Public input is sought on proposed angling changes around the state.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is considering changes that would give anglers more opportunities for trout and sturgeon fishing, as well protect flathead catfish during the winter.
The new rules would simplify fishing regulations in southeastern Minnesota by allowing anglers to use hooks with barbs for trout fishing. The agency may also extend the fall catch-and-release season on all designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15; allow catch-and-release angling on designated trout streams in some southeastern Minnesota state parks from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31; and opening some lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties to winter trout fishing.
For sturgeon, the DNR is considering extending the catch-and-release season to bodies of water not currently open to sturgeon fishing.
To protect from overharvesting flathead catfish, DNR officials may close that species to winter fishing.
The public has until Feb. 11 to comment on the proposed changes.
Comments, questions and requests for more information should be directed to Linda Erickson-Eastwood at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155-4020, or by calling 651-259-5206.