Fishing

Lakes


West Metro area fisheries

Office address

Map of West Metro work area.

7050 Highway 101 East, Suite 100
Shakopee, MN 55379
952-496-4141
Metro.West.Fisheries@state.mn.us

Minnesota map showing West Metro location

Anglers who fish in Carver, Hennepin and Scott counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' West Metro area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Daryl Ellison and a staff of five full-time and one part-time employee manage 101 fishing lakes and 108 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as Lake Minnetonka, the MinneapoLicense Dollars At Work campaign linklis Chain of Lakes and two large rivers – the Minnesota and Mississippi.

  • Area highlights
  • Fishing license increase
  • Notices & links
  • Area staff

At work for you

West Metro fisheries staff strip eggs from a female muskellunge for the statewide muskie stocking program.

West Metro fisheries staff strip eggs from a female muskellunge for the statewide muskie stocking program.

  • Produce up to 1.3 million muskellunge and tiger muskellunge eggs per year for statewide stocking needs.
  • Stock walleye, muskellunge and trout in 35 lakes in the western metropolitan area.
  • Manage the Fishing in the Neighborhood Program (FiN) to introduce more city and suburban residents to fishing by providing close-to-home angling on 26 small lakes and ponds by stocking more than 20,000 catchable-sized fish each year.
  • FiN staff participated in over 50 aquatic education events in 2016, teaching more than 5,000 youth, seniors and disabled citizens about angling and local aquatic resources. Also worked with local units of government and fishing groups in 2015-16 to construct two fishing piers and one shore-fishing structure.
  • Acquire display fish and assist maintaining the aquatic displays at the Minnesota State Fair.
  • Conduct research studies on muskellunge survival, walleye abundance trends and walleye stocking strategies.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why West Metro area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the West Metro area fisheries staff is funded by money raised through fishing license sales. But reductions in buying power due to increasing costs for products, services and equipment have put this work and the recreational opportunities it creates at risk.

In response, the DNR is seeking a fishing license fee increase in the 2017 legislative session. The increase would raise the price of a resident annual fishing license from $22 to $25. Other fishing license types also would increase. The proposed increases should sustain existing fisheries operations until 2021.

The increase for an individual license – roughly the price of a scoop of minnows – will not add staff or build programs. Rather, it will simply sustain existing programs and area office budgets, many of which already are reduced.

What happens with a fee increaseWhat happens without a fee increase
 

State lottery & legacy amendment dollars are off limits

Clean Water Land & Legacy Fund logo Enviornment and Natural Resources Trust Fund logo

State law prohibits tax dollars, including funds generated by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment and Minnesota State Lottery, from funding area fisheries offices and the core work they do. Fisheries management that creates world-class fishing here in Minnesota is a user-funded, user-benefit system.

General hunting and fishing license fees were last increased in 2012 at an amount designed to keep game and fish operations solvent for about six years. Prior to that, it had been 10 years since the last general fee increase. Periodic fee increases – one about every five years since 1970 – are how Minnesota funds routine fisheries management. Many fishing organizations traditionally have supported periodic fee increases because high-quality fishing is recreation worth paying for.

In November 2016, the Game and Fish Fund Budget Oversight Committee – a citizen group that monitors the DNR's fisheries, wildlife and enforcement revenues and expenditures – recommended that the Legislature increase fishing and hunting license fees during the 2017 legislative session.

The DNR's fisheries section has a long tradition of belt-tightening. Statewide, staff size is down about 13 percent from roughly a decade ago. Moreover, the section is holding an additional 24 vacancies, most of which will not be filled even with fee increase. This means it is common for field offices to have fewer employees and leaner budgets than they once did.

Notices, web links & area information

Related contacts

  • Aquatic Plant Management: Questions and Permits    651-259-5831 (ask for Aquatic Plant Mgt. staff)
  • Fish and Wildlife Kills: Minnesota Duty Officer     651-649-5451 / 1-800-422-0798

Trout Stocked For 2017 Winter Season

Courthouse Lake (Chaska) and Little Long Lake (Minnetrista) received their standard Winter-Season quotas of rainbow trout yearlings (2,000 and 500, respectively) for the January 14 Opener.  Average size was 0.75 lb for Courthouse Lake fish and 0.7 lb for Little Long Lake fish.  At Courthouse Lake, survivors from previous stockings (most recently 1,000 rainbow trout yearlings & 140 combined adult rainbow trout and brown trout) are also available.  Remaining yearling rainbow trout stocked into Christmas Lake (Shorewood) in spring 2016 are also an option.

