Minnesota fishing license sales second-lowest in nearly two decades

Minnesota fishing license sales are down by more than 40,000 from this same time last year, according to Minnesota DNR numbers released recently.

According to the DNR, just over 805,000 licenses were sold through the Fourth of July weekend – the lowest since 2013 (just over 800,000) and the second-lowest in nearly two decades, according to reports. That’s nearly a 5 percent drop from last year, when the total was just over 846,000 through the Fourth.

Possible reasons for the decline include a late ice-out this past winter, ultimately resulting in a later start to the season for many, as well as the long-chronicled turnover effect – more older participants leaving fishing, fewer younger anglers taking their place. The DNR has been trying to combat the trend for years with numerous programs such as Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN).


It’s even been mentioned that a rainier-than-usual summer has hindered numbers, and that sales were hurt by the fact that the Fourth fell in the middle of the week this year – license sales tend to get a boost when the holiday falls on or close to a weekend, according to one report.

Still, the state should easily sell more than a million fishing licenses by year’s end; last year’s total was 1.16 million – the best in five years – according to reports.

Licenses may be purchased online; via phone at 888-665-4236 (1-MN-LICENSE) 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or in person through numerous agents across the state.

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