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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Fishing Forum :: Do you need a trout stamp to keep lakers ?
 
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Speckled
06/03/2022 08:39AM
 
Gopher - Appreciate the e-mail. That's about as clear as it gets. Written e-mail from the fisheries staff.


As it's in direct contradiction to what I was told...not sure what to make of it. Obviously either I wasn't clear in the way I asked it verbally or one of the two staff are wrong. Your e-mail and response are clear.
 
thegildedgopher
06/03/2022 11:59AM
 
Speckled: "Gopher - Appreciate the e-mail. That's about as clear as it gets. Written e-mail from the fisheries staff.



As it's in direct contradiction to what I was told...not sure what to make of it. Obviously either I wasn't clear in the way I asked it verbally or one of the two staff are wrong. Your e-mail and response are clear."



I'm just waiting for one of the other offices to respond with a contra-contradiction at this point. I buy the dang stamp every year because I do like to fish for rainbows and brookies, I'm happy to support the stocking fund, and it makes me feel safe in the event I run into a CO that sees it the way you described above.
 
arctic
06/13/2022 07:17PM
 
Just buy a trout stamp, because many released lakers die anyway. DNR fisheries are on a shoestring budget . We need to increase non-resident license fees like they have in Montana, Wyoming, and other western states to reflect the real value of our fisheries...
 
Pinetree
06/13/2022 09:41PM
 
arctic: "Just buy a trout stamp, because many released lakers die anyway. DNR fisheries are on a shoestring budget . We need to increase non-resident license fees like they have in Montana, Wyoming, and other western states to reflect the real value of our fisheries..."


The trout stamp money is one of the best programs the Mn DNR has with its very extensive trout stocking program.
 
uqme2
06/01/2022 05:41PM
 
I have some nicely framed Terry Redlin prints if you feel like dickering,
 
pcallies
05/15/2022 10:59AM
 
Sorethumbs: "Is it correct to say you need a trout stamp to fish for and keep lake trout on all Ontario lakes (Quetico)?"


I just re-read the regulations and no special stamp or permit is required for lake trout in Ontario.


FYI, Quetico is in Zone 5 if you want to review the regulations.
 
bobbernumber3
05/14/2022 07:45PM
 
Z4K: "Trout stamps cost less than a burger and fries these days ($10). Just get the stamp regardless!



Michigan rolled the cost of trout stamps into their licenses, making it impossible to buy a license without a trout stamp. Seems like a good idea IMO."



And Michigan licenses can be auto-renewable!
 
Pinetree
05/14/2022 09:55PM
 
schweady: "If you fish any designated trout lake or stream, you need a stamp. If you want to keep any trout you happen to catch in any lake or stream, you need a stamp.
"



100% correct and yes age 65 and older you do not need a stamp.
 
schweady
05/15/2022 08:57AM
 
Pinetree: "...and yes age 65 and older you do not need a stamp."
Read this in the regs just now. Is this new?? Or have I been donating $10 to the state for these past few years? Oh, well... I've been getting the pictorial trout and walleye stamps mailed to me each year, so I guess it's all good.

 
thegildedgopher
05/13/2022 07:17PM
 
If it’s not a designated trout lake, you can fish for lake trout without the stamp— but you do need the stamp to harvest fish.
 
martoonie
05/13/2022 08:01PM
 
Correct me if I'm misinterpreting the regulation.
As I read it on the MN DNR website a Trout Stamp is not required for a person under 18 or over 65.
 
thegildedgopher
05/13/2022 09:34PM
 
martoonie: "Correct me if I'm misinterpreting the regulation.
As I read it on the MN DNR website a Trout Stamp is not required for a person under 18 or over 65."



That’s how I understand it as well.
 
thegildedgopher
05/13/2022 09:39PM
 
egknuti: "If you fish for any trout you need a stamp. "


Do not think this is accurate. The exact language from the regs book is "Anglers need a Minnesota trout/salmon stamp validation and a fishing or sports license when fishing in designated trout streams, designated trout lakes, Lake Superior, or when possessing trout on waters that are not designated trout water."

