Park Rapids area fisheries

Office address

Map of Park Rapids work area

301 South Grove Avenue
Park Rapids, MN 56470

Minnesota map showing Park Rapids location

Anglers who fish in Hubbard, Wadena and eastern Becker counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Park Rapids area fisheries staff.

Area Fisheries Supervisor Doug Kingsley and a staff of four full-time and three part-time employees manage 108 fishing lakes and 220 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as the Mantrap Chain of Lakes, the Crow Wing River and its chain of laLicense Dollars At Work campaign linkkes and the Straight River   a premier brown trout stream.

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

At work for you

Park Rapids Area Fisheries staff tracking muskellunge implanted with radio transmitters to understand the extent of natural reproduction and identify natural spawning habitats in Big Mantrap Lake.

Park Rapids Area Fisheries staff tracking muskellunge implanted with radio transmitters to understand the extent of natural reproduction and identify natural spawning habitats in Big Mantrap Lake.

  • Managing four trout lakes and 50 miles of trout streams and stocking about 17,000 rainbow and brook trout of catchable size each year.
  • Operating a walleye and muskellunge hatchery and associated rearing ponds, which produce approximately 23 million walleye fry, 3,000 pounds of walleye fingerlings and 4,000 muskellunge fingerlings each year for stocking into regional lakes.
  • Conducting fisheries surveys or special sampling on about 25 lakes and 4 to 8 streams per year to assess population status and response to management activities, including special regulations and stocking.
  • Maintaining or improving aquatic habitat on about 40 miles of 4 trout streams, proposing acquisition projects as opportunities arise and maintaining acquired properties to protect critical aquatic habitat and provide access to recreational users.
  • Providing technical assistance to local units of government and other agencies working to protect, restore or improve the health of watersheds and their lakes, rivers and streams.
  • Providing presentations and aquatic education activities for lake associations, various clubs or organizations, public input meetings, schools and special events.

Facts about the fishing license fee increase

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Why Park Rapids area fisheries needs a license fee increase

Virtually all the work of the Park Rapids 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.

Contact our Park Rapids staff

Doug Kingsley Area supervisor 218-732-4153
Calub Shavik Assistant area supervisor 218-732-4153
Scott Muhm Fisheries specialist 218-732-4153
Mike Kelly Fisheries specialist 218-732-4153
Kyle Little Fisheries technician 218-732-4153