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Fishing law changes effective July 1

Anglers should be aware of a number of law changes that will take effect July 1 (as opposed to the usual Aug. 1 date) as a result of legislation passed this year.

Changes to fishing regulations are listed online.

The new fishing rules are:

  • Night bowfishing is allowed statewide from May 1 to the last Sunday in February, with limitations on noise and distance from structures.
  • A resident is now allowed to take fish by angling in a state park without an angling license under certain conditions, except in waters where a trout stamp is required.
  • Residents age 90 or older may take fish without a license.

New fishing contest rules now include:                -

  • A 25 boat minimum for the event to require a fishing contest permit (currently 30 participants).
  • Rough fish contests and contests with total prize value of $500 or less do not require permits.
  • The fee waiver for charitable organizations is no longer available.
  • The current maximum contest fees are cut in half.
  • The commissioner must develop best practices certification for fishing contests to assure proper handling and release of fish.
  • The commissioner must develop an online web-based fishing contest permit application process.
  • The commissioner may allow for live release weigh-ins at public accesses.

In other new rules:

  • A person may harvest ripe wild rice on or after Aug. 15 (was July 15) to Sept. 30. In 2009, the commissioner may, by posting, restrict or prohibit the harvesting of wild rice on public waters based on the stage of ripeness of the wild rice stands in the waters.

This provides interim authority while wild rice stakeholder workgroups develop comprehensive recommendations for wild rice harvest and management prior to the 2010 Legislative session.

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