Interest in the sport of bowfishing has increased throughout Minnesota the last couple of years and thanks to changes made by the Legislature their will be more opportunities for bowfisherman. For those unfamiliar with the sport bowfishng uses a bow and arrow to shoot rough fish. With the new law passed by the Legislature bowfishing enthusiasts will now be able to shoot rough fish all year-round. There are a few exceptions in that bow fisherman can’t bowfish in creeks, streams or tributaries. This is to help protect fish spawning areas.
The Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association was a leader behind the effort to allow year-round bowfishing. Most of the neighboring states allow it and now Minnesota will be able to provide those same opportunities. As the sport has grown in popularity over the years, it is now estimated that around 10,000 people bowfish. Bowfishers can kill only rough fish, about 80 percent of the kill is carp but species such as bullheads and suckers are targeted also. One of the biggest drawbacks opponents have had with bowfishing is that some fisherman do not dispose of their kills properly. Instead they leave them on the lakeshores. Brian Petschl the President of the Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association has said that it is imperative for all bow fisherman to take the time to figure out how they are going to dispose of the fish they kill. Petschl says he eats any gar he shoots and gives his carp to a local farmer, who uses them as fertilizer.
Overall this is a big step for Minnesota bow fisherman who will now get the chance to fish all year-round.