Publish date:

Minnesota DNR says its fish stocking efforts were successful despite pandemic

The state said efforts to stock ponds with naturally low fish populations were successful despite changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it has had a successful year of stocking fish in the state’s water, despite COVID-19 challenges.

Fish stocking provides anglers opportunities to fish in waters that have naturally low or no populations of fish including walleye, muskie and trout.

The DNR usually stocks fish through egg harvesting, but that practice was put on hold in April because it could not be done under COVID-19 guidelines. Egg collection for walleye, for example, requires six to eight people working closely together, which contravened the Stay at Home order then in place in Minnesota.

This year, the DNR relied on walleye for other sources, including harvesting 42,000 pounds of 1-year-old walleye from ponds and an additional 40,000 pounds of walleye from private sources.

The White Earth Nation also helped stock young walleye in lakes in Becker County. In total, the DNR was able to stock more than 82,000 pounds of walleye, or around 71% of what was originally planned.

The DNR was also able to stock around 1,370 muskies that had grown in hatcheries over the summer, in addition to nearly 600 from ponds.

Because trout stocking involves growing the fish in hatcheries for several months, the process had already begun prior to the start of the pandemic.

The DNR stocked more than 400,000 rainbow trout, more than 40,000 brown trout, 40,000 brook trout, 35,000 steelhead and 2,200 lake trout this year.

“We have reason to be grateful despite a challenging year. We appreciate the creativity of our partners and DNR staff who found ways to locate and raise fish to stock,” DNR central region fisheries manager Brian Nerbonne said in a statement.

Next Up

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.


Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.


Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

CDC biohazard scientist health work

New clue may explain how rare tropical disease sickened Minnesotan

The disease, known as melioidosis, killed 2 people earlier this year.

Sen Mark Koran crop

MN lawmaker encourages donations for locals charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

"They are a good family!" Sen. Mark Koran wrote Friday.


Money Gal Coaching: Mastering the spiritual parts of money

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.


Egg take

Minnesota DNR cancels fish egg take in 2020

The DNR would typically harvest eggs and use them to replenish fish stocks in Minnesota lakes.

dnr trout stocking helicopter

DNR uses a helicopter to more efficiently stock lakes with trout

In the past, the DNR used airplanes to stock remote lakes with fish, but the survival rate of the fish was only 85%.

Lake Mille Lacs

DNR hold on walleye fishing in Mille Lacs Lake ends Aug. 1

Beginning Aug. 1, anglers can again fish for walleyes with live bait at Mille Lacs Lake.

Fishing licenses reel in strong sales

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says roughly 531,000 licenses were sold through the Friday before Memorial Day, the Pioneer Press reports. Next year, the price of Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses will increase for the first time in 12 years. License sales help pay for fish stockings and surveillance of lakes.