffalo; members of the drum family, Sciaenidae, including
sheepshead; and members of the gar family, Lepisosteidae. Subd.
3. Regulation. The commissioner shall, by rule, regulate the
taking, possession, transportation, and sale of commercial fish, and
the licensing of commercial fishing operators in inland waters.
Subd. 4. Licenses required. A person may not commercially
fish inland waters without a commercial fishing license.
Nonresidents may only be licensed to fish waters not previously
assigned to residents. In the license application the applicant must
list the number of feet of seine of each depth to be licensed.
Subd. 5. Season. Licenses to net commercial fish in inland
waters are issued to residents and nonresidents annually subject to
this section and shall be valid for commercial fishing during the
open season for commercial fishing in inland waters from the day
after Labor Day to the day before the open season for walleye.
Subd. 6. License invalidation. (a) A license to take
commercial fish is void upon: (1) the licensee's death; (2)
cessation of commercial fishing operations within an assigned area,
except as provided by paragraph (c); (3) conviction of two or
more violations of inland commercial fishing laws within a license
period; or (4) failure to apply for a new or renewal license
prior to June 15 of any year. (b) A commercial inland fishing
license is not subject to the license revocation provisions of
section 97A.421.
Commercial fishing rights and area assignments covered by a license
that becomes void reverts to the commissioner for reassignment.
(c) A person possessing a valid inland commercial fishing license may
apply to the commissioner for transfer of an assigned commercial
fishing area to another person. Upon receipt of the application, the
commissioner shall notify the applicant that the application for
transfer has been received and shall determine if other people are
interested in the assigned area by: (1) notifying the Inland
Commercial Fish Trade Association in writing; and (2) publishing
notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the
assigned area. These notices must allow interested persons 30
days to notify the commissioner of their interest in the assigned
area. Within 60 days after publishing notice, the commissioner shall
review the qualifications of all interested persons and approve or
deny the transfer based on the criteria in section 97C.815,
subdivision 2. If the transfer is denied, the licensee may retain
the license or request that it become void. Subd. 7.
Monthly reports. A licensed inland commercial fishing operator
shall submit a report on the licensed activities the operator was
engaged in to the commissioner each month. The report must be on a
form provided by the commissioner and submitted prior to the 15th day
of the following month. The report shall be submitted whether
fishing activity took place unless the operator has a written release
from this obligation signed by the commissioner.
97C.815 Commercial fishing areas. Subdivision 1. Designation. The
commissioner shall specify inland commercial fishing areas, taking
into account the amount, size, and proximity of waters specified, the
species to be removed, and the type and quantity of fishing gear and
equipment necessary to provide an adequate removal effort. The
commissioner may change inland commercial fishing area boundaries by
rule prior to a new licensing period. Subd. 2.
Assignment. The commissioner shall assign licensed inland
commercial fishing operators to commercial fishing areas and each
operator shall be obligated to fish in the area that the commissioner
has assigned to them. The commissioner's assignment shall be valid
as long as the assigned operator continues to purchase a license,
continues to provide an adequate removal effort in a good and
professional manner, and is not convicted of two or more violations
of laws or rules governing inland commercial fishing operations
during any one license period. In the operator assignment, the
commissioner shall consider the proximity of the operator to the
area, the type and quantity of fish gear and equipment possessed,
knowledge of the affected waters, and general ability to perform the
work well. Subd. 3. Unused areas. If an area is not
assigned, or the operator licensed for the area is not fishing that
area, the commissioner may issue a special inland commercial fishing
permit for the area. The permit may be issued to an individual
holding a valid inland commercial fishing license. The permit must
describe the specific waters involved, the county, the species to be
removed, the equipment to be used, and the time period of the total
operation. Subd. 4. Inland Commercial Fishing Trade
Association; license problems. The commissioner shall consult
with representatives of the Inland Commercial Fishing Trade
Association when disagreements arise in the areas of license
issuance, problems with performance pursuant to the license,
transfers of licenses, area assignments, and the entry of new
commercial fishing operators into the inland commercial fishery.
97C.821 Possession, sale, and transportation of commercial fish.
Subject to the applicable provisions of the game and fish laws, fish
taken under commercial fishing licenses may be possessed in any
quantity, bought, sold, and transported at any time. Commercial
fishing licensees may transport their catch live to holding
facilities, if the licensee has exclusive control of the facilities.
Commercial fishing licensees may harvest fish from their holding
facilities at any time with their licensed gear. The commissioner
may prohibit the transport of live fish taken under a commercial
fishing license from waters that contain nonnative species.
97C.825 Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake fishing. Subdivision 1. New
commercial fishing licenses prohibited. The commissioner may not
issue a new commercial fishing license that allows netting of game
fish on Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake. Subd. 2.
