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Anglers seek to extend bow season

Published (4/10/2009)
By Sue Hegarty
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Following a trial season last year, anglers are proposing to extend the bow fishing season in Minnesota and to expand it to more lakes and rivers.

HF2221, sponsored by Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings), would permanently extend the season from May 1 to the last Sunday in February during the day or night. The same dates were used during the pilot season.

The House Game, Fish and Forestry Division laid the bill over April 6 for possible inclusion in its omnibus bill. Its companion, SF1798, sponsored by Sen. Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley), was laid over for possible omnibus bill inclusion.

Mark Morrison, co-founder of the Land of Lakes Bow Fishing Association, said the 73 lakes or rivers where bow fishing is allowed are too congested. Morrison estimates he took 3,000 rough fish during the 40 nights he fished last June through August. Many of the fish are considered invasive species.

The bill requires that between sunset and sunrise anglers cannot discharge their bows within 150 feet of an occupied cabin or home and within 300 feet from a campsite.

It also expands bow fishing night or day on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Once caught, fish may not be dumped on the water banks or returned to the water.

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