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Two-line fishing

Published (2/11/2011)
By Sue Hegarty
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For nearly a decade, bills have been introduced to allow anglers to fish with two lines. After gaining approval from both the House and Senate last year, the provision was part of a bill vetoed by former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Rep. Tom Hackbarth (R-Cedar) hopes the 10th time is the charm. He sponsors HF16 that would allow anglers to fish with two lines all year on all fishing lakes. The bill has no Senate companion.

Currently, people can fish with two lines through the ice in the winter but not on open water during the warmer months in Minnesota. They also can fish with two lines on public waters along bordering states.

The provision continues to draw opposition from Department of Natural Resources’ officials who say allowing people to fish with two lines all the time would increase harvesting of fish and the mortality rate from those being caught and released. It could result in the DNR reducing limits on fish or increase slot limits.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus game and fish bill by the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee Feb. 10.

Hackbarth said neighboring states allow two-line fishing and that it would add to Minnesota’s tourism economy if adopted.

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