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DNR Question of the Week


Recently, the state legislature made a change to allow open water waterfowl hunting for the first time in Minnesota since 1915. Why was the change made, and which bodies of water does it affect?


The change was made to provide a unique waterfowl hunting opportunity on a small number of lakes. Typically hunters in open water use layout boats, large decoy spreads and target diving ducks that often raft offshore. The bodies of water selected are large border waters (with the exception of Mille Lacs Lake) where open water hunting is already legal in the adjacent state or province, and disturbance to ducks will be minimal. The other lakes are Lake of the Woods, Lake Superior, and Lake Pepin. On the Mississippi River south of Hastings, hunters must be in partially concealing vegetation or within 100 feet of the shoreline including islands, which is consistent with Wisconsin regulations on this stretch of river. On all these bodies of water, hunters must be at anchor.