Many lakes hold lake trout and are not on the list of "designated trout lakes" -- honestly probably the vast majority of LT lakes are not on that list. It's really all about paying for the stocking of stream trout in my understanding.

What a designation means
Designating a lake or stream as a trout fishery allows regulation of trout fishing seasons and methods and clears the way for restoration and habitat work to improve angler access and fish habitat. Anglers must purchase a trout stamp to fish these designated waters.




 
schweady
05/13/2022 11:06PM
 
If you fish any designated trout lake or stream, you need a stamp. If you want to keep any trout you happen to catch in any lake or stream, you need a stamp.

 
cyclones30
05/14/2022 09:28AM
 
schweady: "If you fish any designated trout lake or stream, you need a stamp. If you want to keep any trout you happen to catch in any lake or stream, you need a stamp.
"



This ^^^

 
gripper
06/22/2022 02:14PM
 
Any of you ever been checked by DNR? I have not.
 
shock
05/13/2022 04:23PM
 
is a trout stamp just to be able to keep stream trout or does this also apply to lake trout?
 
shock
05/13/2022 05:39PM
 
TY , i thought so but there was a time a person didnt
 
Pinetree
05/15/2022 09:59AM
 
schweady: "Pinetree: "...and yes age 65 and older you do not need a stamp."
Read this in the regs just now. Is this new?? Or have I been donating $10 to the state for these past few years? Oh, well... I've been getting the pictorial trout and walleye stamps mailed to me each year, so I guess it's all good.
"



I suppose 15 years ago new. I bought it a few years after because the trout program is one of the better success stories.
 
HighnDry
05/15/2022 10:42AM
 
dogwoodgirl: "Sorethumbs: "Is it correct to say you need a trout stamp to fish for and keep lake trout on all Ontario lakes (Quetico)?"



Does Ontario even HAVE trout stamps?"



No, they don't have the stamps. You buy an Outdoors card and a fishing license according to your interest (i.e. there are a couple of levels such as Conservation) which will set the limits on most of the species you'll fish for, if not all of them.


I'm sure you already know most if not all of the above, but here's a link to the Ontario fishing regulations and license.
 
schweady
05/15/2022 04:42PM
 
Pinetree: "schweady: "Pinetree: "...and yes age 65 and older you do not need a stamp."
Read this in the regs just now. Is this new?? Or have I been donating $10 to the state for these past few years? Oh, well... I've been getting the pictorial trout and walleye stamps mailed to me each year, so I guess it's all good.
"




I suppose 15 years ago new. I bought it a few years after because the trout program is one of the better success stories."

True that. I'll probably continue. (Although this year's pink salmon is no 1982 Terry Redlin.) I have enough to frame a nice collection by now.

 
Speckled
06/02/2022 09:28AM
 
I spoke with a friend of mine at the DNR Fisheries office in Finland to verify my understanding of the rules. I'd invite others to call the Ely Area or Gunflint Area fisheries/DNR office to verify. They're always more than happy to speak with anglers.


Here's how it works; Trout stamp is needed to fish designated trout waters, whether you are keeping or releasing. If you're on designated trout waters, you need a stamp.


If you are on a lake that isn't designated, but holds trout, such as the lake trout lakes in the BW, you need a trout stamp if you're intentionally targeting lake trout, regardless of your intent to keep or release. Let's run through a few examples;


Trolling a weed break in 15 feet of water in August on Knife lake for walleye - No Trout Stamp needed.


Trolling 25 feet deep on Knife Lake with a 1 oz weight and little cleo targeting lake trout on Knife Lake - You need a trout stamp (regardless of intent to keep or release)


Casting a shallow bay in June with a mepps inline spinner for smallmouth on Lac La Croix - No trout stamp needed.


Fishing of any sort on a lake that only holds lake trout (even if it's not designated), such as Kek - Trout Stamp is needed.


To put it simply - If you're trying to catch a trout, you need a trout stamp, whether you keep it or not is irrelevant.
 
