Ortonville area fisheries

Office address

Map of Ortonville work area

811 Pine Street
Ortonville, MN 56278

Minnesota map showing Ortonville location

Anglers who fish near the headwaters of the Minnesota River in Traverse, Big Stone, western Lac Qui Parle, western Swift, western Yellow Medicine and northern Lincoln counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Ortonville area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Chris Domeier and a staff of five full-time employees manage 50 fishing lakes and 2,000 miles of rivers and streams. Those waters include popular fishing destinations such as the Big Stone, Lac Qui Parle and Traverse lakes – shallow productive License Dollars At Work campaign linkfisheries that produce abundant yellow perch, walleyes, northern pike and panfish.

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

At work for you

An Ortonville fisheries crew at work along a western Minnesota river.

An Ortonville fisheries crew at work along a western Minnesota river.

  • Conducting 25 assessments of fish populations annually and providing this information to stakeholders.
  • Stocking area waters with walleye, northern pike, lake sturgeon, panfish and trout.
  • Operating 40 rearing ponds to produce walleye fingerlings, yearlings and adults to meet statewide stocking needs.
  • Partnering with stakeholders on fish habitat projects, including the Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, dam removals, spawning areas and shoreline stabilizations.
  • Coordinating management of border waters with the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks Department.
  • Providing fish for county fair displays and school educational events.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Ortonville area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Ortonville 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 Ortonville staff

Chris Domeier Ortonville area fisheries supervisor 320-839-2656
Kyle Anderson Ortonville assistant area fisheries supervisor 320-839-2656
BJ Bauer Fisheries specialist 320-839-2656
Doug Pierzina Fisheries technician 320-839-2656
Jeff Malzahn Fisheries technician 320-839-2656
Noelle Haukos Office administrative specialist 320-839-2656