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Minnesota Government Shutdown Leaves Anglers Without Fishing Licenses

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July 05, 2011

Minnesota Government Shutdown Leaves Anglers Without Fishing Licenses

By Chad Love

--Chad Love

If you're about to embark on that epic "Minnesota Fishing Safari" you've been dreaming of for years, you better hope you got your fishing license early. Otherwise, you may be facing an ethical conundrum: should you fish illegally if there's no one there to check your license?
 
From this story on northlandnewscenter.com:
If you call a Minnesota DNR phone line these days, you're likely to be directed to an automated voicemail message telling you to call back once the government reaches a compromise. Many Fourth of July anglers were surprised to get that message over the big holiday weekend. Those who didn't get the chance to purchase a fishing license before the government shut down are now facing a decision. Should they fish illegally or forgo fishing to enjoy other recreational activities?

"We're not going to have the opportunity, and we are four and a half hours from the cities so, hopefully we will get back soon, but this is definitely a bit of a downer for the week of the fourth," Rich Doyle, an Edina resident vacationing at the Timber Trail Lodge in Ely resident said. One Ely resort owner who has a lot of out of town visitors says he's having to deal with a lot of questions about whether the DNR is enforcing legal fishing requirements during the shutdown. "Everyone just wants to know what they need to do to abide by the rules," Bill Forsberg, Owner of Timber Trail Lodge said. "They ask a lot of questions that we can't answer in terms of enforcement. I think overall, its just been a feeling of what can we do to make this as easy on them and on us as possible, so they've been pretty understanding."

So what would you do in that situation?

Comments (31)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Wonder if the voters are getting it? I'd be on the side of how govt revenue is created, and not on how our economy is shrinking, business leaving, and jobs lost.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I'd go fishing. It would take a monumental prick to give you a ticket for not having the license as long as other regs were being followed. Even if you were ticketed I would bet you could get it dismissed before even going to court.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I'd go fishing. It would take a monumental prick to give you a ticket for not having the license as long as other regs were being followed. Even if you were ticketed I would bet you could get it dismissed before even going to court.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Call the local warden for a free pass. If no pass is issued go home.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tpbesone wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Sounds like free fishing weekend to me. I live in MN but luckily I already had my fishing license so this issue didn't come up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I live in MN and have had my license for 3 months now. If you didn't have the foresight to pick one up before the shutdown, I doubt you're intelligent enough to operate a boat or avoid walking through the hole I'm fishing, and I don't want you out there anyways. This shutdown was not a surprise, so if you're fishing without a license, you're breaking the law. Bottom line.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from scj289 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I would say if there is no functioning government to pay for a license then it isn't the people on that decided to vacation to MN's fault they can't pay for a license. I am guessing they would still be paying taxes just the same for their purchases. Maybe MN should get better elected officials that will keep the revenue coming instead of bickering so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Fish on. The DNR employees likely are furloughed. If not, be sure to tell the DNR officer where you tried to buy the license, when you tried, and the result. Offer to buy one from him.

If you get a ticket, raise the "impossibility" defense with the judge. I was not violating the law as it was impossible to comply on the date of the offense.

If not, hire the tot mom's lawyer.

Tight lines.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I'd fish in a state with fewer free-spending Democrats who caused the problem in the first place.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northernminneso... wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

What does not make sense to me or anyone else that I have talked to is that they are shutting down the things that bring in money. There is even talk of not having a deer season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

The talk of not having a deer season, etc. is a political tactic by the corrupt insiders to get you to open your wallet. In New York, the teachers pull that stunt every time there's a school budget cut. Well, we'll have to cut football, and all extracurriculars, etc. The state legislators do the same stunt with popular moneymakers. Well, well have to close the state parks, including those that are making money. It's a threat to get you to cave. Please don't cut football. Please don't close the parks. Just raise my taxes instead. Don't fall for it. Vote 'em out. All of 'em.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Right an IOU and get it notarized? I think the people this hurts are the tourists and tourist industries.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Aren't are politicians all wonderful lately? Serving us so well, getting so much done in our interest.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Shane...The best thought you could have, is...arn't the voters stupid that voted for big govt, deep debt, and now the folks get punished. It hurts the poor and the middle class just as I've been saying for sometime..but the fact is many voters will continue to vote for big govt. deep debt spending. Take a gander at NY, or California and try to visualize if you can, the deep cuts they have coming. And the cuts are always the wrong cuts right?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I don't think anyone voted for this...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thuroy wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I agree with northernminn. Why does a government shut down a revenue maker? Here in Michigan we have had short government shut downs, and they do the same thing. They should keep money comming in. I have two thoughts to this problem. The first is go ahead and fish. The problem with that argument, what if this goes on during deer season? Fish don't need tags, but have requirements. Deer need tags. So here is my solution. Come spend your money in Michigan.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from thuroy wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I agree with northernminn. Why do they shut down money makers for a broke government? I have two responses for the fishing delima. The first is to go ahead and fish. The problem with that answer is If it was deer season. I wouldn't say go ahead and deer hunt without a tag. Fish have size and limit requirements. Deer you need to tag your game. So my solution is come fish in the great state of Michigan! We have our problems as well, but we do have great fishing and you can buy a license.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

shane....What folks voted for was a shutdown!..hope you can get it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from turkeycreek91 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

id go fishin if the government is shutdown they cant do nothin to you cause they dont exsist is the way i see it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sdmc530 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

