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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 10 Minnesota fishing violations

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released a list of the top 10 fishing-related violations to avoid this season.

The top two categories for citations and warnings involved license violations. All residents of Minnesota, age 16 to 89, must have a current Minnesota fishing license in possession while angling or transporting fish, unless an exemption applies (see 'Who doesn't need a fishing license?' at www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/fishing/index.html). All nonresidents need a license, except those ages 15 and younger do not need a license if a parent or guardian is licensed, but the fish count toward the licensee's limit. License fees help the DNR protect, preserve, and manage Minnesota's natural resources.

Other common violations include no fishing license, extra lines, and over the possession limit.

2014 Violations
1. Fishing license not in possession (194 citations, 2,443 warnings).
2. No license (742 citations, 397 warnings).
3. Extra lines (634 citations, 144 warnings).
4. Improperly/not marked fish house (300 citations, 47 warnings).
5. Over possession limit (262 citations, 47 warnings).
6. Length or slot limit violation (139 citations, 71 warnings).
7. Unattended/set lines (122 citations, 69 warnings).
8. Closed season (67 citations, 33 warnings).
9. No reflective material on fish house (9 citations, 90 warnings).
10. Fish house left on the ice after removal deadline (58 citations, 22 warnings).

"Only a small percentage of Minnesota anglers run afoul of the law," said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement Division director. "A majority of anglers in our state abide by the rules and regulations."

The 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Handbook is available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/fishing/index.html or can be obtained from any fishing license vendor, as well as many outdoor retailers.

The DNR's mission is to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state's natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial use of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life. A major part of that mission involves the work of conservation officers in gaining voluntary compliance with regulations through education and law enforcement.

Be on the lookout for game and fish violations and report such violations to the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP. Informants can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

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