Anglers who fish in Carver, Hennepin and Scott counties benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' West Metro area fisheries staff.
Area Fisheries Supervisor Daryl Ellison and a staff of five full-time and one part-time employee manage 101 fishing lakes and 108 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as Lake Minnetonka, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and two large rivers – the Minnesota and Mississippi.
West Metro fisheries staff strip eggs from a female muskellunge for the statewide muskie stocking program.
Trout Stockings Planned For 2018 Winter Season (updated November 29, 2017)
Quarry Lake (Shakopee), Courthouse Lake (Chaska), and Little Long Lake (Minnetrista) are scheduled to receive their planned quotas for the winter fishing season (begins January 13, 2018 one hour before sunrise). Amounts of yearling rainbow trout planned are : Quarry Lake, 12,000 fish (or advanced fingerling-aged fish); Courthouse Lake, 1,300 fish and Little Long Lake, 500 fish. Projected sizes of rainbow trout are 0.6-0.7 lb for Courthouse and Little Long and 0.4 lb for Quarry.
Courthouse Lake will receive small quantities of adult rainbow trout and brown trout; tentative amounts are 100 rainbow trout and 190 brown trout; projected average size is 3-7 lb. Further confirmation of amounts will be posted here once numbers are available from the supplying hatcheries. Any surviving trout from previous stockings will also be available in these lakes, as well as in Christmas Lake (Shorewood).
See our Trout Waters page for more details about local trout-fishing management and opportunities.
2016-17 Seasonal Fish Kills
Related to winterkill-- no local lakes have been opened to Liberalized Fishing as of mid-January 2017. More information on liberalized fishing and list of opened lakes statewide can be found here.
We had seen or received several dead-fish reports in spring/summer 2016. The timing, numbers, and conditions were consistent with seasonal, bacterial-related causes limited to fish. Lakes reported, along with (County) and [last previously reported die-off]: Swede (Carver) [winter 2013-14], Cedar (Scott) [6/1/15], Independence (Hennepin) [5/24/14], Minnetonka (Hennepin) [6/10/15], Cedar Island (Hennepin), Lotus (Carver) [winter 2013-14], Nokomis (Hennepin) [7/27/14], Harriet (Hennepin) [7/24/14], Prior (Scott) [6/10/14], Sarah (Hennepin) [6/12/02], and Fish (Hennepin) [6/14/05]. Some more details, particularly related to Scott County in 2015, can be found here. In 2015, such kills were reported in seven lakes in our Area.
Recent Regulation Changes: 1) 54-Inch Minimimum For Muskies 2) Dark House Spearing Bans Lifted
Fishing-law changes effective with the 2015 Legislative Session had two major local impacts: 1) increased legal harvestable size of many-- but not all-- muskellunge (muskie) waters. Minimum harvest length for muskies increased to 54 inches. Lakes managed for tiger muskie (or containing remnant populations) and the Mississippi River upstream from the Coon Rapids Dam have different muskie size regulations. 2) The activity of dark house spearing that used to be banned on these lakes-- Minnetonka (and connected lakes Forest, Libbs, Peavey, and Tanager), Rebecca, and Stieger [Steiger]-- is now allowed.
All other applicable regulations-- including any Special Regulations-- remain in effect. Related to the most-asked question: you may now go dark house spearing on Stieger (Steiger) lake for other eligible species, but-- because of the Special Regulation-- you still MAY NOT spear/harvest northern pike. Check our Special Fishing Regulations page or consult the Statewide Regulations for more detail.
Lake Minnetonka Muskie Study-- Please Report Tagged and Fin-Clipped Fish
MN DNR, Muskies, Inc. Twin Cities Chapter, and Hugh C. Becker Foundation began a project on Lake Minnetonka to evaluate muskellunge (muskie) stocking effectiveness. Since 2009, muskie have been stocked with an individually numbered yellow tag near the dorsal fin. If you catch a tagged muskie that you plan to release, please leave the tag in the fish but record the 6-digit tag number, date caught, lake name, fish species, and fish length via the internet tag-report form or to our office's phone, email, or address (above). Study Details (includes 2014 season information)
West Metro Fisheries Office Location
Our office is in the Blue Lake Business Center on Scott Co. Hwy. 101 (between US Hwy 169 and Valleyfair amusement park). We share space with two other MN DNR disciplines (Parks & Trails, Wildlife) and Conservation Corps Minnesota-Iowa .
No license sales or registration/titling services are available, and we have no hatchery or live fish displays for tours. If you'd like to visit us in person, we recommend you contact us beforehand to ensure staff will be here. Because we're a small, field-oriented office, drop-in visitors could find no available help or a locked building.
|Daryl Ellison||Area supervisor||952-496-4141, Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Taylor Polomis||Assistant area supervisor||952-496-4141, Ext. email@example.com|
|Matt Petersen||Fishing in the neighborhood||952-496-4141, Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mario Travaline||Fishing in the neighborhood||952-496-4141, Ext. email@example.com|
|Kristan Maccaroni||Fisheries specialist||952-496-4141, Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jason Harris||Fisheries specialist||952-496-4141, Ext. email@example.com|
|Lori Snider||Office administrative speialist||952-496-4141, Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Keegan Lund||Aquatic invasive species email@example.com|