MN is a cluster to begin with. Who would write the citation anyways there are no DNR working anyways..however this is great for the SD tourism...thanks MN

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

DNR law enforcement is still in effect and all regulations must be followed during the government shutdown. Conservation law enforcement was listed as one of the necessary expense during the shutdown, albeit with minimal staffing and expenditures. If you have any questions about what will/will not be enforced during the shutdown, you should visit the MN DNR website. This will answer all of your questions, but the bottom line is that if you do not have a fishing/hunting/trapping/boating/etc license right now, you are breaking the law if you need to have one.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shutdown.html

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Being from MN, I can say that (just like many other states) the majority of the voting population lives in a rather small urban area (with few Representatives) while the majority of the geographical state is more rural (with many more Representatives). This is why we have GOP control in the House and Senate, but Dem control of the Governor's office. This is a situation where folks in Minneapolis and St Paul think they know what's best for the rest of the state, and they are getting a lot more push-back than they expected. Gov. Dayton wants to exclusively raise taxes, while the GOP is demanding spending cuts. We didn't "vote" for the shutdown, but it is a similar situation that the rest of the country may find itself in if the Federal government doesn't learn from MN's problems.

Terrible for the state and economy.

If you cant afford it, dont buy it, and expect your neighbors to cover your debt. Simple

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Yes you did! pete! Up to this point govt grows, and grows with more, and more spending primarily from the liberal side of the isle buying votes..Big city liberals in Minn. and St. Paul attract lots of money, and always cry for more for their social agenda. At this point in time high taxes, ObamaCare, and increased cost of business, has business moving out, pulling back. They can still be profitable, but downsize, laying off workers in this socialist governing environment. Cutting back dramatically is necessary, but has to be done. Look at the teachers. That is a huge union, and they vote in the very folks that cost them jobs, and the need to cut back. The free market world is cutting back on liberalism. Look at Greece and what is going on. Look at California and New York for two liberal catastrophe areas....and the pain and suffering will continue for the middle class and the poor especially...and I hope you get it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Sayfu-

I completely agree with you. Which is exactly why "I" didn't vote for it. I wasn't disagreeing with your previous post in the slightest, simply elaborating on the specifics of that state of the shutdown and the basic reason behind it.
With MN being home to a number of large corporations (Cargill, Best Buy, Medtronic, Supervalu, Target,etc.) we are only going to push these companies out if we cant give them enough incentive to stay. We need to cut ridiculous amounts of spending and stop burdening the tax payer for gov. mistakes.

Fyi, It's safe to assume that we share identical political beliefs, so cool it with the lecture (I had enough getting my Poli Sci degree from a MUCH too liberal school). No disagreement intended.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

On the same page..good post and good fortune to you Pete.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

be on the safe side and just follow the regs as usual.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chops wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

According the MN DNR 'website,' LICENSED anglers may continue to fish. If you don't have a license--you will be breaking the law and subject to a penalty--IF CAUGHT. From the sounds of it, chances are greater for getting caught on the more popular lakes, but to be on the safe side--There are four states surrounding that are Open For Business!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from peppeli wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

pete5645-
I agree. If you are fishing without a license, it is illegal. I also live in MN and have had my license (sportsman mind you, gotta get the bundle deal) since crappie fishing. If the weekend of the fourth is the first time you plan to get on the water I feel bad for you because you have missed a lot of good fishing. And like you said pete, we seen it coming, most gas stations were full of people in line buying them on Thursday the day before the shutdown. People had time to buy them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakedoog wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Here is what your state economy is losing..... I am an out of stater who has fished around Ely for the last 30 years. I generally fill my truck up 3-4 while in MN times total of $300, Bait shop stops for tackle and bait, $120, 3 out of state licenses, $120, eating out for 5 days, $450. Call it $1000 for the 5 days I would have been there. This is probably a low guesstimate by the way. And to answer those who say I should have bought a license earlier..... I didn't have any idea there was a shutdown in MN. There are a lot like me. Hope its worth it to you and your legislators.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nicolepete wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Laws are still being enforced and taxes are still being collected. WE didn't vote for the shutdown, government (both parties) can't figure out how to live within their means like everyone else has to. My advice, go to Wisconsin, where beer is sold on Sunday's.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lnghitr wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Since 1999 my family or I have fished in Minnesota always get my license in July when I am come up. I come up in January or Febuary to ice fish. I average each year about $4,000 spent in the great state of Minnesota, but this year I find out shutdown is almost certain to happen. I access MNDNR to purchase online license on June 28,29 30, but website shows me my information, I put my credit/debit tells me unable to process request at this time. So its my fault that I didn't get a license? I am bringing all my past license with to prove I purchase a license. If a state or local agency requires a specific regristration or license it must be available to be purchased or register any pertinent information. At least in Illinois it must be available, and we all know Illinois is more screwed up then Minnesota..

