Thursday, August 14, 2008

Minnesota DNR Fishing Piers

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has three added three new fishing piers to Minnesota lakes this summer. They are located on Lake Isabel in Dakota County, Lake Preston in Renville County and Clear Lake in LeSueur County.
The fishing pier grant program, created in 1984 by the State Legislature, has led to the installation of more than 300 fishing piers, platforms or shore fishing sites statewide.

“The purpose of the program is to improve fishing opportunities. We especially want to meet the needs of children, elderly, people with disabilities and those without a boat,” explained Nancy Stewart, fishing pier coordinator for the DNR.

In most cases, the DNR provides the fishing pier (built by MinnCor industries) while local governments provide the accessible walkway/path, accessible parking space and ongoing maintenance.

For example, a DNR cooperative agreement with the city of Hastings resulted in the construction of a new pier in Isabel Park at Lake Isabel in Dakota County. Besides the accessible parking and pathway, the city provided an accessible ramp and gangway to the pier.

“People were fishing from the pier, and catching fish before installation was complete,” Stewart said.

The fishing pier grant program is quite popular and local governments have submitted 65 applications seeking funding. There is not enough money to go around, Stewart added, so some communities have done fundraising to make their project a higher priority. The Buffalo Lake Rod and Gun Club raised $10,000 for a new pier on Lake Preston in Renville County. With even more donations promised after installation, they will have paid for 90 percent of the pier, which is located at the lake’s public water access.

A community can also come together to form partnerships on projects, like the
Clear Lake pier project in LeSueur County. The DNR installed the pier and the county will take care of the ongoing maintenance through a cooperative agreement. The pier was funded by donations from the Waseca Hockey Association, the New Prague Sportsmen Club, the LeCenter Isaac Walton League and the Montgomery Sportsmen Club. This pier is in Clear Lake County Park on the west shore, four miles north of LeCenter.

For more information on the grant program or to find a fishing pier, platform or developed shorefishing area, go to

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