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MN DNR to Consider Proposing Tighter Bluegill Restrictions

By Mark Askelson markkrjb@loretel.net (12/2/19)

Detroit Lakes, MN -- Could the days of keeping a bucket full of bluegill be over on some of our area’s hottest panfish lakes? The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has heard from anglers across the state and they are concerned about the lack of big bluegill. In order to protect those trophy bluegills, the DNR is looking at proposing a much smaller daily limit of five fish on certain lakes. Detroit Lakes Area Fisheries Supervisor Nathan Olson says that’s a big jump from the current daily limit of 20, but it’s what needs to be done to make a difference on the fishery.

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Because anglers probably wouldn’t be happy with a statewide change in the daily bluegill limit, the DNR is looking at making the change on a lake by lake basis. Olson says they’ve looked at decades worth of data to identify which lakes may benefit the most from the proposed new regulations. 

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The five lakes in the Detroit Lakes area where the new five bluegill limit is being proposed include Little Sugar Bush, Buffalo Lake, Tamarac, Height of Land, and Big Floyd, which are all in Becker County.  Olson says the DNR has tested out 10 fish limits on lakes near Bemidji, but the bluegill populations still declined.

Before these regulations are officially proposed, the DNR would like hear feedback on the potential changes. Anglers can give voice their support or concerns by emailing detroitlakes.fisheries@state.mn.us.

In the meantime, Olson also recommends fisherman and women to practice selective harvesting and let those big bluegills go.

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Listen to the full interview Detroit Lakes Area Fisheries Supervisor Nathan Olson on the Kaleidoscope Program this Tuesday at 9am on 106.5 KRJB.