Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Opponents seek to cut bait on DNR muskie program

The Department of Natural Resources is looking for public input on a proposal to stock muskie in eight new waters around the state by 2020, and it found some at a meeting of the House Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee Tuesday.

Several testifiers spoke in favor of a bill sponsored by Rep. Mark Anderson (R-Lake Shore), HF3207, which would prohibit the DNR from introducing muskies to additional waters. Before any of that testimony could take place; however, the bill was amended to limit the prohibition to six specific lakes.

  • Big Marine Lake in Washington County;
  • Fairmont Chain of Lakes in Martin County;
  • Gull Chain of Lakes in Cass County; and
  • Franklin Lake, Lizzie Lake and Loon Lake in Otter Tail County.

Anderson said HF3207, which was approved as amended and sent to the House Floor, is needed to protect the lakes from potential damage the muskie could cause, especially to the walleye populations in those lakes.

Its companion, SF3059, is sponsored by Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) and awaits action by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

“The walleye population is mismanaged on many lakes,” Anderson said. “And on these lakes the DNR wants to introduce another fish. Why? They have mismanaged the current fishing.”

Representatives of several homeowners associations around the lakes in question also offered support for the bill.

But Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) objected to placing restrictions on what he said was the fastest growing type of sport fishing in the state, and the harm he said the bill could do to Minnesota businesses profiting from it.

“Essentially what we’re doing is putting up a roadblock and saying, ‘This area of the state is closed for business,’” Metsa said. “I just don’t see any legislative rationale for us getting involved in this decision.”

Related Articles

Priority Dailies

Walz, legislative leaders announce budget targets for 2023 session
Flanked by Gov. Tim Walz and Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, House Speaker Melissa Hortman announces an agreement on budget targets, a major step in the process of crafting a two-year state budget. (Photo by Andrew VonBank) With the session’s final committee deadline exactly two weeks away, legislative leaders announced an agreement Tuesday on how much new money they plan to spend in 2023 and the f...
Gov. Walz's proposed budget largest in state history, includes $8 billion in tax cuts
Gov. Tim Walz, pictured here last year, on Tuesday unveiled his complete $65.2 billion two-year state budget proposal he says will "make Minnesota the best state in the nation for children." (House Photography file photo) Make Minnesota the best state in our country for kids to grow up. It’s a lofty goal but that was Gov. Tim Walz’ mantra Tuesday during the unveiling of his proposed budget fo...

Minnesota House on Twitter