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I'd go fishing. It would take a monumental prick to give you a ticket for not having the license as long as other regs were being followed. Even if you were ticketed I would bet you could get it dismissed before even going to court.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Fish on. The DNR employees likely are furloughed. If not, be sure to tell the DNR officer where you tried to buy the license, when you tried, and the result. Offer to buy one from him.

If you get a ticket, raise the "impossibility" defense with the judge. I was not violating the law as it was impossible to comply on the date of the offense.

If not, hire the tot mom's lawyer.

Tight lines.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from thuroy wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I agree with northernminn. Why does a government shut down a revenue maker? Here in Michigan we have had short government shut downs, and they do the same thing. They should keep money comming in. I have two thoughts to this problem. The first is go ahead and fish. The problem with that argument, what if this goes on during deer season? Fish don't need tags, but have requirements. Deer need tags. So here is my solution. Come spend your money in Michigan.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sdmc530 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

MN is a cluster to begin with. Who would write the citation anyways there are no DNR working anyways..however this is great for the SD tourism...thanks MN

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

DNR law enforcement is still in effect and all regulations must be followed during the government shutdown. Conservation law enforcement was listed as one of the necessary expense during the shutdown, albeit with minimal staffing and expenditures. If you have any questions about what will/will not be enforced during the shutdown, you should visit the MN DNR website. This will answer all of your questions, but the bottom line is that if you do not have a fishing/hunting/trapping/boating/etc license right now, you are breaking the law if you need to have one.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shutdown.html

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Being from MN, I can say that (just like many other states) the majority of the voting population lives in a rather small urban area (with few Representatives) while the majority of the geographical state is more rural (with many more Representatives). This is why we have GOP control in the House and Senate, but Dem control of the Governor's office. This is a situation where folks in Minneapolis and St Paul think they know what's best for the rest of the state, and they are getting a lot more push-back than they expected. Gov. Dayton wants to exclusively raise taxes, while the GOP is demanding spending cuts. We didn't "vote" for the shutdown, but it is a similar situation that the rest of the country may find itself in if the Federal government doesn't learn from MN's problems.

Terrible for the state and economy.

If you cant afford it, dont buy it, and expect your neighbors to cover your debt. Simple

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Sayfu-

I completely agree with you. Which is exactly why "I" didn't vote for it. I wasn't disagreeing with your previous post in the slightest, simply elaborating on the specifics of that state of the shutdown and the basic reason behind it.
With MN being home to a number of large corporations (Cargill, Best Buy, Medtronic, Supervalu, Target,etc.) we are only going to push these companies out if we cant give them enough incentive to stay. We need to cut ridiculous amounts of spending and stop burdening the tax payer for gov. mistakes.

Fyi, It's safe to assume that we share identical political beliefs, so cool it with the lecture (I had enough getting my Poli Sci degree from a MUCH too liberal school). No disagreement intended.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Right an IOU and get it notarized? I think the people this hurts are the tourists and tourist industries.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Shane...The best thought you could have, is...arn't the voters stupid that voted for big govt, deep debt, and now the folks get punished. It hurts the poor and the middle class just as I've been saying for sometime..but the fact is many voters will continue to vote for big govt. deep debt spending. Take a gander at NY, or California and try to visualize if you can, the deep cuts they have coming. And the cuts are always the wrong cuts right?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from northernminneso... wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

What does not make sense to me or anyone else that I have talked to is that they are shutting down the things that bring in money. There is even talk of not having a deer season.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from turkeycreek91 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

id go fishin if the government is shutdown they cant do nothin to you cause they dont exsist is the way i see it

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I'd go fishing. It would take a monumental prick to give you a ticket for not having the license as long as other regs were being followed. Even if you were ticketed I would bet you could get it dismissed before even going to court.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from thuroy wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I agree with northernminn. Why do they shut down money makers for a broke government? I have two responses for the fishing delima. The first is to go ahead and fish. The problem with that answer is If it was deer season. I wouldn't say go ahead and deer hunt without a tag. Fish have size and limit requirements. Deer you need to tag your game. So my solution is come fish in the great state of Michigan! We have our problems as well, but we do have great fishing and you can buy a license.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

be on the safe side and just follow the regs as usual.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Call the local warden for a free pass. If no pass is issued go home.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Aren't are politicians all wonderful lately? Serving us so well, getting so much done in our interest.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

