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2012 sport-netting dates and regulations announced

Recreational netting for whitefish-tullibee opens on Friday, October 12 on designated lakes that are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperature, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

These lakes, known as Schedule II lakes, offer recreational netting on the following schedule:

--Schedule II A lakes open Friday, October 12 and close Sunday, December 2.

--Schedule II B lakes open Friday, November 2 and close Sunday, December 9.

--Schedule II C lakes open Friday, November 9 and close Sunday, December 9.

Schedule I lakes, which are more susceptible to factors that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places.

Netting in infested waters may be restricted or closed to sport netting of whitefish and tullibee.

Lakes closed to recreational netting in 2012 are:

--Burgen Lake

--Lakota Lake

--Osakis Lake

--Victoria Lake

About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water, and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water.

Minnesota law restricts the size of the net and its openings; requires that netting be done in water not deeper than six feet unless specifically authorized; stipulates that netted fish cannot be sold; and requires that only rough fish caught in the net may be kept.

State law also limits net size to 100 feet long and three feet wide; allows one person to use no more than two nets; and forbids recreational netters from possessing angling equipment when netting whitefish-tullibee.

A complete list of all Schedule I and II lakes, status of the seasonal openings and closures, as well as detailed netting regulations, are available online at or by calling the DNR information center at (651) 296-6157 or 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).