Can you or can’t you? That was the question people in Minnesota were asking about fishing without a license during the state’s ongoing shutdown. Some county officials claim the Minnesota DNR told them it was alright to fish without one, as long as you promised to purchase one if and when the state ever opened for business again. But not so, according to a statement from the DNR. In fact, wildlife officers are on the job and will ticket you for fishing without a license.

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I’m not trying to make Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources commissioner sound like a 6-year-old. The headline makes more sense in context with yesterday’s fishing headline. In that earlier story, Crow Wing County officials said that the DNR was telling people individually that they could fish without a license if they promised to get one when the state government shutdown was over, and they wanted the DNR to get the word out to more people.
_On Wednesday, the DNR clarified its stance, though not in the way tourist-dependent regions had hoped: No license, no fishing. The DNR does have enforcement officers working during the shutdown, the Star Tribune reported . But that isn’t stopping some fishing guides, who say they’re still serving unlicensed anglers.