2017 Minnesota Fishing Regulations and License Fee

March 13, 2017

2017 Minnesota Fishing Regulations and License Fee

Northern Minnesota offers great fishing for anglers of all skill levels. Seasoned fishermen can catch a wide variety of species, from walleye to largemouth bass, and kids fishing for the first time can learn quickly and safely on one of the many Minnesota fishing lakes the area has to offer.

When planning for your fishing trip, there are fishing regulations to learn and a license fee to pay. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released the 2017 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet early this month which contains the most up-to-date fishing rules and regulations anglers should learn. However, make it a habit to check for updates to fishing regulations prior to your trip up north since regulations can change based on seasons or following assessments of fish populations.

Why do we purchase fishing and hunting licenses?

Back­ in the olden days, people didn't need a license to fish in America. Fishermen just took their poles to the nearest body of water and fished trout, bass or walleye from it to their heart's content. Of course, that was back when there weren't so many people living in North America. As with all natural resources, as human population increased, wildlife population decreased.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but issuing licenses to fish and hunt has actually protected wildlife populations. So when you pay a license fee, the DNR uses it to manage and protect wildlife which will ultimately benefit you with plentiful fishing and hunting. 

How is the license fee used?

DNR spends dollars from hunting and fishing license sales to manage, maintain and improve abundant and healthy fish and wildlife populations and the habitats that support them. That work – more than anything else – provides Minnesota a solid foundation for outdoor recreation. 

How funds are used in Bemidji area fisheries:

  • Conducting surveys annually on two of Minnesota's 10 largest natural walleye lakes – Upper Red and Cass.
  • Completing annual year-round creel surveys on Upper Red Lake. This vital information is used to set harvest regulations for this important and popular fishery.
  • Conducting fish population assessments on 12-18 lakes and specialized sampling on another 15-20 lakes annually for assessing specific management activities or evaluation of experimental fishing regulations.
  • Managing stream trout populations (rainbow, brown and brook trout) in four lakes and four streams, including providing disability access on the Clearwater River.
  • Sustaining one of Minnesota's premier native muskellunge fisheries in the Cass Lake Chain; restoration and enhancement of native muskellunge fisheries on Bemidji and Big lakes; muskellunge spawn-taking for statewide production; and rearing pond operation for muskellunge fingerling production.
  • Operating a walleye spawn-taking operation, a seasonal walleye hatchery and 20-30 walleye fingerling production ponds.

Minnesota Fishing License Information


Conservation Individual  :  $15
1/2 Bag Limits

24-Hour Individual :  $10
Consecutive 24 Hours. No Trout Stamp Required

Individual :  $22

Combination (Husband & Wife) :  $35
(Husband & wife) Marriage Must Be Legal as Recognized by MN Law

3-Day Individual :  $12
No Trout Stamp Required, Consecutive 72 Hours

3-Year Individual :  $63
Consecutive 3 Years

Individual Super Sports :  $93
Includes One Fishing, Including Trout/Salmon Stamp, Small Game including Pheasant, Waterfowl and Deer Tag

Combination Super Sports (Husband\Wife) :  $117
Marriage Must Be Legal as Recognized by MN Law. Includes Two Fishing and One Hunting Privileges, Including Trout/Salmon Stamp, Small Game including Pheasant, Waterfowl and Deer Tag

Individual Sports :  $38

Combination Sports (Husband\Wife) :  $52
Marriage Must Be Legal as Recognized by MN Law


Individual :  $45

Family Annual :  $60
One or Both Parents and Dependent Children Under 16

14-Day Married - Consecutive 14 Days :  $48
Marriage Must Be Legal as Recognized by MN Law

7-Day Individual - Consecutive 7 Days :  $38

3-Day Individual  - Consecutive 72 Hours :  $32

No Trout Stamp Required

24-Hour Individual :  $12
No Trout Stamp Required

Individual (Ages 16 & 17) :  $5


Individual (Ages 16 & 17) :  $5

An image with a fishing pole that links to a download of the 2017 Vacation Guide.

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