DNR seeks public comment on Mississippi River bluegill regs

The Minnesota DNR will host a series of public meetings in
December to gather comment on proposed experimental regulations to
improve bluegill populations on backwaters of the Mississippi
River.

The regulations, which would apply only to the Minnesota side of
the river, would reduce the current 25 fish daily limit to 10 fish
daily limit on lower Pool 4 (downstream of Read’s Landing), Pool 5
(Alma Dam downstream to Minnieska Dam), Pool 5A (Minnieska to
Goodview) and Pool 8 (Drebach to Reno). Additionally, an 8-inch
minimum size limit is proposed from Nov. 1 to April 30 on lower
Pool 4 and Pool 5A. These experimental regulations would be in
effect for 10 years to allow an accurate evaluation.

Recent fisheries studies have shown that anglers are harvesting
70 to 90 percent of adult bluegill larger than seven inches on the
Mississippi River. Loss of backwater and winter habitat combined
with increased fishing pressure and high harvest rates have
impacted the bluegill fishery and prompted the DNR and anglers to
seek solutions.

“Efforts to try to improve habitats for bluegills and other
panfish are ongoing and a high priority, but are often politically
and financially limited,” said Dan Dieterman, area fisheries
specialist at Lake City. “Reducing the impacts due to fishing is
the only other feasible option.”

Interested persons should attend any of the four public meetings
scheduled for December or provide written comments by Dec. 12 to
Dan Dieterman or Tim Schlagenhaft at Lake City Area Fisheries
Headquarters, 1801 South Oak Street, Lake City, MN 55041.

Public meetings will be held on the following dates:

Dec. 4 (6-8 p.m.): Winona Elks Lodge, 4540 N. Service Dr,
Goodview

Dec. 5 (6:30-8:30 p.m.): Wabasha VFW, 138 2nd Street East,
Wabasha

Dec. 6 (6:30-8 p.m.): Pleasant Hill Library, 1490 S. Frontage
Rd., Hastings

Dec. 7 (6:30-8:30 p.m.): La Crescent Community Building, La
Crescent.

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