The Minnesota fishing opener finally arrives on Saturday, May 11, and as anglers throughout the state eagerly await that that weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources took the opportunity to release several Minnesota fishing-related statistics.

I always find it interesting to find out things like how many people fish in Minnesota, what the average angler spends fishing each year, who goes fishing, how many jobs fishing supports, and more.

The Minnesota DNR recently provided a wealth of stats that you can use to get excited about the upcoming season and, of course, amaze your fishing friends when you start dropping fishing knowledge on them.

They note that some information is from the 2022 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation conducted by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and others. A report summarizing the survey results for Minnesota is available on the Minnesota DNR license dollars at work webpage.

Time to hit the stats, which are classified into 3 categories.

Minnesota Anglers and Waters

  • 1.7 million anglers fished in Minnesota in 2022. Of these, 1.2 million were Minnesota residents while 508,000 were nonresidents, according to the USFWS survey.
  • About 500,000 people are expected to fish on Saturday, May 11, Minnesota’s opening day of the walleye, northern pike, bass, and trout-in-lakes season in 2024.
  • Minnesota has 11,842 lakes that are 10 or more acres in size, 4,500 of which are considered fishing lakes. Minnesota features more than 16,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams, including 3,800 miles of trout streams.
  • Although not every kind of fish lives everywhere, 162 fish species can be found in Minnesota waters.
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Participation And The Economy

  • Minnesota anglers spent 5.9 billion dollars on angling-related expenses (for example, angling trips, equipment, and licenses) in 2022, according to the USFWS survey.
  • Average annual expenditures per angler in Minnesota in 2022 were $3,600, according to the USFWS survey.
  • According to the American Sportfishing Association, fishing supports 28,000 Minnesota jobs.

RELATED: Walleye Limits Changed On 2 Popular Lakes In Minnesota


Who Goes Fishing?

  • According to the survey led by the USFWS, an estimated 26% of Minnesota residents aged 16 and older went fishing in 2022. A closer look at participation by race and ethnicity found that 21% of Black, 26% of Hispanic, and 27% of white Minnesotans aged 16 and older fished in 2022.
  • An estimated 38% of male and 14% of female Minnesota residents fished in 2022.
    Among Minnesotans who did not possess a fishing license in 2022, 36% expressed a future interest in fishing in Minnesota.
  • The most frequently reported barrier to fishing is lacking friends and family to fish with.
  • The purchase price of every fishing license goes into the Game and Fish Fund, a dedicated account that can only be used for fish, wildlife, law enforcement, and certain other outdoor-related activities.

Remember, you can always get more information on fishing in Minnesota through the handy Minnesota DNR fishing webpage.

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