Take a Kid Fishing Weekend in Minnesota

Catch some quality family time this weekend. It’s Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says Minnesota residents 16 and older can fish without a license if they take a child 15 or younger fishing on Saturday, January 15 through Monday, January 17.

The Minnesota DNR says residents can fish or spear fish for free this weekend. They suggest trying trout fishing as the winter season opens on Saturday and you won’t need a trout stamp if you are fishing with a kid.

Everyone participating should be prepared and practice safety measures when going out on the ice or being out in the cold weather. Remember ice conditions vary and there is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice. Always check on local ice conditions before heading out to a lake or river.

Authorities advise you check ice thickness every 150 feet. They advise at least 4 inches when ice fishing or other activities on foot. 5"-7" for a snowmobile or ATV, 8"-12" for a car or small pickup. A medium truck would need 12"-15" minimum.

According to the DNR website, white ice or "snow ice" is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Temperature, snow cover and currents all affect the ice. Make sure to carry ice claws or picks with you. Bring a tape measure to measure the ice.

Remember to dress in layers. Layers of clothing trap body heat between them. If it is really cold, the DNR recommends wearing more than one insulating layer. Don’t forget thick wool socks (avoid cotton socks,) and boots that are insulated and rubber-soled. Your toes should be able to move inside your boots. Mittens work better than gloves, They will trap the heat. Wear a hat that covers your ears.

The Minnesota DNR has a lot of fun tips and activities on their website. Visit https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/minnaqua/icefishing/index.html