Other aquatic species

The following regulations apply to the taking and possession of mussels (clams), crayfish, frogs, minnows, leeches, and turtles for
personal or commercial use.

Wild animals may not be taken from infested waters, except for bait for personal use from waters that are designated as infested waters solely because they contain Eurasian watermilfoil, and for commercial use by permit.

Mussels (Clams)
• 25 of Minnesota’s 48 species of mussels are protected under the state’s endangered species law. Whole mussels or parts, including shells, of protected species may not be taken or possessed except with a DNR permit. Do not disturb mussels unless you are able to distinguish between protected and other mussel species.

• Except as note above, any person permitted by law to take fish may take and possess up to 24 whole or 48 shell halves of dead mussels (clams) if the harvesting is done by hand. No live mussels or clams may be harvested or sold.

• The open season for mussel (clam) shell harvest is May 16, 2003
through February 29, 2004.

• The commercial harvest of mussels requires a permit.

• It is illegal to take any live mussel or empty mussel shell from the St. Croix River, which is a unit of the National Park Service.

• Zebra mussels are illegal to possess.

Crayfish
• Licensed anglers and children under 16 may take and possess up to 25 pounds of crayfish for personal use.

• The crayfish season is April 1 through November 30.

• Crayfish cannot be sold as bait.

• Importing live crayfish or eggs is prohibited except with a DNR permit.

• Crayfish may be used as bait in the body of water where they are captured.

• Crayfish cannot be transferred from one body of water to another except with a DNR permit*.

• The commercial harvest of crayfish requires a DNR permit.

• A permit is needed to sell crayfish for aquarium use.

Frogs
• Licensed anglers and children under age 16 may take, use, buy, and sell an unlimited number of frogs for bait only from May 16, 2003 to March 31, 2004. The overall maximum length (with legs outstretched) of frogs shall not exceed six inches.

• A frogging license is required to take frogs for purposes other than bait.

Minnows and Leeches
• Licensed anglers may take minnows or leeches for their own use with dip nets, traps, or seines. However, seines may not be over 25 feet long or more than 148 meshes deep with 1¼ 4-inch bar measure, or more than 197 meshes deep with 3/16-inch bar measure. For traps, width and length may not exceed 30 inches, height may not exceed 15 inches, the diameter or width of the opening may not exceed 1-1/2 inches, and mesh size may not exceed 1¼ 2 inch bar measure. Traps must have a waterproof tag bearing the name and address of the owner.

• Minnows or leeches may not be taken from designated trout waters except with a DNR permit.

• Unwanted minnows and leeches cannot be dumped in the water.

• Live carp may not be transported or used as bait.

• DNR commercial licenses are required in order to sell minnows or leeches, either wholesale or retail, or to possess more than 24 dozen minnows or leeches.

• Only licensed minnow exporters may export minnows and leeches.

• Game fish (including perch and sunfish of any size) or parts of game fish may not be used for bait.

• Minnows and leeches taken from infested waters may only be used for fishing at the body of water where taken.

• It is illegal to bring live minnows and leeches into Minnesota without a permit and to use imported live minnows and leeches for bait in Minnesota waters.

Turtles
• Resident anglers and children under 16 may take, possess, and transport turtles for personal use.

• Turtles may not be sold or bought for resale without a turtle license. Retail customers do not need a license.

• Turtles may be taken by angling, bow and arrow, spearing, turtle hooks, and hand under an angling license.

• A person with a recreational turtle license may use up to three turtle traps.

• The snapping turtle possession limit is three. Minimum size limit is 10 inches measured side to side across the shell at midpoint. Snapping turtles may not be taken during May and June.

• Blanding’s turtles and wood turtles are threatened species and may not be taken or possessed except with a DNR permit.

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