Minnesota Year Round Catch and Release Bass Fishing Season

Minnesota Year Round Catch and Release Bass Fishing Season

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!

Lonnie Bloom started this petition to Minnesota State Senate and

Minnesota has long had fishing regulations that maintain a closed season through the end of the winter and into the spring. Many other states have lifted their closed season regulations or do not have closed seasons to target specific species of fish. As a bass angler myself I find it frustrating and unnecessary that anglers in the Land of 10,000 Lakes find ourselves restricted and barred from targeting certain species for a part of the year. Other states that have lifted regulations for closed seasons and replaced them with year round catch and release and implemented harvest seasons. Among these other states across the nation, there have never been any notable issues with maintaining and sustaining bass populations or fish health with year round catch and release regulations.

As a born and raised Minnesotan I find myself and other bass anglers leave the state at this time of year to head elsewhere in search of states where we are not restricted to fishing regulations that subject us to criminal prosecution simply for targeting certain species of fish. Now more than ever with the current COVID19 outbreak and social distancing measures in place, I among others, feel it is imperative that the MNDNR seriously consider amending the fishing regulations in our state. What better way to practice social distancing than with a sport that requires distance between anybody participating?

I propose the MNDNR modifies the current fishing regulations to allow a year round catch and release bass season on all Minnesota bodies of water. I believe a year round catch and release bass season in Minnesota could be implemented with no ill consequences, without affecting any currently standing lake specific conservation regulations. Implementing a year round catch and release season on bass and leaving the existing harvest season to remain that same would offer the same protection to the fish, while offering up numerous opportunities to more anglers to get out on the water and do what they love on the beautiful warm early spring days. The current closed season does nothing to promote conservation, but rather frustrates the residents of the state that only want one simple thing, to go fishing. 

After seeing some of the responses to the proposed regulation changes, I would like to add a few variables that could help to gain support and generally make this more agreeable from all angles. First the addition of utilizing highway 210 as a boundary. The catch and release season would apply to the portion of the state South of highway 210 and the regulations would remain unchanged North of highway 210. Additionally including both walleye and northern pike in a year round catch and release season South of highway 210, would aid the MNDNR, by eliminating the concern of individuals accidentally hooking into out of season walleye and northern pike. A majority of Minnesota's naturally reproducing walleye lakes lie North of highway 210, thus eliminating the argument that catching spawning walleye would harm the walleye population. I have also included an investigational report conducted by the MNDNR over a course of 15 years, on the effects of year round catch and release on walleye and sauger in Pool 4 of the Mississippi River. Ultimately it was determined year round catch and release had no effect on the fish. Another potential change would be a regulation to allow the use of only artificial baits or lures for bass, pike, and walleye from March 1st through the Friday before the regular season opener. Use of artificial baits or lures would help to reduce the fish mortality rate from deeply hooked fish, a much more common occurrence with live bait. Remaining open to other changes to the proposed regulation changes will most likely be critical in being successful in this endeavor. 

https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/fisheries/investigational_reports/378.pdf

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!