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New sunfish and crappie limits went into effect March 1, 2021 on 94 Minnesota lakes, including Prior Lake (Upper and Lower). The new regulations lower limits on specific waters as part of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (MNDNR) Quality Sunfish Initiative (QSI) to protect and improve sunfish sizes. These changes are in response to angler-driven concerns over the declining sizes of sunfish in Minnesota.
Anglers can only keep the prescribed number of fish per day (daily limit of 5 sunfish and 5 crappie) from the water but can return the next day for another limit as long as they don't exceed the statewide inland water possession limit of 20 sunfish or 10 crappie per angler.
The new regulations only modify daily limits on the affected waterbodies. Signs have been posted at water accesses for lakes that have new sunfish and crappie daily limits.
“There has been great deal of support surrounding these regulation changes,” said Sheriff Luke Hennen. “We have a lot of resident anglers in Scott County and they understand the future payoff of larger fish sizes and an increase in the fish population.”
Minnesota fishing regulations use sunfish as the generic name for bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, longear, warmouth and their hybrids.
More about the Quality Sunfish Initiative and the 2021 Minnesota fishing regulations are available on the MNDNR’s website (www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing) and anywhere Minnesota fishing licenses are sold.
Photo courtesy of Prior Lake Association