Save Your Bait, Save Our Lakes

As the weather gets colder, ice anglers are gearing up for the winter fishing action. While you are packing up all the equipment you will need for the fishing trip, don’t forget your bait. While there are many types of bait on the market now, many anglers still prefer live bait over many others. The question is, what do you do with your bait after your fishing trip is over? Do you dump it in the trash, dump it in the lake, or let it freeze on the ice? There are many ways to dispose of live bait after the fishing trip is over. Some humane, some help others, and some are illegal. Did you know it is illegal to release live bait into Minnesota waters? There is a hefty fine attached, so instead of releasing live bait into the fishing hole, consider some other options: take bait home to reuse for a future trip, give it to another angler to use, or throw them away in the trash. By releasing live bait into Minnesota waters, you could be spreading aquatic invasive species into the environment. Invasive carp can often be used for common fishing bait and can be spread by anglers when they release their minnows into the water. Crayfish is another fishing bait that can also be invasive and cause problems with our lakes. There are a couple species of Crayfish that are invasive and causing fish habitat problems here in Minnesota. Join many others by helping save our lakes from invasive species by not releasing your live bait into our valued Minnesota waters.


— This article was submitted by Jessica Abarca, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator, Anoka County Parks

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