Minnesotans sound off on C&R, AIS requirements, and lead ammo

The findings show the importance of taking preventative steps to halt the spread of invasive species, such as cleaning, draining and drying boats before moving them into a different body of water.

The 2015 State Fair already feels like a distant memory, but a pair of surveys at the event shed light on some issues of interest to sportsmen. Every year, the information offices of the state Senate and House of Representatives compile a list of questions for attendees on policy matters. The results provide an unscientific barometer on potential legislative issues and questions on issues from taxes to road construction.

Its purpose is to familiarize fair-goers with some of the issues that legislators considered during the past year, or may deal with in 2016. Staff compile the questions based on their notes and research from the previous session, as well as feedback from legislators. 

On the Senate side, 4,585 people responded to 14 questions ranging from carbon emissions to body cameras on cops. The outdoors constituency has a stake in a couple of them.

Question No. 4 asked: Minnesota recently added an early catch-and-release-only season that allows anglers to fish for bass (as long as they practice catch and release) before the start of the regular bass season. Should the state expand the catch-and-release-early seasons for other game fish species, such as walleye and northern pike or muskellunge?

A.) Yes – 27.01 percent (1,225)

B.) No – 40.71 percent (1,846)

C.) Undecided/No opinion – 32.28 percent (1,464)


Question No. 10: Should lead ammunition for hunting use be phased out in Minnesota?

A.) Yes, on all public and private land in Minnesota – 63.86 percent (2,780)

B.) Yes, but only on state/public land –  9.24 percent (402)

C.) No – 13.23 percent (576) 

D.) Undecided/No opinion – 13.67 percent (595)


The House Information Office had 6,338 people respond to its 12 questions, including one relating to outdoors:


9. Do you think boaters should be required to take an Internet class on preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species in order to get a boat license? 

Yes – 70.0 percent  (4,412)

No – 22.2 percent (1,401) 

Undecided/No Opinion – 7.7 percent  (486)


For me, the most surprising result above related to lead ammunition. Nearly three-quarters say lead ammo should be banned on state/public land, and 64 percent say it should be banned everywhere in the state.

Again, the results are completely nonbinding and simply provide a quick snapshot of public sentiment. And despite the cross-section of Minnesotans who attend the fair, poll demographics on the Senate side reveal that more than 80 percent of respondents hail from the metro area, and 63 percent were age 50 or older. Clearly, however, these issues are brewing within the halls of state government.

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