Minnestoa Changes for 2015!

12 posts / 0 new
Last post
Outdoors4life's picture
Minnestoa Changes for 2015!
<p><a href="http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/rules/fisheries/statewide.html">http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/rules/fisheries/statewide.html</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No more winter Flats</p> <p>Catch and realease sturgeon fishing!</p> <p>Other things too but these are the big 2!</p>
Cast_and_Blast's picture
Does that mean catch and rele

Does that mean catch and release fishing for Flatheads is allowed in the winter?  I'm just going by how it's worded. 

Hengelaar's picture
How about two rods..?

Can a feller fish with two rods yet??

I'm guessing nope.

Fishn sure is neat

Corey's picture

"Taking" includes catch and release. So intentionally fishing for flatheads in their wintering holes is now illegal, whether you plan on keeping them or not.

Outdoors4life's picture
Corey is correct. It is prett

Corey is correct. It is pretty plainly written in their writeup.


I take that trade for catch and release of sturgeon.


Hengelaar we can use 2 lines on the Croix but not inland waters. If you are over here you can go by WI rules and use 3 lines and bluegill on the WI side of the river.

It is all perspective!

Acer Home Inspections

Cast_and_Blast's picture
So, what about the WI regs on

So, what about the WI regs on the BORDER water?  Is WI complying with this as well?

Cast_and_Blast's picture
This law means absolutely NOT

This law means absolutely NOTHING if WI doesn't comply.  The wintering holes I know about are on the WI side.

TonyS's picture
A bit of hyperbole there C&B.

A bit of hyperbole there C&B... plenty of wintering holes in  MN waters.  I'll never understand intentionally fishing for nearly dormant Flatheads anyway.


Super stoked about expanding Sturg angling opportunities.  


Intriged to see what they do with "Changes to simplify, provide additional opportunities" on the border waters, I've long complained about the border water reg confusion.  This could end up being a good thing too, though I'm not going hold my breath just yet.

Cast_and_Blast's picture
Fine, the wintering holes in

Fine, the wintering holes in MN will now be safe.


The truth is everything is a little dormant in winter.  The bite slows down for almost everything up here in the Midwest.  Should we just ban all winter fishing then?  In fact, sturgeon fishing through the ice has become great sport among some.  Whenever I have hooked into a giant Flathead and they do bite (I have caught them with a lure far into their mouth before), it takes several minutes and up to a quarter mile ride down river until they are boated.  Dormant?  They seem to fight quite fine in colder water. 


Where is the evidence of harm?  Do we just hold to someone's unscientific opinion and decide that this must be truth?  Who started calling these places "wintering holes", like they are some sleeping bear in deep sleep hibernation?  These are fish, not mammals!  I am just saying.  Just because something becomes a popular belief, many of us gobble it up and take the bs science hook, line, and sinker.  Generally, I think for myself and test all public opinions for myself.  This sometimes ostracizes me and makes me a little unorthadox but I am who I am.  I test everything for myself before I put my stamp of approval on it.  The most offensive thing to suggest is that I am unsportsmanlike for my views.  Not saying that anybody is but just in case they are. 

Corey's picture

I'm not making any judgement about the practice, but it's pretty obvious looking at these fish that they are hibernating, and the scientific literature is convincingly unanimous across dozens of studies.

Here's a persuasive Youtube video of the catfish hibernating in Minnesota. This proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are dormant. Some of them moved a little bit when the camera hit them.


There have been at least a dozen scientific studies done that show that flathead catfish do not feed at all at temperatures below 40-50 degrees, some by fisheries agencies and others by universities. All are published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, subjected to intense scrutiny by scientists across the globe, and at least co-authored by very respected aquatic ecologists and ichthyologists. Some of the most persuasive are cited in the Statement of Need and Reasonableness for this Rule. I listed them at the end of this post in case anyone would like to read them.


Statement of Need and Reasonableness:

Item M. This rule is proposing to implement a winter closure on inland waters for flathead catfish to protect vulnerable flathead catfish from exploitation during their winter inactive months. Flathead catfish are native to rivers and lakes in the lower Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin. In Minnesota, they are common in the Minnesota River, Mississippi River below Lock and Dam #1, and the St. Croix River below Taylors Falls. They become mostly inactive when water temperatures drop below 50°F [10°C] (Brown, et al., 2005; Daugherty and Sutton, 2005; Eggleton and Schramm, 2004; Lee and Terrell, 1987; Vokoun and Rabeni, 2006). At these cold water temperatures, the flathead catfish metabolic rate and physiology changes to an inactive state, where they are known to go into stasis and stack-up in preferred woody river habitats or in deep holes during the winter months, under the ice. Observations of flathead catfish in their under-ice winter habitat have been cited in scientific literature, by DNR investigations, and via underwater camera equipment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12TqEEGInhg). It is also well documented that while flathead catfish remain in stasis, they do not actively feed until water temperatures warm up during early spring months (Brown et.al. 2005).


