A Massive Investment in Fishing

Rogers, Minn. — MN-FISH is proud to announce a huge success working on behalf of Minnesota anglers. As of today, Thursday, January 19th, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has budgeted $110 million to fund outdated hatcheries and public water access improvements throughout the state. The money will come out of the general fund—a first in many years—and through bonding.

“This is a great first step,” said MN-FISH president Ron Schara. “Now, the legislature needs to join with Governor Walz and pass this historic reinvestment in fishing.”

“This is huge news,” said MN-Fish executive director Mark Holsten. “The main goal of MN-FISH since it was launched was to work on behalf of Minnesota anglers and improve the quality of fishing throughout the state. From day one, several members of the state’s fishing community have volunteered to bring anglers’ voices to the state capitol through the organization MN-FISH, and it is working.”

Photo courtesy of MN DNR.

“It’s clear Governor Walz understands the importance of fishing and its $4.4 billion annual economic impact in the state,” added Schara. “Now, the question is, will our lawmakers step up as well to shorten the time between bites?”

Mark Holsten, former Minnesota DNR Commissioner stated, “Governor Walz’ budget demonstrates that he listens to and reacts to real challenges. This is a big first step to ensure Minnesota continues to offer great fishing now and into the future.”

“Today marks a significant investment in rebuilding our state’s hatcheries and public water accesses,” said MN-FISH Communications Director Steve Pennaz. “Looking forward, there will be a continued need for similar investments. This is just the launch point, but a very significant one.”

Surveys and state licensing statistics reveal that 25% of Minnesota’s population consider themselves anglers—roughly 1.4 million persons. Historically, Minnesota has made significant public access and fisheries-related investments, but that has not been the case over the last decade or so. Today’s announcement demonstrates re-dedication to a very defining aspect of what makes Minnesota such a great state.

2022 Minnesota Walleye Stamp.

“Fishing is a huge part in our identity as Minnesotans. Through this recent funding, the state recognizes the importance of reconnecting the public to that, as well as keeping our vital $4.4 billion angler-driven economy going,” concluded Holsten.

MN-FISH would like to thank the diverse Minnesota angling community for their continued support and voice in making these advances possible. Their engagement has been critical in our mission to keep fishing strong in Minnesota.

The Non-Profit MN-FISH Foundation was founded in 2018 by a volunteer group of dedicated anglers concerned about the future of fishing in Minnesota. For more information, or to join, visit MN-FISH’s updated website: https://mn-fish.com/.


MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition is Minnesota’s only non-profit organization formed as two entities in order to represent the interested of all Minnesota anglers and other stakeholders. MN-FISH Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit. Its mission is to restore, protect and enhance Minnesota sportfishing for present and future anglers to enjoy. The c-4 MN-FISH Coalition LLC was founded by the Foundation to become the voice of Minnesota Anglers before the DNR and state legislature on all fishing-related issues. To learn more, visit MN-FISH.com.