Minnesota River image courtesy MN DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites anglers and other members of the public to comment through Friday, Aug. 11 about fishing and fisheries topics on the Minnesota River to inform an update to the fisheries management plan for the 320-mile river.

The river is home to more than 80 fish species, including popular game fish such as flathead catfish and walleye; commercially harvested fish such as bigmouth and smallmouth buffalo; and important non-game species such as paddlefish and shovelnose sturgeon.

There are five dams on the upper reaches of the Minnesota River, including one at Granite Falls that acts as a significant barrier to fish passage. As a result, at least 18 fish species including flathead catfish, paddlefish and shovelnose sturgeon are not found upstream of the dam.

The DNR will use comments and suggestions from the public as it updates the fisheries management plan that identifies specific management activities and goals for the Minnesota River over the next five years. The plan contains a variety of fisheries information, including summaries and evaluation of past management activities and background information. It also documents species presence, stocking and historic catch rates.

Comments and suggestions from the public are important for identifying angler values and social considerations. Public input is most useful before plans are finalized. The draft plan is available on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/rivers_streams/minnesota.html).

Anyone can request a draft copy of the management plan and share thoughts about fisheries management on the Minnesota River by contacting Minnesota River Fisheries Specialist Tony Sindt by email at [email protected], by phone at 320-753-0333, or by U.S. Mail at Hutchinson DNR Fisheries Office, Attn: Tony Sindt, 20596 Highway 7, Hutchinson, MN 55350.