Fishing Licenses Could Be Gone On Thursday

By KBJR News 1

June 28, 2011 Updated Jun 28, 2011 at 7:16 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northlands NewsCenter) - The government shutdown and 4th of July weekend will run right into each other this year which could mean trouble for those who would be picking up their fishing licenses at the last minute.

"It is required for anybody wanting to fish any of the waters in Minnesota," said Jean Madsen, Customer Service Supervisor of Gander Mountain in Duluth.

If the government does shutdown this Friday there will be no state employees to process your fishing license request.
That's trouble for one of the biggest fishing weekends of the year. Fishing Associate Heath Steblay says that fishing licenses won't be had after Thursday.

"Fishing licenses fall under that area and it's important that people are going to get their licenses and get that taken care of before this holiday weekend."

Wisconsin residents Gary and Theresa Kauther, who know little about the impending Minnesota Government freeze, had a trip planned in Minnesota. By luck they got their fishing licenses in the knick of time.

"Well this was pretty much a last minute venture for us. It's my weekend. I get Thursdays and Wednesdays off so we thought this might be our last chance to get out of town for a couple days."

"But I just didn't think that we wouldn't be able to buy fishing licenses and if we packed up and came all the way up here in anticipation to take a weekend and go fishing and enjoy our little vacation and wouldn't be able to buy licenses that would have put a huge hinder on our vacation."

But beware, just because the DNR may not be able to issue licenses, doesn't mean they won't be out patrolling the waters as Madsen tells us.

"Conservation officers still will be patrolling. I don't know if they'll be issuing. I do know they are still going to be doing their job. They have not been affected."

No one knows if the government is going to shut down but just to be sure the DNR is encouraging everyone who may want to fish in the next few weeks to get their license now before it's too late.