Finland Area fisheries

Office address

Map of Finland work area

6686 Highway 1
P.O. Box 546
Finland, MN 55603

Minnesota map showing Finland location

Anglers who fish in Lake County and western Cook County benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Finland area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Dean Paron and a staff of four full-time employees manage 561 fishing lakes and 2,178 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as many lakes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area WildeLicense Dollars At Work campaign linkrness, 25 stream trout lakes and several premier brook trout and steelhead streams.

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

At work for you

Fisheries management in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Fisheries management in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

  • Managing 25 lakes for stream trout (brook trout, rainbow trout, and splake) including lake reclamation, habitat improvement projects, and stocking (11 aerially stocked).
  • Stocking rainbow trout (steelhead) fry and yearling brook trout in Lake Superior streams.
  • Working with several forest collaborators including county, state, and federal agencies on adaptive forest management to protect lakes and streams.
  • Managing 41 stream conservation easements that provide fishing access to over 16 miles of trout streams.
  • Managing 13 Aquatic Management Areas totaling about 7,950 acres open to the public for fishing, hunting and timber harvest.
  • Conducting remote sampling within the BWCAW including monitoring native lake trout and sport netting on lake whitefish.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Finland area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Finland 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

Contact our Finland staff

Dean Paron Area supervisor 218-353-8840
Kelly McQuiston Assistant area supervisor 218-353-8840
Allen Brandt Fisheries specialist 218-353-8840
Don Smith Fisheries specialist 218-353-8840
Dick Stern Fisheries technician 218-353-8840