Fishing and Hunting

A woman catches a large fish from a canoe.

Things to Do

Fishing Introduction
Fishing opportunities abound within Mississippi National River and Recreation Area for both boat and shoreline fishing. The Mississippi River in the northern suburbs and further north is a nationally recognized smallmouth bass fishery with both good numbers and size of fish. Walleyes flourish below Lock and Dam 1. Floodplain lakes contain trout, panfish, northern pike, and largemouth bass.

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area holds fishing workshops during both summer and winter fishing seasons and provides programming for both youth and adult groups. If you are interested in a group fishing program, please call 651-293-8410 for more information about planning your fishing event. Use the links to the right to learn about upcoming fishing workshops. It promises to be an exciting season!

Suggested Fishing Locations

East Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park
9750 Egret Blvd NW., Coon Rapids, MN 55433

A great variety of fish may be caught at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park (east and west) including northern pike, carp, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, and catfish among others. Check out rip-rapped shorelines, especially on the outside bends in the river for smallmouth bass and walleyes. Pools and slack water will hold catfish, panfish, and northern pike.

Cenaiko Lake (East Coon Rapids Regional Park)
Rainbow and brook trout, smallmouth bass. There is a fishing pier on the lake. Check fishing regulations and seasons before fishing here; trout stamps are required in addition to a license. Entrance fee to park.

Pickerel Lake (Lilydale Regional Park)
Buegills, crappies, northern pike, members of the sucker and catfish family. Northern pike are fairly large but scarce. Bluegills run to the small side, but are numerous. Good place for children to fish.

Snelling Lake (Fort Snelling State Park)
This state park provides a number of locations to fish on both the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers as well as on Snelling Lake. Sunfish (bluegills, pumpkinseeds), northern pike can be found at the lake. There is a fishing pier on this lake. Entrance fee to park, but no fishing licenses are required to fish the lake.

Boat Landing at Hidden Falls (Hidden Falls Regional Park-north entrance)
Fish either side of the boat landing at Hidden Falls. Fishing can be very good here and is a favorite spot for many local anglers. For an added adventure, pack up your gear and hike the trail that starts near the picnic shelters upriver towards the dam. After a short hike you will break out of the forest and onto a gravel beach. Fishing here can also be good with catfish and other species available.

Rebecca Lake (Rebecca Lake Park, Hastings, MN)
Rebecca Lake has a variety of fish including northern pike (above average size), largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, bluegills, crappies, and stocked channel catfish. Shore fishing is available, but may be limited in some areas due to very shallow water or aquatic vegetation. Fishing pier is available.

Boat Fishing and Navigation
For boat ramps and walk-in water access, see the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Water Access Maps and Boating and Canoeing for locations. The Metro Area Rivers Guide by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is an excellent guide to boating the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St. Croix Rivers.

Hunting Introduction
Hunting opportunities within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area are somewhat limited as much of the park lies within a heavily populated metropolitan area, but opportunities do exist.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
3815 American Blvd. E., Bloomington, MN 55425
Waterfowl, deer, and small game hunting opportunities. See the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge regulations brochure.

Urban Deer Hunts
Hunts are held in selected parks to control deer populations, but the hunts vary widely from year to year. Check jurisdiction websites for more information: Ramsey County, Anoka County, Hennepin County, Washington County, Dakota County.

Other Hunting Information

Spring Lake Archery Course (Spring Lake Park Preserve)
Spring Lake Regional Park has a state-of-the-art archery course permits hunters to practice archery in a realistic environment. Fee.

Hunter Safety Training
Anyone born after December 31, 1979 must have a Hunter Safety Certificate to purchase a hunting license.

Minnesota Hunting Regulations and Licenses
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources locations, county and city license centers carry licenses as do sporting goods stores and bait shops. Some convenience stores and hardware stores also carry licenses. Find sources of licenses at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

111 E. Kellogg Blvd., Suite 105
Saint Paul, MN 55101


(651) 293-0200
This is the general phone line at the Visitor Center, which is staffed every day except Mondays. Please leave a voicemail if we miss your call and expect a return call within 1 day, often sooner.

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