Lake sturgeon egg take a success

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minnesota department of natural resources

Minnesota Fishing

June 1, 2023

Stay informed! Here’s a summary of upcoming fisheries and habitat management activities and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

staff with a sturgeon over a water tank and they're about to do the egg take

Lake sturgeon egg take on Rainy River key to restoration success in Red River Basin

The DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Red Lake Nation and the White Earth Nation recently completed a lake sturgeon egg take operation along the Rainy River in Minnesota. In previous years, lake sturgeon eggs were sourced through Rainy River First Nations in Ontario, Canada.

The sturgeon eggs are now at the USFWS National Fish hatcheries in Genoa, Wisconsin, and Valley City, North Dakota, where they will be reared to fingerling size to support DNR and tribal stocking efforts in lakes and rivers throughout the Red River Basin in Minnesota.

two natural resources staff people carrying a net holding a sturgeon, lifting it into a water tank

Over-harvesting, dam construction and water quality decline decimated lake sturgeon populations throughout Minnesota. Historical accounts suggest that lake sturgeon were abundant until the late 1800s. They were extirpated from the Red River Basin by the mid-1900s and there was little chance that the population could recover on its own.

Stocking efforts and dam modification projects to improve fish passage are key components to support recovery efforts in the Red River Basin. Survey results and angler reports suggest that populations are meeting initial recovery goals and lake sturgeon now inhabit much of the basin.

a mom with a nice walleye, and she's standing on a dock

Great fishing, moms!

Thank you to the 2,400 Minnesota moms who joined our Minnesota Moms Fishing Challenge over Mother’s Day weekend. Moms from all corners of the state joined in the fun, trying their luck from boats, piers and shorelines. By our count 1,200 fish were submitted over the course of the weekend with a great variety of species. Moms posted photos of walleye, northern pike, bluegill, perch, crappie, trout, bigmouth buffalo, sturgeon and more.

“It was so fun to see the photos rolling in as moms went fishing during Take a Mom Fishing Weekend in Minnesota,” said Cara Hanson, DNR marketing coordinator. “Fishing is a male-dominated sport, but this challenge brought to light that it’s a great activity for women to get out there and have fun on the water. There’s a whole community of moms and women in Minnesota who love to get outside with friends and family to go fishing.”

Take it from a challenge participant: “This started as entering a challenge and ended up being the best time with my kids.🎣❤️ 2 days of memories. Especially at their age, my boys could have been off doing their own thing. Instead, they wanted to make this the best weekend for me.” – Melissa, challenge participant, via Facebook.

Way to go, moms!

“Walleye catch from the pier during the Minnesota Moms Fishing Challenge!” photo courtesy of Mary Hanson

an angler and a kid on a boat, with a walleye

DNR webinars cover launching a boat, lake trout

You’re invited to upcoming DNR webinars on launching a boat and lake trout. They’re among others in our new series of summer webinars that you can join for free, with registration required.

The boat launching webinar is at noon Wednesday, June 7. Boating is woven into Minnesota culture — along with a culture of safety that needs to be modeled and reinforced both at the ramp and on the water. Lisa Dugan, DNR’s recreation safety outreach coordinator, will review important safety preparations and etiquette for those launching a boat.

A lake trout webinar is at noon Wednesday, June 14. Tune in to learn about how lake trout were nearly lost from Lake Superior and the efforts that lead to the successful rehabilitation of the species. Josh Blankenheim, DNR large lake specialist for the Lake Superior area fisheries office, will also share tactics and tips on how to pursue lake trout in the greatest of the Great Lakes.

Also a reminder: We have a couple years of skills webinars archived and searchable on our website!

“Leech Lake walleye” photo courtesy of Jim Stoeckel 

Twins cap in orange with field in the background and downtown Minneapolis beyond that

Catch this Minnesota Twins offer for free hats

Anyone with a 2023 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free special edition orange Minnesota Twins logo cap and a ticket discount from the Twins, through a partnership between the Twins and the Minnesota DNR. Upcoming DNR Days at Twins games this season are:

  • Tuesday, June 13 vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 6:40 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 23 vs. Chicago White Sox, 1:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 19 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9 vs. New York Mets, 1:10 p.m.

Promotion details, instructions for purchasing tickets, and information on buying a fishing or hunting license, are available on the Minnesota DNR Days page. Tickets must be purchased ahead of time using our special DNR link to receive this offer.

Fishing photo highlights

angler with a crappie, standing by a boat

“Last catch of the day” photo courtesy of Na Vang

Northern pike held by angler on a pier

“Goal was for walleye. But catching this northern pike was so satisfying,” photo courtesy of Kha Xiong

two anglers, one holding a trout

“Trout fishing,” photo courtesy of Jeannie Doble

Find fishing information

You can find the information you need about learning to fish, regulations, where to fish, aquatic invasive species, contacting a conservation officer and more on the DNR fishing page.

Have Minnesota fishing photos to share? You can upload your photos and we may use them in emails notifications, social media or the DNR website.