Minnesota’s LakeFinder is angler’s best friend

By C.B. Bylander

Mar 13, 2019

Anglers who want to make the most of their Minnesota fishing trips should explore LakeFinder, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ web-based fishing tool. Loaded with lake-by-lake fish population information, stocking reports, contour maps and other helpful information, LakeFinder helps you find the kind of fishing you want.

Anglers, make the most of your Minnesota fishing trip and visit LakeFinder, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ powerful web-based angling tool.

The most popular destination on the agency’s website, LakeFinder features detailed information on 4,500 fishing lakes. Available in a desktop version and mobile version, LakeFinder is your gateway to lake-by-lake fish population information, fishing stocking reports, contour lake maps, fish consumption advisories and more. You can even buy a fishing license and download the current fishing regulation booklet from the mobile site.

Why is LakeFinder so popular?

Ease of navigation is a big reason. 

When you launch Mobile LakeFinder your first screen allows you to search for a lake by name or location on a state map. It will even give you a list of lakes close to your current location.

Once you have selected a lake you’re interested in, the next screen provides information on fish species present in the lake and whether any special fishing regulations apply. You can also pull-up a contour map of the lake, which appears on an aerial photo. This is a handy function because not only does the aerial photo-and-contour map show lake depths but also shows the locations of public boat-launching sites and the density of cabins and homes around the lake. In Minnesota, some lakes are very developed, meaning the lake is ringed with docks, boat lifts and houses. Conversely, some lakes are largely undeveloped, meaning long lengths of natural shoreline habitat. As a result, those who use LakeFinder’s aerial photo function can get a sense of their fishing experience before they even arrive.

Similarly, you can get a sense of what you will likely catch. That’s because LakeFinder provides lake-by-lake information on the size of the lake, its water clarity, the status of the fishery and specific information on the size and abundance of fish in the lake. LakeFinder also provides information on what kind of public boat-launching site to expect and the number of parking spaces available.

Finally, LakeFinder provides fish consumption guidelines that help people make choices about which fish to eat and how often. These guidelines enable people to reduce their exposure to contaminants while still enjoying the many benefit from eating fish.

So, if you have not yet used LakeFinder now is the time to do so. It’s a cool tool, and one that’s easy to use with smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. Visit Fishing and Boating in MN page to learn more how to get a fishing license in MN, find places to fish and more information. 

C.B. Bylander
C.B. Bylander
C.B. Bylander is a long-time Minnesota angler who has extensive fishing experience throughout the state. He is a former outdoor magazine field editor, daily newspaper outdoor editor and Department of Natural Resources fisheries communication specialist.