Minnesoteans may have to wait until the end of this winter to catch skatefish.
Under new legislation, the lakeshore fishing licenses will be restricted to smallmouth bass, white bass, and bluegill.
The licenses are already limited to two-hour catch limits.
“I think it is a good step forward, but there are still going to be challenges,” said Mike Lopes, executive director of the Minnesota Fishing Association.
“I don’t think we’re going to see a dramatic increase in the number of fish that people catch.”
In Minnesota, the limit is two hours for the bass and one hour for the white bass.
Minnesota’s largest lake, Lake Superior, is the only lake with a three-hour limit.
The state also limits skimmers and minnows to a maximum of 10 pounds, the same limit as in Wisconsin.
Lopes said the state will continue to review its regulations, and he’s hopeful that the new law will help with the growing number of skimmers.
“The vast majority of skimming operations in Minnesota, we’re already seeing an increase in numbers,” Lopes said.
“It’s just the timing that is really important.”
The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Mike Norgrove, a Democrat from suburban St. Paul.
It was approved by the House Rules Committee on Wednesday.
It also passed the Senate on a party-line vote, 50-45.
The Senate also approved a bill to establish a commission to study the state’s fishing and fishing-related industries.
The bill, which has a similar name to the federal fisheries commission, passed the committee last month.