Because of the relative dormancy exhibited by flathead catfish during winter months, angling for this species is not supported by Minnesota fisheries professionals and stakeholders from the Minnesota Catfish Workgroup. It is deemed as unethical and not in the spirit of “fair chase” for recreational angling and is especially true if trophy flathead catfish are removed from the system by illegal snag-hooking or spear. Flathead catfish are prized by anglers, and may therefore have positive impacts in terms of ecotourism (Page and Burr, 2011). It is necessary and reasonable to provide a specified season of protection to guarantee future survival, reproduction, and abundance of spawning adult flathead catfish.


Here are a few of the references if anyone is interested in learning more about winter behavior of flathead catfish:

Simon, T., R. Wallus. 2003. Reproductive Biology and Early Life History of Fishes in the Ohio River Drainage, Volume 3, Ictaluridae-Catfish and Madtoms. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC.

Vokoun, J., C. Rabeni. 2006. Summer diel activity and movement paths of flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) in two Missouri streams. American Midland Naturalist, 155/1: 113-122.

Minckley, W., J. Deacon. 1959. Biology of the flathead catfish in Kansas. Transactons of the American Fisheries Society, 88/4: 344-355.

Lee, L., J. Terrell. 1987. Habitat suitability index models: flathead catfish. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Layher, W., R. Boles. 1980. Food habits of the flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque), in relation to length and season in a large Kansas reservoir. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Sciences, 83/4: 200-214.

Kwak, T., W. Pine III, S. Waters. 2006. Age, growth, and mortality of introduced flathead catfish in Atlantic rivers and a review of other populations. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 26: 73-87.

Eggleton, M., H. Schramm. 2004. Feeding ecology and energetic relationships with habitat of blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, and flathead catfish, Pylodictis olivaris, in the lower Mississippi River, U.S.A. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 70/2: 107-121.

Daugherty, D., T. Sutton. 2005. Seaonal movement patterns, habit use, and home range of flathead catfish in the lower St. Joseph River, Michigan. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 25: 256-269.

Bourret, S., R. Tingley III, Y. Kanno, J. Vokoun. 2008. Maximum daily consumption and specific daily metabolic demand of juvenile flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris). Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 23/3: 413-419.

Brown, J., J. Perillo, T. Kwak, R. Horwitz. 2005. Implications of Pylodictis olivaris (flathead catfish) introduction into the Delaware and Susquehanna drainages. Northeastern Naturalist, 12/4: 473-484.

J. R. Jr. Stauffer, J. H. Wilson, K. L. Dickson. Comparison of stomach contents and condition of two catfish species living at ambient temperatures and in a heated discharge. [Ictalurus punctatus; Pylodictus olivaris; Appalachian Power Company] 

Grabowski, T. B.; Isely, J. J.; Weller, R. R. Age and growth of flathead catfish, Pylodictus olivaris rafinesque, in the Altamaha River system, Georgia Journal of Freshwater Ecology, 19: 411 – 417

P. R. Turner R. C. Summerfelt  Food Habits of Adult Flathead Catfish, 'Pylodictus olivaris' (Rafinesque), in Oklahoma Reservoirs.  Oklahoma Cooperative Fishery Unit, Stillwater.

Arthur V. Brown; Michael L. Armstrong   Propensity to Drift Downstream among Various Species of Fish   Journal of Freshwater Ecology 1985-01-01


There's another few I can't seem to find; I'll do a search later and update.




Cast_and_Blast's picture
It appears that they have don

It appears that they have done their homework then.


BTW, It has been years since I fished for them during this time period.  However, I have never seen floating dead carcasses of Flatheads in the river at this time of year or any other eveidence of mortality.  The ones I released swam away with great strength and awareness.  I guess I don't care if they restrict it.  I've did it, done it, been there before.  Their next challenge will be to get WI to agree with their regs.  



philaroman's picture
1) these fish DON'T EAT!!!  t

1) these fish DON'T EAT!!!  they may have plenty stored energy for one short Winter battle w/ an angler, but if they encounter several, they could well run out of fuel, weeks later


2) fish that die in deep water sink!  some float days later, when gas in the swim bladder/belly expands faster than it can escape, which is MUCH less likely to happen in freezing water

P.E.T.A. sucks!!!  Plants are living things, too -- they're just easier to catch!