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Latest on regs for '05

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In an effort to improve trout fishing opportunities, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has proposed a package of fishing regulations for 26 streams in six southeast counties.

Under the proposal, 14 streams would be subject to a protected slot for all trout from 12-16 inches, seven streams would be catch-and-release for all trout, and two streams would have a 12-inch maximum size limit for brook trout. An additional three streams that support trout, but aren't officially designated trout streams, would carry a catch-and-release regulation for all trout. With the exception of those three undesignated streams, where bait would be allowed, all the streams coming under the newly proposed regulations would be restricted to artificial lures and flies.

The proposal would increase the miles of southeast Minnesota trout streams with special regulations from the existing 53.3 to 137.2, out of a total of 680. It would also add another 44.3 miles of special trout regulations on undesignated streams.

The proposed regulations are the outcome of a two-year process of gathering public input from a wide variety of trout anglers. During five meetings in the spring of 2003 and a roundtable in August 2003, anglers expressed support for the type of tiered regulation approach embodied in the new proposal.

"These regulations balance the expectations of anglers who want to catch larger trout with those who are happy bringing home a few fish for the frying pan," said DNR fisheries section chief Ron Payer. "With this proposal, there should be ample opportunity for all anglers to enjoy the type of experience they're hoping for."

The proposed regulations will be open to comment, with public input meetings planned for fall 2004 in Goodhue, Wabasha, Winona, Olmsted, Houston and Fillmore Counties. An additional public input meeting will be held in the Twin Cities. Signs detailing the proposed regulations will be posted along affected streams in early April 2004. If approved, the new regulations would be effective starting with the 2005 fishing season.

"Across the upper midwest, southeastern Minnesota is increasingly recognized as a destination for trout fishing," said Jason Moeckel, DNR assistant regional fisheries manager in Rochester. "This proposal will give us an opportunity to evaluate how well angling regulations work in combination with other management tools to continue our progress toward a world-class coldwater fishery."

If you would like to see the list of effected streams here is a link. It's under "Proposed Regulations" at the bottom of the page.

"Study to be quiet"

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I haven't thought completely through all the implications of the proposed new regs, but they would appear to be favorable changes in my opinion.

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The only flaw I notice is adding non-designated streams as "all catch and release" for trout, but allowing bait fishing in these streams?

I have done my share of bait fishing for trout and in the Spring, it can be quite productive with crane fly larvae and crawlers etc, but not all bait fisherman will be true to form, paying close attention to their lines.

THere will be some dead fish floatin' down stream for sure! Especially if they aren;t allowed to keep them!

I knew about the Middle BRanch of the Root. I think they have been talking about that for a while now!

I want to thank all of the Fisheries bioligists and specialists who gather info and take care of our waters!!!

Jim W

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I cann't wait until about '07. By that time we should really start to see the effect of the regs. I'm hoping to not only see more trout in some area's of the stream but bigger trout and more of them.

I don't know where the DNR gets the idea that Minnesota is becoming the destination of many anglers outside the state. Just about every time I go fishing in Wisconsin I see more lic. plates from Minnesota then Wisconsin. I've been fishing S.E. Minnesota for 10 years now and I can count the number of times I've seen a Wisconsin lic. plate on one hand.
That should change in a few years after the new regs. start.

P.S. Jim W shoot me a e-mail. I need to talk to you about something.

"Study to be quiet"

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