Minnesota Fishing

DNR Fishing by the Numbers 


  • 2.1 million: Number of people who fish in Minnesota each year  
  • 1.4 million: Number of fishing licenses sold  
  • 25 percent: Anglers who target specifically walleye when they fish  
  • 88: Number of fishing licenses sold per minute during peak of sales 24 hours before the fishing opener 


  • 16 million: Estimated statewide walleye population of harvestable fish  
  • 3-4 million: Average annual statewide walleye harvest  
  • 85: Percent of walleye harvest that is naturally produces fish  
  • 1,200: Number of lakes in Minnesota with fishable populations of walleye  
  • 58: Number of walleye lakes with special walleye regulations  
  • 78: Number of lakes that provide nearly half the state’s walleye harvest  
  • 900: Number of Minnesota lakes stocked with walleye on a rotating basis  
  • 1880: The year walleye were first stocked in Minnesota  
  • 212 million: Number of fry to be stocked this year in 319 lakes  
  • 160,000: Pounds of fingerlings stocked by the DNR this year  
  • 17.8: Weight in pounds and ounces of Minnesota’s record walleye (Caught by Leroy Chiovette in 1979).   


  • 4: Number of fishing openers (of the last 54) in which a trace of snow was recorded  
  • 24: Lowest temperature recorded for a fishing opener (International Falls, 1996).  
  • 91: Highest temperature recorded for a fishing opener (Minneapolis, 1987)  
  • 1 in 4: Years in which measurable precipitation is recorded on the fishing opener


  • 43,812: Fishing-related jobs in Minnesota
  •  $2.8 billion: Fishing-related retail sales 








  • $4.7 billion: The ripple effect of fishing-related sales on Minnesota’s economy 

  • $1.36 billion: Fishing-related salaries, wages and business earnings 

  • $342.2 million: Fishing-related state and local tax revenues