The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is considering proposals to make it easier to fish trout and sturgeon, as well as to protect flathead catfish during winter. Among the considerations to simplify trout fishing:
-Open some lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties to winter fishing
-Drop the barbless hook regulation in southeastern Minnesota
-Extend the end of the fall catch-and-release season on all designated trout streams in southeastern Minnesota from Sept. 30 to Oct. 15.
-Allow catch-and-release angling on designated trout streams in some southeastern Minnesota state parks from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31.
The department is also considering the possibility of a catch-and-release sturgeon season on lakes and rivers not currently open to sturgeon fishing, based on the successful recovery of sturgeon populations on other bodies of water.
And because it takes years for flathead catfish to grow to trophy size, the DNR will consider disallowing the taking of the species during the winter.
The DNR is welcoming input from the public until Monday, Feb. 11.