International Falls area fisheries

Office address

Map of International Falls work area

392 Highway 11 East
International Falls, MN 56649

Minnesota map showing International Falls location

Anglers who fish in Koochiching and northern St. Louis county areas benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' International Falls area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Kevin Peterson and a full-time staff of four manage 135 fishing lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing lakes such as Rainy, Kabetogama and Pelican (near Orr) and the Rainy River. TLicense Dollars At Work campaign linkhe Iakes of Voyageurs National Park also lie within the International Falls fisheries management area.

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

At work for you

Fisheries specialists make live presentations to students at  a wide variety of aquatic education events.

Fisheries specialists make live presentations to students at a wide variety of aquatic education events.

  • Managing eight lakes for lake trout. Two are stocked every other year with lake trout yearlings.
  • Stocking approximately 14 lakes regularly with walleye fingerlings or fry.
  • Stocking three designated trout streams annually with brook trout including Lost River, Fawn Creek and Kinmount Creek.
  • Managing Pelican, Ash and Elephant lakes as quality northern pike fisheries with protected slot limits.
  • Managing Pelican Lake for a quality bass fishery with a protected slot limit.
  • Collaborating with the Rainy Lake Sportfishing Club to enhance the walleye fishery of Rainy Lake. This includes such things as walleye tagging on the Rat Root River to learn more about walleye spawning habits on Rainy Lake, which helps identify spawning areas on the Rat Root River for potential enhancement.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why International Falls area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the International Falls 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

Rainy Lake (Koochiching and St. Louis counties): Walleye 18 to 26 inches must be released, one longer than 26 inches allowed in possession; regulation is relaxed from the previous 17- to 28-inch protected slot; bag limit remains four walleye. Change allows for more harvest opportunities while still protecting spawning-age fish. In recent years the slot limit on Rainy has consistently met objectives established for the regulation.This regulation change is effective March 1, 2016.

Contact our International Falls staff

Kevin Peterson Area supervisor 218-286-5220
Tom Burri Assistant area supervisor 218-286-5220
Ben Vondra Large lake specialist 218-286-5220
Dan Schermerhorn Fisheries specialist 218-286-5220
Wes Peterson Fisheries technician 218-286-5220
Andrew Moran Office Administrative Specialist 218-286-5220