East Metro Area Fisheries

Fishing

Lakes


East Metro area fisheries

Office address

Map of East Metro work area

1200 Warner Road
St. Paul, MN 55106
651-259-5831
metroeast.fishereies@state.mn.us

Minnesota map showing East Metro location

Anglers who fish in the Anoka, Dakota, Ramsey and Washington county area benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' East Metro area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor TJ DeBates and a staff of eight full-time and one part-time employee manage 90 fishing lakes and 146 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as Forest and WhitLicense Dollars At Work campaign linke Bear lakes and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers.

  • Area highlights
  • Fishing license increase
  • Notices & links

At work for you

East Metro Area Invasive Carp Specialist John Waters held a paddlefish during summer sampling on the St. Croix River.  In addition to sampling metro large rivers for invasive carp, East Metro also investigates the movements of native river species such as paddlefish, bigmouth buffalo and lake sturgeon.

East Metro Area Invasive Carp Specialist John Waters held a paddlefish during summer sampling on the St. Croix River. In addition to sampling metro large rivers for invasive carp, East Metro also investigates the movements of native river species such as paddlefish, bigmouth buffalo and lake sturgeon.

  • East Metro produces approximately 6,000 lb of walleye fingerlings annually to stock in our 39 heavily fished walleye lakes.
  • East Metro State Fish hatchery annually produces 25,000,000 walleye fry, 250,000 pure strain muskellunge fingerlings, 100,000 hybrid muskellunge fingerlings for statewide needs and hatches 10 million walleye fry for Mille Lacs Lake.
  • East Metro is in charge of all State Fair fish displays, including acquiring and transferring display fish to the State fairgrounds while managing and maintaining displays to encourage interest in fishing, habitat and clean water among all Minnesotans.
  • East Metro conducts a river hydro-acoustic study investigating native fish movement around our lock and dams systems in the Twin Cities. This information provides information on our native fishes and how dams along our river systems influence fish movement.
  • East Metro Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program provides outreach to under-served, minority and urban communities; collaborates with local units of government with purchasing two-three fishing piers every year; and annually stocks bluegills, channel catfish, trout and white bass into 40 under-served East Metro community lakes.
  • East Metro monitors for invasive carp in the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers while studying native river fishes that could be affected if invasive carp become established in our local major rivers.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why East Metro area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the East 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 – may fill some existing vacancies but will not create any new positions. 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

Staff

See the East Metro staff page

Notices

Trout stocking

Vermillion River Trout Season: April 15, 2017 to September 14, 2017

  • Possession limit for Rainbow Trout (5 combined- not more than one over 16")
  • Brown Trout: Catch-and-release only
  • 3000 Rainbow Trout were stocked in early April 2017 and a second stocking of 2000 Rainbow Trout will occur in late April (size 11-13 inches)

Vermillion River Catch-and-Release Season: September 15, 2017 to October 15, 2017

  • Angling for Brown and Rainbow Trout is allowed but catch-and-release only

Holland Lake Trout Season: January 14, 2017 to March 31, 2017

  • Possession limit (5 combined - not more than 3 over 16")
  • 1,000 Rainbow Trout were stocked in December (size: 10-14 inches)

Cenaiko Lake Trout Season: January 14, 2017 to March 31, 2017

  • Possession limit (5 combined - not more than 3 over 16")
  • 4,000 Rainbow Trout were stocked in December (size: 8-14 inches)
  • 181 Adult Rainbow Trout were stocked in December (size: up to 5 pounds)
  • Cenaiko Lake is a designated trout lake and closed to fishing until January 14, 2017. See the fishing regulations for more details on designated trout lakes. 

Square Lake

Beginning in the fall of 2012 all Rainbow Trout stocking at Square Lake was put on hold. This has allowed Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District to study water quality and Rainbow Trout interactions in Square Lake to determine if the trout are contributing to the declining water quality of this lake. No trout were stocked in 2016 as the findings are analyzed. The fish that normally would have been stocked into Square Lake have been stocked in the Vermillion River and Cenaiko Lake.

 New Vermillion River Regulations

Within a 19.5 mile reach from the Highview Avenue bridge in Eureka Township in Farmington to the posted boundary 1.1 miles downstream from the U.S. Highway 52 Bridge, including all tributaries to their source (Dakota County). Brown Trout: Catch-and-release only. Rainbow Trout: Regular statewide regulations apply. From September 15 to October 15, angling for Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout is allowed but catch-and-release only (all trout must be immediately released). The Vermillion River is not part of the January 1 - April 15 Catch and release season.