Restrictions on fish and nets. The following rules and
restrictions shall apply to all commercial fishing operations
conducted in Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake unless otherwise
changed by rule of the commissioner under authority of section 97A.045,
subdivision 4: (a) Any fish, except largemouth bass, smallmouth
bass, rock bass, muskellunge, crappies, sturgeon, and sunfish, may be
taken subject to all other restrictions contained in the game and
fish laws. (b) Pound net mesh and staked trap net mesh may not
be less than 2-1/2 inches nor more than four inches stretch measure
in the pound or crib. (c) Gill net mesh may not be less than
four inches stretch measure, and may not be more than 30 meshes in
width. (d) Fyke net mesh may not be less than 2-1/2 inches nor
more than four inches stretch measure in the pot or crib. Fyke nets
may not have a hoop or opening more than six feet in height, wings
more than 100 feet in length, nor a lead more than 400 feet in
length. (e) Submerged trap net mesh may not be less than 2-1/2
inches nor more than three inches stretch measure in the heart, pot,
or crib. A submerged trap net may not have a pot or crib exceeding
150 square feet in area, a lead exceeding 300 feet in length, nor a
pot or lead exceeding 12 feet in depth. Subd. 3. Net limits
for individual operators. A person may not operate more than six
pound nets, 4,000 feet of gill nets, eight submerged trap nets, ten
fyke or staked trap nets, or one pound net station. Subd. 4.Net location. Nets may only be set at a place consented to by
the commissioner. Subd. 5. Net limits for Lake of the Woods
and Rainy Lake. (a) The maximum amount of nets permitted to be
licensed shall be: (1) in Lake of the Woods, 50-pound nets, 160
submerged trap nets, and 80 fyke or staked trap nets; and (2) in
Rainy Lake, 20-pound nets. (b) Commercial fishing may be
prohibited in the Minnesota portions of international waters when it
is prohibited in the international waters by Canadian authorities.Subd. 6. Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52 Subd. 7. Repealed, 2005 c
146 s 52 Subd. 8. Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52 Subd. 9.
Repealed, 2005 c 146 s 52 Subd. 10. Taking eggs for
propagation; commissioner's rule. The commissioner may require a
person licensed to take fish for commercial purposes in the waters
covered by this section to take eggs for propagation purposes when it
can be done in connection with the licensed commercial fishing. The
eggs must be taken under rules prescribed by the commissioner.
97C.827 Lake of the Woods; commercial fishing of rough fish.
Subdivision 1. Promotion. The commissioner shall promote and
encourage taking rough fish from Lake of the Woods. Subd. 2.Issuance of licenses. The commissioner shall issue commercial
fishing licenses to take rough fish on Lake of the Woods. The
issuance of the commercial fishing licenses may not be restricted
because a person holds other licenses under the game and fish laws or
operates particular kinds of businesses.
97C.831 Namakan and Sand Point Lakes; commercial fishing. Subdivision 1.
Lake whitefish and rough fish. Lake whitefish and rough fish may
be taken by licensed commercial fishing operators unless otherwise
changed by rule of the commissioner, under section 97C.805,
subdivision 1, from Namakan Lake and Sand Point Lake. Subd. 2.Gill nets prohibited on Sand Point Lake. Gill nets may not be
used in Sand Point Lake. Subd. 3. Maximum amount of nets in
Sand Point Lake. The maximum amount of nets permitted to be
licensed in Sand Point Lake shall be 12 pound, fyke, or submerged
trap nets. Subd. 4. Maximum amount of nets in Namakan
Lake. The maximum amount of nets that may be licensed in Namakan
Lake shall be (1) 7,000 feet of gill net, with a mesh not less than
four inches stretch measure, and (2) 12 pound, fyke, or submerged
trap nets.
97C.835 Lake Superior commercial fishing. Subdivision 1. Commercial fishing
license for Lake Superior. (a) A license to fish commercially in
Lake Superior shall be issued to a maximum of 50 residents. To
qualify for licensing, a resident must have landed fish in the
previous year with a value of at least $1,500, and must have engaged
in commercial fishing for at least 30 days of the previous year. An
applicant may be issued a license, at the discretion of the
commissioner, if failure to meet the requirements for the dollar
value of fish landed or number of days fished resulted from illness
or other mitigating circumstances, or the applicant has reached the
age of 65 and has been licensed at least five of the previous ten
years. (b) A license may be issued to a resident who has not
previously fished commercially on Lake Superior and has not been
convicted of a game and fish law violation in the preceding three
years, if the applicant: (1) shows a bill of sale indicating the
purchase of gear and facilities connected with an existing license;(2) shows proof of inheritance of all the gear and facilities
connected with an existing license; or (3) has served at least
two years as an apprentice in a Minnesota Lake Superior licensed
commercial fishing operation. Subd. 2. Types of fish
permitted. Lake trout, ciscoes, chubs, alewives, lake whitefish,
round whitefish, pygmy whitefish, rainbow smelt, and rough fish may
be taken by licensed commercial fishing operators from Lake Superior,
in accordance with this section. Subd. 3. Pound nets and
trap nets. Pound or trap nets may be used to take round
whitefish, pygmy whitefish, ciscoes, chubs, alewives, rainbow smelt,
and rough fish in Lake Superior, including St. Louis Bay, under the
rules prescribed by the commissioner. Subd. 4. Gill nets;
