FMR signs on to petition calling for protection of native fish

Child holds a shorthead redhorse fish

Updated regulations can help protect native fish like this shorthead redhorse. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Winter)

FMR has signed on to a legal petition calling for the protection of all native fish, especially "rough fish" — a catchall term for native species that are less desirable to eat, like buffalo fish or freshwater drum.

Rough fish not only provide food for other game fish, birds and mammals, but are also important hosts for native mussels. All native fish are important to aquatic ecosystems, and preventing their overharvest ensures balance and a healthier aquatic community.

Given their value to ecosystems, these fish are worthy of protection from overharvest. But current regulations don't safeguard them.

The petition, drafted by the Izaak Walton League and delivered to the Minnesota DNR, asks for three main changes to fishing regulations around native "rough fish":

  • Create a daily possession limit, along with any regulations necessary to ensure sustainable populations of all native fish.
  • List the species by their scientific names. Presently, entire groups of native “rough fish” are listed by common names. This prevents confusion when interpreting regulations.  
  • Close seasons for any native “rough fish” species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern in Minnesota Rules until the species has recovered. 

The full petition

You can find the full text of the petition here. Other organizations that signed on include: The Sierra Club North Star Chapter, CURE (Clean Up River Environment), MN350, the Minnesota Conservation Federation and Friends of Minnesota Scientific and Natural Areas.

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