FISHING REGULATIONS & Licensing
LAKE OF THE WOODS and RAINY RIVER
Lake of the Woods is a border water, shared with the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. The Minnesota portion of Lake of the Woods has several regulations that differ from the general statewide regulations. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with these differences to avoid inadvertently violating any regulations. Make sure that you note the effective dates of the various regulations outlined in this summary. Regulations that apply to Lake of the Woods during the summer are different than those listed here.
Minnesota Waters Fishing Regulation Summary
Walleye and Sauger Lake of the Woods
MN Fishing Opener (Saturday two weeks prior to Memorial Day Weekend) – April 14
The Walleye/Sauger aggregate limit is six (no more than four can be Walleye). Walleye from 19.5 through 28 inches must be immediately released.
Only one Walleye over 28 inches total length may be possessed.
Rainy River and Four Mile Bay
MN Fishing Opener – Feb 28, same as Lake of the Woods
Spring Season… (March 1 – April 14)
Catch and release fishing is allowed during this time period. All Walleye and Sauger must be returned to the water immediately.
All Northern Pike from 30 through 40 inches must be released immediately, and only one Northern Pike over 40 inches may be possessed. The possession limit for Northern Pike is three. There is no closed season for Northern Pike on Lake of the Woods or the Rainy River.
The bag limit is 20 Yellow Perch per day, with 40 in possession.
There is no closed season for Yellow Perch.
Lake Sturgeon cannot be harvested from Oct. 1 through Apr. 23. Catch and release fishing is allowed during this time period.
See the “Canada-Minnesota” Border Waters section of the fishing regulation booklet for more details about Lake Sturgeon fishing regulations.
For a more thorough listing of all regulations that apply to the Lake of the Woods area, please see the “Canada-Minnesota” Border
Waters section in the Minnesota DNR Fishing Regulations .
Fish and Game Violations
If you witness a violation, please report it. Don’t let poachers steal your fish and wildlife.