Minnesota Winter Trout Season

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For the first time, starting on Thursday, Jan. 1, streams in an eight-county area in southeastern Minnesota will open to catch-and-release trout fishing. The new regulations that went into effect this year make trout fishing in the southeast more accessible.

In the eight southeastern Minnesota counties included in the new regulations (Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties), anglers get a catch-and-release season that runs from Jan. 1 to the beginning of the harvest season.

The harvest season runs from Saturday, April 18, to Monday, Sept. 14. Following that, southeastern streams are open to a fall catch-and-release season from Tuesday, Sept. 15, through Thursday, Oct. 15.

Outside of state parks, fishing closes for two and a half months to reduce competition between hunters on private land and anglers, and during spawning of brown and brook trout. It’s a somewhat simpler story in state parks, where anglers can fish all year under either a catch-and-release or harvest season.

In state parks, the new regulations include the following waters: East Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek Valley State Park; Forestville Creek in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; Canfield Creek in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; South Branch Root River in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; Trout Run Creek in Whitewater State Park and Middle Branch Whitewater River in Whitewater State Park. For the first time, trout fishing in southeastern Minnesota state parks is open all year.

Regardless of the expanded opportunities, anglers who plan to fish for trout should still check to see if there are any special regulations, including slot limits and required use of artificial lures and flies, for the stream where they plan to fish.

Winter trout fishing tends to be most productive between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the Department of Natural Resources.

To find more information on trout fishing, including seasons and limits, visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources