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chisago_fishman

DNR Question

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I was just wondering if anyone can confirm what I was told by the DNR last weekend when I was fishing. I set-up to go fishing on a lake in the west metro, and immediately had great luck and caught a quick 10 nice keeper crappies in a very short amount of time, like within 20 minutes. I figured since the bite was good, I would continue to fish and just do catch and release for a little longer, since I had gone thru the work of setting up and it had only been 20 minutes. Just a short time later, after my limit of 10 was reached, and after I had fished to catch and release for another 15 minutes or so, the game warden came by and asked me how I was doing. I replied the bite was good and I had my limit and was just fishing to catch and release. He then counted the fish, confirmed I had 10 crappies, and informed me that this was not legal, and he could ticket me for intent to catch over my limit. I replied that I knew I had 10, which he just confirmed, and that I was just enjoying a hot bite since I had just set-up, and was simply doing catch and release. He said this was not legal and I had to quit or get a ticket. So, I packed up and left. I guess I was not aware this was the case, does anyone else agree this is how the law reads? If so, I guess I learned something new this past weekend.

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The officer was correct. Once you have your limit, you cannot catch those fish any longer. That's why I usually keep one under my limit until I decide to go home, then I catch and keep my final fish. Had you changed the type of fish you were targeting, say switched to big jigs for pike, then you would have been legal.

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The CO knows. Apparently catching another fish after hitting the limit means that you are in violation although you may not be targeting what you have in possession.

I questioned someone's C&R photo of an out-of-season walleye: did that constitute possession even though the intent was not to keep the fish? There was a firestorm of hate.

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next time just tell the CO that you are fishing for a different species......done catching crappies now am trying to catch sunnies or walleyes......very vague rule/law

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Wow. I wasn't aware. I'm surprised the warden didn't suggest targeting another species. In any case, he's right and it's good to hear that they are around.

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wow i did NOT know this. What a terrible rule. So hard to both follow OR enforce. I mean, I understand the intent but... man.

Good to know, thank you for sharing!

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It makes sense to me. What happens if you already have your limit and then you gut hook one and it dies? I would feel much more comfortable stopping a fish or two short of my limit in case something like that happend. Sounds like the DNR was a good guy...he easily could have just given you the ticket.

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A sstated above, the CO was very correct. Once you have your limit, your done... Catch one shy of your limit and continue to fish.. catch your last fish just before you leave, or go home and be happy one shy of your limit!

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If I'm keeping my catch, I usually leave the ice with 9 in possession for this reason. I usually hold out on that last one. Like you said, its fun to continue and enjoy the hot bite when you can.

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So if you said you switched to sunnies and still had the same jig type or set up can that still count as intent for the CO?

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It's up to the discretion of the CO. If all you catch is still crappies after switching jigs, are you really fishing sunnies? Play it safe, stop one short. Or actually move somewhere else to target sunnies.

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I agree. CO was totally right. If you have 10 sitting next to you on the ice. Every time you pull one up, your over, even if you plan on putting it back. Now if your going to say your targeting something else similar, that's another debate all together.

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Ya thats what I do. If im keeping fish then I will stop one or two short just to stay within the rules. At least he was nice and didnt give a ticket. It is kind of a vague rule so if he just educates people on it with a warning then it probably helps more than just handing out a fine.

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I usually will stop short of my limit if I am going to stay and fish longer just for the fact that if I catch that 16" crappie that I am looking for I could at least keep it......like I stated earlier you can say you are targeting something else but the CO can still give you a ticket if he/she still feel you are targeting crappies and let the courts decide the outcome....

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just say your fishing for sunneys .....but if you are going to stay on a hot bit like that are you are catchiong a lot of them its a good idea to stay one under the limit ....then no matter what you are leagle

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what page is this rule on? I cant find it. only thing i found was ... "Once a daily or possession limit of fish has been reached, no culling or live-well sorting is allowed".