lake trout and lake whitefish. Gill nets for taking lake trout
and lake whitefish may not be less than 4-1/2 inch extension measure
mesh. The commissioner may prescribe rules to limit the total amount
of gill net to be licensed for the taking of lake trout and lake
whitefish and may limit the amount of net to be operated by each
licensee. Subd. 5. Gill nets; ciscoes. Gill nets for
taking ciscoes and chubs may not be less than 2-1/4 inch extension
measure mesh and may not exceed 2-3/4 inch extension measure mesh
except that smaller or larger mesh sizes may be used under a permit
issued by the commissioner. Subd. 6. Maximum amount of gill
net in Lake Superior. The amount of gill net licensed in
Minnesota waters of Lake Superior may not exceed 300,000 feet of net
weighted to fish in a floating or suspended position off the bottom
and 300,000 feet of net weighted to fish on the bottom. Subd. 7.Maximum amount of gill net for each Lake Superior licensee. A
licensee may not operate more than 6,000 feet of gill net weighted to
fish in a floating or suspended position off the bottom or 25,000
feet of gill net weighted to fish on the bottom. The commissioner
may authorize gill net footage in excess of the individual limits
when the commissioner determines that all of the gill net footage
permitted for Minnesota waters of Lake Superior would not otherwise
be allocated in a license year. The commissioner must allocate this
excess gill net footage equitably among the licensees who have
applied for it. Subd. 8. Special permits. The
commissioner may issue special permits to duly licensed commercial
fishing operators not exceeding 20 in number, for the purpose of
taking trout and lake whitefish spawn during the closed season for
the propagation of trout in Lake Superior and adjacent waters under
rules prescribed by the commissioner.
97C.841 Apprentice license. A person with a commercial fishing license may list
one person as an apprentice on the license. A person acting as an
apprentice for a commercial fishing licensee must have an apprentice
license. The commercial fishing licensee or the apprentice listed on
the license must be present at all commercial fishing operations
including going to and from fishing locations, or in setting or
lifting nets, or removing fish from nets. A person possessing an
angling license may assist the holder of a master's or apprentice
license in going to and from fishing locations, or in setting or
lifting nets, or removing fish from nets. An apprentice license
is transferable to another by the holder of a master's license
applying to the commissioner.
97C.843 Possession for commercial netting. When commercial nets, seines, bags,
or cribs are lawfully set and tended, incidentally taken fish not
included in the license are not considered in possession if they are
returned to the water or if they are tagged in accordance with
section 97C.835
before they are placed on a motor vehicle or trailer for transport on
land.
97C.845 Interference with commercial fishing. A person may not: (1) knowingly
place or maintain an obstruction that will hinder, prevent, or
interfere with a licensed commercial fishing operation; (2)
remove fish from nets licensed under the game and fish laws; or
(3) knowingly damage, disturb, or interfere with commercial fishing
nets.
97C.851 Commercial fishing in international waters; resort owners. A
license to buy or sell fish or to take fish commercially in
international waters extending from Pigeon Point West to the North
Dakota boundary line may not be issued to a person engaged in the
business of conducting a summer resort, or to a member of the
person's household or to an employee of the person.
97C.855 Upper and Lower Red Lake and Nett Lake; transportation, sale, and disposal. The commissioner may, by rule, allow the
transportation, sale, and disposal of fish taken within the Red Lake
Indian Reservation on Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake and from
waters within the Nett Lake Indian Reservation also known as Bois
Forte Indian Reservation.
97C.861 Fish vendor requirements. Subdivision 1. License required. A
person may not sell fish with the use of a motor vehicle without a
fish vendor's license. Subd. 2. Misrepresentation of
fish. (a) A licensed fish vendor or the vendor's employee may not
misrepresent a species of fish to be sold. If a licensed fish vendor
or employee of the fish vendor is convicted of misrepresenting a
species of fish that is sold, the license shall be revoked, and the
licensee is not eligible to obtain a fish vendor's license for one
year after revocation. (b) Misrepresentation includes the
designation of fish by a name other than its common name in: (1)
the state; and (2) in the locality where it was taken if it is
not generally known by any common name in the state.
97C.865 Fish packers. Subdivision 1. License required; records. (a) A
person engaged in a business providing services to a person taking
fish may not prepare dressed game fish for shipment without a fish
packer's license. The fish packer must maintain a permanent record
of: (1) the name, address, and license number of the shipper;
(2) the name and address of the consignee; and (3) the number of
each species and net weight of fish in the shipment. (b) The
records of the fish packer must be made available to an enforcement
officer upon request. Subd. 2. Rules. The commissioner
may adopt rules establishing requirements for labeling and packing
fish under a fish packer's license.
97C.871 Crayfish. The commissioner may adopt rules, including record-keeping
requirements, for taking, importing, buying, selling, possessing, and
transporting crayfish.

USA Statutes : minnesota