Zulu
05/13/2022 05:36PM
 
In Minnesota you need a trout stamp for Lake Trout.
 
timatkn
05/14/2022 09:49AM
 
yogi59weedr: "I was under the assumption, that if I fished lakes like Snowbank that I did not need a stamp to keep lakers because it is not on the designated list.
"



Maybe you know this now? But the above statement is incorrect. To possess any trout in MN you need a trout stamp regardless of lake designation. You could fish Snowbank, but if you caught a trout it would need to be immediately released.
 
yogi59weedr
05/14/2022 11:13AM
 
10 4.
I know this now.
Is this a recent change?
I'm usually up on the regulations Thank you for setting me straight.
 
yogi59weedr
05/14/2022 11:19AM
 
1st time I've been wrong this year. Only 3 times last year.....so...... I'm on track....Bahahahaha
 
Sorethumbs
05/14/2022 01:17PM
 
Is it correct to say you need a trout stamp to fish for and keep lake trout on all Ontario lakes (Quetico)?
 
Duboly
05/14/2022 01:31PM
 
Double post
 
Duboly
05/14/2022 01:31PM
 
Double post
 
Duboly
05/14/2022 01:33PM
 
martoonie: "Correct me if I'm misinterpreting the regulation.
As I read it on the MN DNR website a Trout Stamp is not required for a person under 18 or over 65."



+ 1 True
 
dogwoodgirl
05/14/2022 01:45PM
 
Sorethumbs: "Is it correct to say you need a trout stamp to fish for and keep lake trout on all Ontario lakes (Quetico)?"


Does Ontario even HAVE trout stamps?
 
timatkn
05/14/2022 09:25PM
 
yogi59weedr: "10 4.
I know this now.
Is this a recent change?
I'm usually up on the regulations Thank you for setting me straight."



It’s been the case for as long as I can remember, but the assumption is common.


Wow…nice on only being wrong once this year…:) according to my wife I’ve been wrong 10x already today…


T
 
Z4K
05/14/2022 04:06PM
 
Trout stamps cost less than a burger and fries these days ($10). Just get the stamp regardless!


Michigan rolled the cost of trout stamps into their licenses, making it impossible to buy a license without a trout stamp. Seems like a good idea IMO.
 
yogi59weedr
05/14/2022 09:16AM
 
I was under the assumption, that if I fished lakes like Snowbank that I did not need a stamp to keep lakers because it is not on the designated list.
I plan on buying a stamp because I'm gonna fish Tofte.

 
egknuti
05/13/2022 09:33PM
 
If you fish for any trout you need a stamp.
 
martoonie
05/13/2022 10:19PM
 
Check on page 17 of the MN DNR fishing regulations.
 
plander
06/02/2022 10:33AM
 
Speckled: "I spoke with a friend of mine at the DNR Fisheries office in Finland to verify my understanding of the rules. I'd invite others to call the Ely Area or Gunflint Area fisheries/DNR office to verify. They're always more than happy to speak with anglers.



Here's how it works; Trout stamp is needed to fish designated trout waters, whether you are keeping or releasing. If you're on designated trout waters, you need a stamp.



If you are on a lake that isn't designated, but holds trout, such as the lake trout lakes in the BW, you need a trout stamp if you're intentionally targeting lake trout, regardless of your intent to keep or release. Let's run through a few examples;



Trolling a weed break in 15 feet of water in August on Knife lake for walleye - No Trout Stamp needed.



Trolling 25 feet deep on Knife Lake with a 1 oz weight and little cleo targeting lake trout on Knife Lake - You need a trout stamp (regardless of intent to keep or release)



Casting a shallow bay in June with a mepps inline spinner for smallmouth on Lac La Croix - No trout stamp needed.



Fishing of any sort on a lake that only holds lake trout (even if it's not designated), such as Kek - Trout Stamp is needed.



To put it simply - If you're trying to catch a trout, you need a trout stamp, whether you keep it or not is irrelevant."



