Minnesota fishing license sales keep climbing – Twin Cities

Fresh off a torrid start to fishing license sales in 2020, it appears anglers are gearing up for another busy year in Minnesota in 2021.

Fishing license sales up to May 1, two weeks before the May 15 Minnesota general fishing opener, were up 12 percent over last year, according to data from the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Among all types of licenses available, some 286,086 licenses had been sold by May 1 compared to 255,841 at that point last year, the first year of the ongoing pandemic.

Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, the 2021 total license sales are up nearly 58 percent.

As of now, it’s the fastest start to Minnesota fishing license sales in at least the past 21 years.

Individual resident license sales are up 18 percent over last year and nonresident individual licenses are up 55 percent over 2020. Sales of resident youth licenses for anglers ages 16-17 are down 9 percent from last year, possibly because more kids are back in school and other activities as pandemic restrictions ease.

It’s too early to say if the trend will hold all year — whether more people are fishing or more are just buying licenses earlier in the year — but it appears the trend of slowly declining fishing license sales seen in recent years has been reversed during the pandemic.

The increase in fishing pressure has spurred the Vermilion Lake Association and other groups to ask anglers to keep only half their legal limit of fish this summer.

By the end of the year Minnesota will sell nearly 1.2 million fishing licenses that are required for most anglers age 16 and older, except for some special circumstances.

Twin Cities