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spear-n-pike, the rule of no culing can every much apply here. If someone were on a hot bite, had a limit of 16-18" walleyes they could and would be more likely to take one of those fish out if a larger than average was caught. I have seen it a few times even when people may only have 6 crappies, they would cull out a smaller fish. Rule limit has not been caught.

I feel limit fishing is more important to other guys than just having a good time fishing. I have have only kept a limit of fish once maybe twice this year. I don't need to have a full limit to prove I'm a good fisherman. Going out and finding them and, catching fish when everyone say it's dead. That is what is really fun, tests your skill.

MY pennies worth.

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The CO was wrong, as are most of the responses here. This law has been clarified greatly via the NEW regulations books in 08 that clearly define what possession is. See page 3:

Any fish not immediately released is considered to be “reduced to possession.”

In other words, fish that ARE immediately released are NOT in your possession, and thus you cannot possibly be over your possession limit.

To all who disagree with me, prove it by showing me regulations.

Here's a perfect example of why they absolutely HAD to clarify what "possession" meant.

Statewide, other than special regulation lakes, the walleye limit is 6, but you are allowed only 1 over 20 inches per day. Let's say the first fish of the day is 20 inches. Now what?

Using the logic of the CO above, you now have your possession limit of 20 inch fish and you must stop fishing for walleyes, because you might pull another one up that's bigger than 20 inches. However, we now have the luxury of a clear definition of "possession", which says you can safely continue fishing as long as you immediately release subsequent 20+ inchers, since they are not in your possession and won't put you over.

Bottom line, catch and Immediate Release is NOT possession of fish and is thus not illegal as long as you are legally allowed to target that species (e.g. the season is not closed for that species)

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Jiggin,

I agree with you. Fishing itself should be more fun then catching a limit. I mostly catch and release rarely do I keep any fish, certainly not my limit. All I’m saying is I don’t see it in the rules. If a CO was going to ticket me or threaten to ticket me I would want them to show me in the book.

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Jiggin,

I agree with you. Fishing itself should be more fun then catching a limit. I mostly catch and release rarely do I keep any fish, certainly not my limit. All I’m saying is I don’t see it in the rules. If a CO was going to ticket me or threaten to ticket me I would want them to show me in the book.

I agree. I don't like following some random set of rules "just to be on the safe side", in case the CO doesn't know what the rules really are.

The whole reason we have a regulation book is to clarify what is and what is not legal. It took them a long time but finally they added the definition of "possession" this year, and kudos to the DNR for doing that. My guess is that the CO in question hadn't noticed this new clarification in the book.

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aanderude Sorry, you are wrong. The portion you quote is just clarifying what possession means. Some attempt to place in coolers to "revive" but, that is possession.

Look under General Regulation, Possessing Fish - Once a daily or possession limit of fish has been reached, no culling or live-well sorting is allowed. You might not like it but that's how it is.

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It is a tough one to answer. The reg book is kind of vague IMO.

Page 3:

Immediately release or returned to the water Fish must not be retained longer than is needed at the site of capture to unhook, identify, measure, and photograph. Placing the fish in any type of container or on a stringer is not immediately released. Any fish not immediately released is considered to be “reduced to possession.”

Page 8:

Once a daily or possession limit of fish has been reached, no culling or live-well sorting is allowed.

The regs say no culling or live-well sorting is allowed once a limit is reached. The regs DO NOT say that C&R is not allowed once a limit is reached. The definition of "Immediately release or returned to the water" seems to say that it is acceptable to catch, unhook, identify, measure, photograph and then return a fish to the water without the fish being considered to be in possession, thus not counting towards a limit.

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I always assumed you can no longer fish C&R after you have your limit, because that's how it worked in all the other states I have fished.. I know for sure that the Alaska regs. specifically state you can't fish after getting your limit.

However for the life of me, I can't find anything about fishing after acquiring your limit in the MN 2008 regs..

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