Hutchinson area fisheries

Office address

Map of Hutchinson work area

20596 Highway 7
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Minnesota map showing Hutchinson location

Anglers who fish in McLeod, Meeker, Sibley, Nicollet, Brown, Redwood, Renville and western Wright county areas benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Hutchinson area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Scott Mackenthun and a staff of three full-time and one part-time employee manage 94 fishing lakes and 38 rivers and streams, including popular fishing destinations such as Minnie-Belle Lake, Belle Lake, Washington Lake and much of the middle Minnesota River. These lakes offer fantastic walleye and bass fishing, gLicense Dollars At Work campaign linkreat panfish action and the Minnesota River remains a fantastic angling resource for a variety of fish species.

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

At work for you

A Hutchinson area fisheries crew checks a trap net.

A Hutchinson area fisheries crew checks a trap net.

  • Managing and stocking rainbow and brown trout in four streams and Little Mud Lake for a unique southern Minnesota fishing opportunity.
  • Producing an average of more than 4,000 pounds of walleye fingerlings from up to 19 shallow lakes for stocking Hutchinson area waters and statewide needs.
  • Acquiring critical habitat and angler access by managing and maintaining more than 54 Aquatic Management Areas totaling 933 ownership acres and 134 easement acres. This includes 238 acres and 9,736 feet owned along Minnesota River near Redwood Falls.
  • Public engagement, education and outreach through six annual youth environmental education events, lake association meetings, periodic KDUZ Radio talk shows, FarmFest, Avid Angler group and providing fish to county fairs.
  • Monitoring the Minnesota River for fish species richness and diversity in conjunction with the DNR's Minnesota River regional fisheries team and other DNR fisheries offices.
  • Partnering with other DNR divisions, local governments and organizations to do fisheries and wildlife conservation projects such as the 7-Mile Creek trout habitat improvement; Spring Creek and High Island Creek stream restorations; and Silver and High Island Lakes (Sibley County) restoration and adaptive management.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Hutchinson area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Hutchinson 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

Find us

Open Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Closed on Weekends and State Holidays
Use the DNR office locator

Welcome! the lakes and streams within the Hutchinson Fisheries Management Area. The management area includes over 550 water bodies found in Brown, McLeod, Meeker, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, and Sibley counties. Those managed for fishing include over 50 lakes, 8 kids fishing ponds, 5 trout streams, and 5 major rivers including the Minnesota River.

Southern region fishing outlook

The remaining water bodies consist of small streams and ditches, wetlands, shallow waterfowl lakes, and natural ponds used for walleye production. In addition to water bodies, Hutchinson Area Fisheries manages parcels of land as Aquatic Management Areas (AMA) to protect fish habitat and promote angling access. Our clientele include sporting clubs, lake associations, and thousands of anglers that fish in the management area annually.

General Information

Surveys of fish populations and aquatic habitats are carried out periodically on each managed lake or stream. The information collected is used to monitor fish populations, evaluate management activities, and to develop new management plans. These reports contain information on fish populations such as abundance, sizes, age, and growth rates. Along with fish information, the reports include information on water chemistry, shoreline and watershed characteristics, aquatic vegetation and much more.

Useful Links

Contact our Hutchinson staff

Scott Mackenthun Area supervisor 320-234-2550, Ext. 223
Gene Jeseritz Assistant area supervisor 320-234-2550, Ext. 224
Chris Foster Fisheries specialist 320-234-2550, Ext. 227
Hanna Anema Fisheries technician 320-234-2550, Ext. 228
Tim Cross Fisheries research scientist 320-234-2550, Ext. 233
Hannah Brown Habitat technician 320-234-2550, Ext. 246
Tony Sindt Minnesota river specialist 320-234-2550, Ext. 236
VACANT Minnesota river specialist 320-234-2550, Ext. 237  
Michael Wolf Minnesota river specialist 320-234-2550, Ext. 234
Sacia Matheson Office administrative specialist 320-234-2550, Ext. 222