MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fishing season is right around the corner, and anglers already have their eyes on walleyes across the state.
To reel them in, some fishermen feel they need golden shiner minnows — specifically, imported shiners from other states. But the DNR is not in favor of that idea.
“There is no better bait to take than a big, golden shiner to try for that,” said Dave Tuma of Vados Bait and Tackle in Spring Lake Park.
Shiners raised in Minnesota aren’t a problem, but some bait shops feel the supply isn’t enough and they want to go beyond state lines to bring in more.
The DNR is worried that golden shiners brought in from other states could carry an infectious fish disease called VHS. They’re also worried they could bring in invasive species, because golden shiners look similar to baby Asian carp. That’s why it’s illegal for bait shops to bring in shiners from suppliers in states like Arkansas.
“Down south, they are predominant and they get really, really large,” said Tuma.
Tuma knows the issue was a catchy topic at the Capitol this spring. He’s in favor of changing the rules someday, as long as a close eye is kept on what bait shops are reeling in.
“As long as they are monitoring and everything is clear and everything- it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Tuma.
According to experts, Minnesota and Maine do not allow minnow imports for fishing. Wisconsin does allow bait shops to import minnows from Arkansas.