Fish for free in most Minnesota state parks
Minnesota residents can fish without a fishing license in most Minnesota state parks, including ice fishing.
A Minnesota resident may fish in a state park without a fishing license when:
- the body of water does not require a trout stamp
- fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park
- fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park
Read the full statute.
All park rules must be followed as usual, along with any rules and regulations relating to the taking of game and fish. You will still need a vehicle permit to enter a Minnesota state park.
Did you know there's a variety of free stuff that can be checked out at most Minnesota state parks? Fishing Kits include a rod, a reel and a stocked tackle box. (It's up to you to add the fish!) Loaner equipment is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here's a list of parks with free fishing kits to borrow.
Check out this map of all the state parks with free fishing opportunities, including some parks with free loaner equipment.
Please note: Fishing licenses are still required in city, county, regional and federal parks - as well all Minnesota state recreation areas:
- Big Bog State Recreation Area
- Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area
- Garden Island State Recreation Area
- Greenleaf State Recreation Area
- Iron Range OHV State Recreation Area
- La Salle Lake State Recreation Area
- Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area
- Red River State Recreation Area
- St. Croix Islands State Recreation Area