Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'm Confused

Is the MN Fishing Regulation Booklet wrong in regards to the legal date when bass fishing and muskie season opens in MN?

I just so happened to be looking around on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes website and I was looking at the topic of BASS and I clicked on the link about seasons and this is what I found:

Subdivision 1.Dates for certain species. (a) The open seasons to take fish by angling are as follows:
(1) for walleye, sauger, northern pike, muskellunge, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass, the Saturday two weeks prior to the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend to the last Sunday in February;

There is nothing written later about bass and muskie having a later date. According to my thinking the Statute is the State Law and holds more weight than the DNR's regulation if the two are in conflict, which they apparently are.

I've emailed the DNR a question about this, as well as my brother who is a freshly minted lawyer in the State of Minnesota.

Update: The DNR got back to me and in addition to the Statutes there are also "Rules" which apparently are also law, which are allowed to be more restrictive then a Statute or in rare cases if a Statute allows a Rule may be less restrictive. The relevent rule is 6262.0200A2 FISHING REGULATIONS FOR INLAND WATERS


Unknown said...

"(b) The commissioner shall close the season in areas of the state where fish are spawning and closing the season will protect the resource."

Sorry dude, I saw the same thing last year.

Basspastor said...

I think that takes a special dispensation like will happen this year for walleye in the far North part of the state.

Bass are not spawning now yet the season is closed. Bass usually are not spawning yet when the walleye opener rolls around and the bass season opens in the NE quarter of the State. It seems that the regulations both exceed and violate the commissioners discretion according to the law.

That "and" is a big AND that directly ties the commissioners discretion to fish spawning. If the word was "or" instead the meaning would totally be consistent with the state of affairs as they now exist. But the word isn't "or" it's "and."

It would seem this part of the statute gives the commissioner authority to close the season for fish with a continuous season. But I don't think the commissioner can do that because the law is plain and clear that the season is to be continuous for certain species.

Basspastor said...

I just remembered that even though bass are not spawning now. The actual seasons Statute closes the season for bass until the walleye opener.

Basspastor said...

Now that I have heard back from the DNR it all makes sense. Yes there is a contradiction between the "Rule" and the "Statute" but rules are inexplicably allowed to be more restrictive than a Statute and still be law. If a rule is less restrictive than the "Statute" has to authorize that authority. Personally I would think it should be the other way around. But bureaucrats are in the business of being dictators and petty tyrants, so this flaw in the system is hardly surprising.