(Minnesota DNR) An experimental regulation limiting anglers to 10 sunfish taken from the Mississippi River adjacent to Houston, Winona and Wabasha Counties will be extended another five years, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced.
Continuing the special regulation, which has been in effect since 2001, was supported by 65 percent of anglers participating in a 2009 public input process. The regulation is aimed at maintaining and increasing the number of sunfish longer than seven inches in Pools 5, 5A and 8 of the Mississippi. It will remain in effect until April 1, 2015.
Impacts of the regulation have been difficult to measure due to a threefold increase in sunfish populations during the post-regulation period, and variable climatic conditions that affect angler effort, said Lake City DNR fisheries Manager Kevin Stauffer.
However, information collected during the pre- and post-regulation periods suggests that when sunfish populations are relatively low, angler harvest can significantly reduce numbers of larger sunfish, and that restrictive regulations like this one can protect those populations from excessively high rates of exploitation.