A new trout-fishing opportunity is available starting this season-- Quarry Lake in Shakopee (Scott County).  It will be managed for yearling rainbow trout.  It is located totally within the City of Shakopee's Quarry Lake Park external link, near ValleyFair, and subject to the City's park hours, access, and City Code.  This lake had 15,000 yearling rainbow trout stocked before Winter Opener, with an average size of 1/3 lb each.

See our Trout Waters page for more details about local trout-fishing management and opportunities.


2016-17 Seasonal Fish Kills

Related to winterkill-- no local lakes have been opened to Liberalized Fishing as of mid-January 2017.  More information on liberalized fishing and list of opened lakes statewide can be found here.

We had seen or received several dead-fish reports in spring/summer 2016.  The timing, numbers, and conditions were consistent with seasonal, bacterial-related causes limited to fish.  Lakes reported, along with (County) and [last previously reported die-off]:  Swede (Carver) [winter 2013-14], Cedar (Scott) [6/1/15], Independence (Hennepin) [5/24/14], Minnetonka (Hennepin) [6/10/15], Cedar Island (Hennepin), Lotus (Carver) [winter 2013-14], Nokomis (Hennepin) [7/27/14], Harriet (Hennepin) [7/24/14], Prior (Scott) [6/10/14], Sarah (Hennepin) [6/12/02], and Fish (Hennepin) [6/14/05].  Some more details, particularly related to Scott County in 2015, can be found hereexternal link.  In 2015, such kills were reported in seven lakes in our Area.


Recent Regulation Changes: 1) 54-Inch Minimimum For Muskies  2) Dark House Spearing Bans Lifted

Fishing-law changes effective with the 2015 Legislative Session had two major local impacts:  1) increased legal harvestable size of many-- but not all-- muskellunge (muskie) waters.  Minimum harvest length for muskies increased to 54 inches.  Lakes managed for tiger muskie (or containing remnant populations) and the Mississippi River upstream from the Coon Rapids Dam have different muskie size regulations. 2) The activity of dark house spearing that used to be banned on these lakes-- Minnetonka (and connected lakes Forest, Libbs, Peavey, and Tanager), Rebecca, and Stieger [Steiger]-- is now allowed.

All other applicable regulations-- including any Special Regulations-- remain in effect.  Related to the most-asked question:  you may now go dark house spearing on Stieger (Steiger) lake for other eligible species, but-- because of the Special Regulation-- you still MAY NOT spear/harvest northern pike.  Check our Special Fishing Regulations page or consult the Statewide Regulations for more detail.


Lake Minnetonka Muskie Study-- Please Report Tagged and Fin-Clipped Fish

MN DNR, Muskies, Inc. Twin Cities Chapter, and Hugh C. Becker Foundation began a project on Lake Minnetonka to evaluate muskellunge (muskie) stocking effectiveness. Since 2009, muskie have been stocked with an individually numbered yellow tag near the dorsal fin. If you catch a tagged muskie that you plan to release, please leave the tag in the fish but record the 6-digit tag number, date caught, lake name, fish species, and fish length via the internet tag-report form or to our office's phone, email, or address (above).  Study Details (includes 2014 season information)


West Metro Fisheries Office Location

Our office is in the Blue Lake Business Center on Scott Co. Hwy. 101 (between US Hwy 169 and Valleyfair amusement park). We share space with two other MN DNR disciplines (Parks & Trails, Wildlife) and Conservation Corps Minnesota-Iowa external link.

No license sales or registration/titling services are available, and we have no hatchery or live fish displays for tours. If you'd like to visit us in person, we recommend you contact us beforehand to ensure staff will be here. Because we're a small, field-oriented office, drop-in visitors could find no available help or a locked building.

West Metro Area Fisheries Information

Contact our West Metro staff

Name
Position
Phone
Email
Daryl Ellison Area supervisor 952-496-4141, Ext. 222 daryl.ellison@state.mn.us
Taylor Polomis Assistant area supervisor 952-496-4141, Ext. 223 taylor.polomis@state.mn.us
Matt Petersen Fishing in the neighborhood 952-496-4141, Ext. 226 matt.petersen@state.mn.us
Mario Travaline Fishing in the neighborhood 952-496-4141, Ext. 225 mario.travaline@state.mn.us
Kristan Maccaroni Fisheries specialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 224 kristan.maccaroni@state.mn.us
Jason Harris Fisheries specialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 227 jason.harris@state.mn.us
Lori Snider Office administrative speialist 952-496-4141, Ext. 221 lori.snider@state.mn.us
Keegan Lund Aquatic invasive species specialist 651-259-5828 keegan.lund@state.mn.us