Can you fish without a license in shutdown?

Posted at 12:01 PM on July 13, 2011 by Paul Tosto (1 Comments)

20080508_anglerboat_33.jpg

Interesting discussion popping up this morning about whether you can fish in Minnesota without a license during the state budget impasse.

There's no doubt that you can't buy a fishing license in the shutdown. On the record, the DNR says, "All natural resource and license laws will remain in effect during a shutdown and will be enforced."

So if you don't have a valid license, you're not supposed to fish.

Or can you? The Brainerd Dispatch quotes frustrated Crow Wing County officials that DNR is letting non-licensed anglers fish on the honor system but isn't making it widely known.

MPR News reporter Tom Robertson confirmed that:

Officials in Crow Wing County say they've been told by a local DNR official that conservation officers aren't checking anglers for fishing licenses. County Attorney Don Ryan says he was told by a conservation officer that people found to be fishing without a license will be asked on the honor system to get a license as soon as they become available at the end of the state government shutdown.

Ryan says his office is responsible for prosecuting fishing violators, but that since the shutdown, none have been referred for prosecution by the DNR.

Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Thiede says he's received numerous questions and complaints from resort owners who've lost out of state customers because licenses aren't available for purchase. Thiede says resort owners should encourage their customers to fish without a license and purchase a license when they become available.

DNR enforcement officials, Robertson adds, did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

This is a huge deal, obviously, to Minnesota's sport fishing industry.

We're trying to get some clarity on this now. If anyone has any insight, please post below or shoot me an email directly: ptosto@mpr.org

Rule-follower that I am, I'm not sure I'd fish even if I got the wink and nod from DNR.

How about you?


Comments (1)

There is no reason fishing license can't be sold.They are sold where they are not costing the state.They are paying the DNR.

Posted by Donita Harris | July 13, 2011 3:09 PM


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