Matthew S. Miller, Minnesota DNR
Q: While fishing on the St. Louis River near Duluth, I was trolling with a spinner rig and landed a walleye that was hooked in the chin behind the mouth. Can I keep it? A: No. Minnesota's statewide regulation for foul-hooked fish states that a person may not intentionally take fish by snagging, or use a snag line, snag hook or cluster of hooks designed to foul-hook fish.
Q: I have a few brush piles I meant to burn this winter. Is there still time to burn without a permit? What can I burn? A: The answer to your scenario depends on the snow cover. Burning permits are not required when there is at least 3 inches of continuous snow cover to prevent spread of the fire. Keep in mind that during the spring melt, nearby trees may already be drying out and more flammable.
Q: I raised some turkeys that I purchased as poults from the local feed store. The kids had fun and we ate one, but they are getting too big and aggressive to keep. Can I release them? They look and act like wild turkeys. A: No. It is against the law to release a domestically raised wild turkey or wild turkey hybrids without a permit.
Q: Are there any special or area-specific regulations for fishing for trout near the Lake Superior tributary rivers? A: Yes, there are certain regulations pertaining just to these rivers and their mouths in the lake.
Q: The snow has melted off of the Grant-in-Aid/Club snowmobile trail near my house, and I want to take the trail to a fishing spot on my ATV. Am I allowed to ride the trail on the wheeler now that the snow is gone? A: No. Grant-In-Aid snowmobile trails are established through a network of easements obtained from landowners who allow the trail to cross their land for a specified purpose and a specified time. In many situations, these easements have been obtained allowing only the operation of snowmobiles on the trail corridor.
Q: As an outdoors person, I have noticed in Wisconsin as well as Minnesota that sometimes people post their property with "No Hunting" signs. What does "No Hunting" legally mean? A: As an enforcement officer, I have seen a myriad of land postings from "Do Not Enter" to "No Hunting," "No Trespassing" and "Stay Out." Each of these signs seems to convey a similar message, that people outside the property are not welcome. Some more-specific signs prohibit a specific activity, while others push for privacy.
Q: When does my fishing license expire? A: Minnesota angling licenses and trout stamps all expired on Feb. 28. Before you go fishing, make sure to purchase a 2018 fishing license, and trout stamp if that applies to the waters you fish. Licenses are available through the DNR License Center in St. Paul, at ELS license vendors statewide, or online at dnr.state.mn.us. If you are a holder of a lifetime license, now is the time to go to an ELS vendor to get your annual free printout.
Q: I heard the deadline for removing permanent ice houses from lakes is coming up soon. What is the deadline and why is there one? A: Minnesota state law imposes a deadline for ice house removal based on normal or expected deterioration of ice conditions, and reasonable expectations for an angler to be able to remove their shelter before the ice becomes too unstable or the house ends up in the lake.
Q: I buy a Minnesota ski pass most years, but not always at the beginning of the year. Do I need to purchase it before I ski on a grant-in-aid or state park trail, or just once a year? A: Much like a driver's license or fishing license, a person skiing on a state park, state forest or grant-in-aid cross country ski trail in Minnesota must have their ski pass purchased before skiing, and carry it with them when on the trails. Failure to obtain and possess a ski pass is punishable by citation and fine.
Q: My friend and I deer hunt on the same property. He is a Native American and I am not. He can legally hunt over a bait pile whereas I can't. How far away from his stand is it legal for me to hunt? A: Minnesota's law restricting the use of bait for deer hunting says that a person "may not take deer with the aid or use of bait." A definitive distance is not established by law because the influence on a deer's movement will vary in different settings.