Lake Superior Area Fisheries


Lake Superior area fisheries

Office address

Map of Lake Superior work area

5351 North Shore Drive
Duluth, MN 55804

Minnesota map showing Lake Superior location

Anglers who fish the largest freshwater lake in the world benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Lake Superior area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Cory Goldsworthy and a staff of four full-time and three part-time employees manage approximately 2,300 square miles of Lake Superior and portions of its tributary streams along Minnesota's NorthLicense Dollars At Work campaign link Shore. They also track harvests in the sport, charter and commercial fisheries to ensure sustainability.

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

At work for you

A successful angler enjoys the dividends of the DNR's investment in lake trout rehabilitation in the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.

A successful angler enjoys the dividends of the DNR's investment in lake trout rehabilitation in the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.

  • Conducting fisheries assessments for lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, salmon, lake sturgeon and other predator and prey fish species in Lake Superior.
  • Tracking the amount of harvest taken in the sport, charter and commercial fisheries and ensure sustainability of the resource.
  • Determining total-allowable-catch quotas for the commercial November cisco fishery to ensure sustainable harvest.
  • Coordinating efforts with commercial operators to collect scientific data on lake trout and cisco to determine age, diet and age composition of commercial catch.
  • Evaluating abundance, survival and emigration patterns of migratory fish populations using fish traps on French and Knife rivers and backpack electro-fishing assessments in Lake Superior's tributary streams on the North Shore.
  • Coordinating with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and other state, federal and tribal entities on standardized lake-wide fisheries assessments and management.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Lake Superior area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Lake Superior 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

  • Lake Superior Fishing Report: Call 218-302-3293
  • Weekly fishing reports and management work
  • Contact our Lake Superior staff

    Cory Goldsworthy Area supervisor 218-302-3268
    Keith Reeves Assistant area supervisor 218-302-3277
    Josh Blankenheim Large lake specialist 218-302-3273
    Nick Peterson Fisheries specialist 218-302-3272
    Chris Palvere Fisheries technician 218-302-3281