Fish & fishing

Anglers and waters

  • Licensed anglers: about 1.4 million
  • Fishable lakes: 5,400
  • Miles of fishable rivers and streams: over 18,000
  • Species of fish: 162 (although not every kind of fish lives everywhere)

Who goes fishing?

  • Most resident anglers are from urban areas. However, a higher percentage of people living in rural Minnesota fish compared to the percentage of people living in urban areas who fish. 1
  • Males account for 65 percent of fishing license holders. Females account for 35 percent.

Fishing habits

  • Significantly more time is spent fishing on lakes than on rivers and streams. 1
  • The average Minnesota angler spends 15 days fishing each year. 1
  • Walleye are the most sought-after fish in Minnesota, followed by northern pike and muskie combined, then panfish, bass, crappie and trout.1

1 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, (U.S. and Minnesota reports) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.