I don't think anyone voted for this...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tpbesone wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Sounds like free fishing weekend to me. I live in MN but luckily I already had my fishing license so this issue didn't come up.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from scj289 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I would say if there is no functioning government to pay for a license then it isn't the people on that decided to vacation to MN's fault they can't pay for a license. I am guessing they would still be paying taxes just the same for their purchases. Maybe MN should get better elected officials that will keep the revenue coming instead of bickering so much.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

Wonder if the voters are getting it? I'd be on the side of how govt revenue is created, and not on how our economy is shrinking, business leaving, and jobs lost.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

shane....What folks voted for was a shutdown!..hope you can get it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Yes you did! pete! Up to this point govt grows, and grows with more, and more spending primarily from the liberal side of the isle buying votes..Big city liberals in Minn. and St. Paul attract lots of money, and always cry for more for their social agenda. At this point in time high taxes, ObamaCare, and increased cost of business, has business moving out, pulling back. They can still be profitable, but downsize, laying off workers in this socialist governing environment. Cutting back dramatically is necessary, but has to be done. Look at the teachers. That is a huge union, and they vote in the very folks that cost them jobs, and the need to cut back. The free market world is cutting back on liberalism. Look at Greece and what is going on. Look at California and New York for two liberal catastrophe areas....and the pain and suffering will continue for the middle class and the poor especially...and I hope you get it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

On the same page..good post and good fortune to you Pete.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from peppeli wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

pete5645-
I agree. If you are fishing without a license, it is illegal. I also live in MN and have had my license (sportsman mind you, gotta get the bundle deal) since crappie fishing. If the weekend of the fourth is the first time you plan to get on the water I feel bad for you because you have missed a lot of good fishing. And like you said pete, we seen it coming, most gas stations were full of people in line buying them on Thursday the day before the shutdown. People had time to buy them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chops wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

According the MN DNR 'website,' LICENSED anglers may continue to fish. If you don't have a license--you will be breaking the law and subject to a penalty--IF CAUGHT. From the sounds of it, chances are greater for getting caught on the more popular lakes, but to be on the safe side--There are four states surrounding that are Open For Business!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakedoog wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Here is what your state economy is losing..... I am an out of stater who has fished around Ely for the last 30 years. I generally fill my truck up 3-4 while in MN times total of $300, Bait shop stops for tackle and bait, $120, 3 out of state licenses, $120, eating out for 5 days, $450. Call it $1000 for the 5 days I would have been there. This is probably a low guesstimate by the way. And to answer those who say I should have bought a license earlier..... I didn't have any idea there was a shutdown in MN. There are a lot like me. Hope its worth it to you and your legislators.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nicolepete wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Laws are still being enforced and taxes are still being collected. WE didn't vote for the shutdown, government (both parties) can't figure out how to live within their means like everyone else has to. My advice, go to Wisconsin, where beer is sold on Sunday's.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lnghitr wrote 2 years 39 weeks ago

Since 1999 my family or I have fished in Minnesota always get my license in July when I am come up. I come up in January or Febuary to ice fish. I average each year about $4,000 spent in the great state of Minnesota, but this year I find out shutdown is almost certain to happen. I access MNDNR to purchase online license on June 28,29 30, but website shows me my information, I put my credit/debit tells me unable to process request at this time. So its my fault that I didn't get a license? I am bringing all my past license with to prove I purchase a license. If a state or local agency requires a specific regristration or license it must be available to be purchased or register any pertinent information. At least in Illinois it must be available, and we all know Illinois is more screwed up then Minnesota..

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I'd fish in a state with fewer free-spending Democrats who caused the problem in the first place.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

The talk of not having a deer season, etc. is a political tactic by the corrupt insiders to get you to open your wallet. In New York, the teachers pull that stunt every time there's a school budget cut. Well, we'll have to cut football, and all extracurriculars, etc. The state legislators do the same stunt with popular moneymakers. Well, well have to close the state parks, including those that are making money. It's a threat to get you to cave. Please don't cut football. Please don't close the parks. Just raise my taxes instead. Don't fall for it. Vote 'em out. All of 'em.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 41 weeks ago

I live in MN and have had my license for 3 months now. If you didn't have the foresight to pick one up before the shutdown, I doubt you're intelligent enough to operate a boat or avoid walking through the hole I'm fishing, and I don't want you out there anyways. This shutdown was not a surprise, so if you're fishing without a license, you're breaking the law. Bottom line.

-2 Good Comment? | | Report

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