Minnesota's fishing season is only a few weeks old, but did you know there's a lake where the fishing is currently unlimited?

Minnesota is, of course, the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Actually, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says there are over 11,400 lakes 10 acres or bigger scattered throughout our fair state. And on many of them, you'll likely find an angler or two trying to land a big 'ol fish.

That's no surprise, seeing as fishing is popular here in the Bold North. The DNR says just under a third of Minnesota's population (about 29 percent) currently engage in the sport of fishing, with just over 1.4 million Minnesotans expected to wet a line in one of our bodies of water this year.

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The DNR says it's expecting to sell around 1.5 million fishing licenses again in 2024, as anglers head out to one of Minnesota's 3.8 million acres of fishable waters. But in one of those lakes, did you no there aren't any limits on the number and kind of fish you can catch?

It's true. The DNR said last week that they've opened fishing without any limits on Clear Lake, in Sibley County in southwestern Minnesota, about 90 miles southwest of the Twin Cities:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has opened Clear Lake in Sibley County to unlimited fishing, allowing anglers to harvest fish that would likely not survive the upcoming winter during low water conditions on the 505-acre lake.

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Clear Lake has been 'overwhelmed' by a large population of common carp, and the DNR is lowering water levels on the lake to try to 'reset' the fish population. Lower water levels on that lake will continue throughout 2024, and many of the other fish likely wouldn't survive the low water conditions this winter, the DNR said.

Sibley County, Minnesota's Clear Lake (Google Maps)
Sibley County, Minnesota's Clear Lake (Google Maps)

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So, now through February 23, 2025, you can wet a line in Clear Lake and take as many fish as you can catch. However, there ARE still some rules you'll have to follow, according to the DNR:

  • The lakes may only be opened to unlimited fishing for a short period. 
  • You are required to have a resident angling license to take fish on liberalized lakes.
  • You may take fish in any quantity only for personal use from lakes opened to liberalized fishing.
  • You may not transfer live fish or fish eggs from one body of water to another.
  • All fish packaged that are possessed by liberalized fishing must be identified by lake location and date taken.
  • You may sell rough fish.
  • You may take fish by dipnet, spear, gillnet, or angling (check each lake at the access site, gillnets may not be allowed at all lakes).
  • You may not use seines, hoop nets, fyke nets, or explosives to take fish.
  • All trespass laws are in effect and you should abide by them when accessing lakes.
  • Do not leave any trash or litter on the lakes and take home all fish that are caught.

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BEWARE! Look Out For These Dangers In MN Lakes!

After months of waiting, lake season is here! It's time to spend your days soaking up the rays and swimming in the refreshing water. Just make sure you watch out for these potential hazards.

Gallery Credit: Shel B