Fish & Wildlife

Bait Dealers Authorized to Preserve Bait

To help prevent the spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in Minnesota waters, anglers cannot use cisco, smelt, or other VHS susceptible speciesThis link leads to an external bait in any water body except Lake Superior unless it was harvested from a waterbody that tested negative for presence of the VHS virus within the past year, or has been preserved by a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permit holder using accepted methods known to make the virus inactive.

The rule was enacted to protect Minnesota's inland waters from VHS, which is now present in Lake Superior. When fishing using preserved cisco or rainbow smelt as bait, anglers must have in their possession the label from the batch of bait being used. The label must contain the bait processor's DNR permit number, the lot number, and the date of processing.

It remains legal to harvest cisco and rainbow smelt for personal consumption in Lake Superior and Minnesota's inland waters. VHS does not have any impact on humans through direct contact or via fish consumption.

Business Name   Phone Number City
Birchview Resort   218-634-1693 Baudette
Collins' Fish and Bait Farms   701-371-6881 Dent
D & H Bait Store   218-287-2203 Dilworth
Chalstrom's Bait   218-726-0094 Duluth
Broke Brothers Bait   218-743-3247 Effie
Todd's Live Bait   320-592-3615 McGrath
North Country Bait   218-732-7500 Park Rapids
Fletcher's Bait   320-352-2155 Sauk Centre
Moland Specialty Bait   952-473-0570 Wayzata