STURGEON FISHING IN MINNESOTA: Here’s where you can go and when.

From the DNR:

41415 - jamie sturgeon-4

Jamie Dietman holds a Rainy River sturgeon.

Sturgeon fishing: Opportunities keep getting bigger

Anglers have more opportunities to fish for lake sturgeon because of a new catch-and-release fishing season that reopens in most of the state on Tuesday, June 16, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

What does the new season mean for anglers?
The new catch-and-release season on inland waters began in March. Each year, it closes from April 15 to June 15 to protect sturgeon during spawning. During the season, anglers can intentionally fish for lake sturgeon on inland waters. This allows sturgeon fishing on waters like Otter Tail Lake and the Littlefork, Bigfork and Kettle rivers – all of which have good numbers of lake sturgeon. Anglers can also catch and release lake sturgeon on additional border waters like the Red, St. Louis and Mississippi rivers.

Why expand sturgeon fishing?
Comebacks staged by lake sturgeon in recent years are making new fishing opportunities possible. Sturgeon numbers have increased because of improved water quality, dam removals, restorative stocking efforts and conservative regulations. The new catch-and-release season is a very positive outcome of recovery. However, it will still be many years before lake sturgeon have recovered enough to allow for expanded harvest opportunities.

What about shovelnose sturgeon?
In March 2015, new regulations went into effect for shovelnose sturgeon, a species found mostly in the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River below St. Anthony Falls. Those regulations can be found on page 52 in the 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet.

Where can I find more info?
Lake sturgeon season details can be found at http://www.mndnr.gov/fishmn or in the fishing regulations booklet. Information on lake sturgeon tags is on page 43 of the booklet.

Season dates:

Minnesota-Canada border waters (includes Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River)

Harvest July 1 to Sept. 30.
Catch and release Oct. 1 to April 23.
Harvest April 24 to May 7.
Catch and release May 8-15.
Closed May 16 to June 30.
Inland waters

Catch and release June 16 to April 14.
Closed April 15 to June 15.
Minnesota-North Dakota and Minnesota-South Dakota border waters

Catch and release June 16 to April 14 (same as inland waters).
Closed April 15 to June 15.
St. Louis River and Lake Superior

Catch and release June 16 to April 14 (same as inland waters).
Closed April 15 to June 15.
St. Croix River (upstream from Taylors Falls)

Catch and release June 16 to March 1.
Closed March 2 to June 15.
St. Croix River (Taylors Falls downstream to the mouth, including Lake St. Croix)

Catch and release June 16 to Sept. 4, 2015.
Harvest season is first Saturday in September (Sept. 5 this year) to Sept. 30.
Catch and release Oct. 1 to March 1.
Closed March 2 to June 15.
Mississippi River (from mouth of St. Croix River downstream to Red Wing dam)

Catch and release June 16 to March 1.
Closed March 2 to June 15.
Mississippi River (downstream from Red Wing dam and Lake Pepin)

Catch and release June 16-April 14 (same as inland waters)
Closed April 15-June 15.

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