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Local public meetings on Quality Bluegill Initiative set for Oct. 13

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold public meetings to gather input on proposed regulation changes designed to improve the bluegill fisheries on many of the state’s lakes, including some in the Glenwood DNR work area.

Under the Minnesota DNR’s Quality Bluegill Initiative, fisheries managers would aim to increase the number of lakes that have reduced bag limits of sunfish from 60 to 250 by the year 2023 in order to increase the size quality of the bluegill fisheries.

A 10-fish bag limit would apply to lakes in which anglers want to maintain current populations of large sunfish. A 5-fish bag limit would apply to lakes where the desire is to increase the number of large sunfish.

The statewide bag limit on bluegills is currently 20, and the DNR says sunfish are the most harvested fish in the state. Studies have shown that angler harvest, especially of large male sunfish, can have a huge impact on overall size quality in a lake.

Five lakes in the Glenwood DNR’s management area are currently a part of the lakes under consideration for regulation changes.


Those changes would look to make a 10-fish bag limit for bluegills on Lake Osakis (Douglas County), Irene (Douglas County) and Grove (Pope County), and five-fish bag limits on Whiskey Lake (Douglas County) and Gilchrist (Pope County).

A public meeting on the proposed bag-limit changes for Gilchrist and Grove will be on Oct. 13 from 3-5 p.m. at the Glenwood DNR office building at 23070 North Lakeshore Dr, Glenwood, MN 56334. The public meeting for proposed bag-limit changes on Lakes Irene, Osakis and Whiskey will be Oct. 13 from 6-8 p.m. at the Harry Bemo Building on the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria.

Meetings will be conducted in a town hall style with DNR staff present to answer questions and take comments. Per Department of Health guidelines, indoor meetings will be limited to 10 participants at any one time. Outdoor meetings will be limited to 25 at any one time. Face coverings will be required.

Participants are encouraged to contact the area fisheries office ahead of time to identify a preferred time slot. The number for the Glenwood DNR fisheries office is 320-634-7320.

The public can also contact area fisheries offices to comment directly on a specific proposal, and comments will be accepted through Oct. 25.

Any changes to regulations would take effect in the spring of 2021.

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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