Thats how I always understood it. Just like you can't fish catch and release for any other fish (Walleye, Northern, Bass, Perch, etc) without a fishing license.
 
thegildedgopher
06/02/2022 02:17PM
 
I emailed Tower, Grand Marais, and Finland fisheries offices. No response from Tower just yet. Grand Marais preferred that I call one of their CO's directly, which I don't really wish to do. I'm pressing them for an answer in writing. Interestingly enough, Finland responded -- same office that Speckled's friend works for -- and they contradicted his information and agreed with my interpretation. This person actually takes it a step further and says trout stamp not even required to possess LT, only stream trout. Here is my message:


Hello, I'm hoping you can clear up a question I have about trout stamps.


The regulations state on page 17 that "...anglers need a trout/salmon stamp validation and a fishing or sports license when fishing in designated trout streams, designated trout lakes, Lake superior, or when possessing trout on waters that are not designated trout waters."


Since "possession" is clearly defined on page 32 as a fish that is "caught and kept," my interpretation of this is that a licensed angler without a trout stamp can fish for Lake Trout on a lake that is not a "designated trout lake" (in other words, the lake is NOT on this list) as long as the trout are released and not harvested.


My friend disagrees with me. He says a fisheries employee told him that you need a trout stamp even to target Lake Trout for catch & release fishing on a non-designated trout lake. This seems to directly contradict the language from the regulations book, in which everything hinges around "possession" and not "targeting."


He also was told that if a lake holds ONLY lake trout (Kekekabic was the example used), even if it is not a "designated trout lake," a trout stamp is required. Again, this seems to contradict the language in the regulations book.


Can you please clarify this for us, preferably with specific citations from the regulations?


Thank you!


-- and the response from Kevin Mott, assistant area fisheries supervisor:


Thanks for the question. We’d rather have people ask us in the Fisheries office versus explain what they were thinking to a Conservation Office on the lake. I’ll do my best at explaining.


Your interpretation of the rules are correct.


“Designated Trout Lakes” are stocked with trout annually, or regularly, and are identified in statue (the list you reference in your email). Most of these lakes are stocked with stream trout species like Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, or Splake. Maintaining these fisheries is costly since we raise the fish in hatcheries in southern Minnesota and transport them to northern Minnesota to be stocked into lakes that can support trout each year. These lakes were designated and have been managed for trout because they would otherwise not have a game fish population for anglers. That is why a trout stamp is required to fish on these lakes and to possess the fish that are caught. Specific limits are on page 24 and 25 of the regulation book. (FYI, most streams that support trout are on the designated trout waters list too).


An angler does not need a trout stamp to fish for, or possess Lake Trout in most lakes they occur. The only time an angler would need a trout stamp to fish for, or possess Lake Trout is on a “Designated Trout Lake” or Lake Superior. Most lakes with Lake Trout either have naturally reproducing populations or are managed through supplemental stocking (similar to Walleye lakes in other parts of the state) and ARE NOT DESIGNATED TROUT LAKES. That is why the season and possession limit for Lake Trout is found on page 23 with all the other species that are covered with an angling license. So, an angler could fish for and keep Lake Trout within their possession limit on Kekekabic.


There are a few lakes in the state that are stocked with stream trout species, but not on the designated list. These are two-story fisheries with cool water fisheries for something like Walleye with enough cold, well oxygenated water to support trout. On these lakes an angler doesn’t need a trout stamp to fish, but would need one if they wanted to possess at stream trout to harvest.


So, an angler needs a trout stamp to fish on waterbodies listed as Designated Trout Waters (lakes and streams) and Lake Superior. Anglers must also have one to possess/harvest any STREAM TROUT SPECIES (Brook, Brown, Rainbow, Splake) in ANY lake.


I hope this helps. Let us know if we generated more questions than answers.


Kevin


MNDNR – Fisheries


Finland Area Office
 
Pinetree
06/13/2022 09:44PM
 
yogi59weedr: "10 4.
I know this now.
Is this a recent change?
I'm usually up on the regulations Thank you for setting me straight."



About 20 years ago they changed it.
 
Pinetree
06/22/2022 02:39PM
 
gripper: "Any of you ever been checked by DNR? I have not."
yes and very friendly
 
yogi59weedr
06/22/2022 11:34PM
 
I've been checked maybe 8 times. I always expect to get checked.
Welcome it. In 63 years I've never been out of pocket.
Don't plan on starting now.