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Possession limit question.
Staff Team
Joined:
02/19/2008
From Bloomington
Posts: 3693
This came up this weekend and there was a difference in opinion and we could not find a definitive answer.

The scene is we were at the fish house and planned to be there Friday night through Sunday afternoon. The limit on Crappies is 10. Could you keep 10 by Saturday afternoon and keep fishing legally till Sunday afternoon?


You already had your possession limit.
Culling is illegal.
You could have a fatal attempt at catch and release. (not likely but possible).

So can you continue to fish if you have your limit?

The obvious choice is keep 9 and if you want a limit wait till Sunday afternoon to get "just one more".

Posted on: 1/14 16:25:30
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1331
This has been debated over and over and over again over the years.

I've talked to a few different folks from the DNR and the consensus from everyone is that yes it is legal to have filled your limit and to keep fishing.

The key reason why it is still legal is due to how possession is defined. Simply holding a fish in your hand or having it on your line is not considered possession. It has to be added to a stringer, bucket, livewell, etc for it to be considered legally possessed.

If you think about this issue a little further if simply holding a fish or having a fish on the line is considered legal possession then catching an 11th crappie would be illegal but it would also make catching the wrong sized fish illegal if you happen to catch something within a protected slot. Currently if you release that protected slot fish you're legal, even if it dies after release. Similarly if you release that 11th crappie you're also legal even if that fish dies.

Posted on: 1/14 17:04:08
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
01/05/2008
From St. Paul, MN
Posts: 2129
No different than just plain old catch and release once you hit your limit.

Posted on: 1/14 18:37:59
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
12/11/2011
From mora mn
Posts: 913
I asked a warden while fishing up on rainy river if I had my 2 walleyes already can I keep fishing. He said fish for a different species. Don't have to change way your fishing....

If looking for the legitimate law I'm not sure on that. But I would say legally your couldn't Target crappies anymore..

Posted on: 1/14 19:02:35
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
02/28/2005
Posts: 3161
Why would this be any different than fishing Mille Lacs for Walleye when there is no limit, and it is strictly C&R??

Posted on: 1/15 10:13:47
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Re: Possession limit question.
Staff Team
Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3646
Quote:

Bandersnatch wrote:
Why would this be any different than fishing Mille Lacs for Walleye when there is no limit, and it is strictly C&R??


My thoughts exactly

Posted on: 1/15 10:30:02
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
12/28/2005
Posts: 1331
Quote:

Bandersnatch wrote:
Why would this be any different than fishing Mille Lacs for Walleye when there is no limit, and it is strictly C&R??


Exactly. If official possession occurred the second you caught the fish there would be many new ways in which you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law...

1. If you already have a limit of that species
2. If you accidentally caught a bass while crappie fishing in the spring
3. If you caught a musky below the minimum size limit
4. If you catch any walleye on pool 2 of the Mississippi
5. If you catch and fish that falls within any protected slot

If you start thinking about all of those other implications than it doesn't make any sense that catch and release after you reach a limit would be illegal. If you have a CO tell you otherwise then they are either intentionally giving you bad info or they don't understand the regs. Either way if they were to ticket you for it there is no way it holds up in court. If you want to play it safe there isn't any harm in staying one fish under the limit, it will help you avoid a ticket from an ill informed CO which in turn saves you the time it takes to go to court to get it thrown out. However, it really shouldn't be necessary.

Posted on: 1/15 11:06:51
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
12/04/2008
From Detroit Lakes
Posts: 1650
I agree with nofishfisherman and others. Only caveat is the suspicion that you're culling. I don't know what proof COs would have to obtain to cite you for it. But if your livewell/bucket is at max possession capacity and you're still actively targeting that species, the suspicion is always there. Not saying it's wrong, but I would expect the questions. For me personally, especially on crappies, I always stay one shy if I plan to fish for awhile. Never know when that lunker will bite and you hate to break rules to take a trophy home.

Posted on: 1/15 11:50:14
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
02/05/2010
Posts: 178
Quote:

Bandersnatch wrote:
Why would this be any different than fishing Mille Lacs for Walleye when there is no limit, and it is strictly C&R??


The difference being is that it has a ďseasonĒ for catch and release. The same aurgument could then be made, if the season is closed, why canít you target them if you are just C & R?

I guess Iíve heard that you canít ďtargetĒ them once you have a limit, similar to what a CO instructed someone above to say.

But good question and email St. Paul directly.

Posted on: 1/15 11:57:01
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Re: Possession limit question.
LSF Member
Joined:
11/23/2015
From Minnesota
Posts: 621
What if you have your ten crappies. You continue to fish and for many different reasons a fish or couple of fish die. What are you going to do with it jam it back down the hole throw it on the ice to the birds. Pretend as if it didnít happen. You either have over your possession or wanton waste. I have always thought once a limit is reached you can not target that species anymore.

I guess I keep my 9 and take the last fish when I want to leave or I leave with 9 and donít worry about not having a limit.

Posted on: 1/15 12:53:47
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