New Regs for Mississippi River

Anglers will find a variety of changes in the 2020 Minnesota fishing regulations booklet, including new possession and length limits on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters of the Mississippi River. This is the first comprehensive update of regulations on the Mississippi River border waters in nearly 70 years.

The new border waters possession and length limits for most gamefish species went into effect March 1, and were developed based on decades of biological data, as well as substantial public input during 2018 and 2019.

“We’ve heard positive feedback about the changes from anglers who care a great deal about sustaining the high quality fish populations and the fishing opportunities on these Mississippi River border waters,” said Kevin Stauffer, the Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor in Lake City.

The new regulations for the Mississippi River border waters and Lake Pepin include lower possession limits, and changes to some length limits, for walleye and sauger, northern pike, channel and flathead catfish, shovelnose sturgeon, crappie, sunfish, yellow perch, and white and yellow bass.

The changes are proactive measures that will help both states manage the effects that changing river conditions, invasive species and increased angling effectiveness have on fish. Wisconsin has approved identical regulations that will go into effect April 1. Some examples include:

  •  Walleye and sauger limit has decreased from 6 to 4.
  • Crappie, sunfish, and yellow perch limit has decreased from 25 to 15 each.
  • White and yellow bass limit has decreased from 25 to 10.


With the exception of minimum size limits for bass (14 inches) and walleye (15 inches) implemented in 1990, possession and size restrictions for gamefish on the Minnesota and Wisconsin border waters of the Mississippi River had been largely unchanged for the last seven decades.

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