Bowfishing Ethics – Please Read

By , April 8, 2022 12:30 PM

Bowfishing is one of the fastest growing outdoor sports in the USA, and as the sport grows we are seeing a few etiquette issues. The LLBA would like to educate bowfishers new to the sport, and remind current bowfishers of some specific regulations. We should always put our sport in a positive light. We don’t want to lose the bowfishing opportunities in Minnesota we have fought long and hard to obtain.
Here are things you need to know about bowfishing in Minnesota:
• You must properly dispose your fish……PERIOD! This is the number one complaint the DNR receives about bowfishers. Do not leave them on the banks, in the ditches, or at boat landings. Come up with a game plan before you shoot. Check with farmers (especially organic, mink and turtle), or bait dealers. You must always obtain permission to dispose of fish on private property.
• If you bowfish at night know all related laws. This includes setbacks for occupied structures (cabins/homes, docks, boats) and campsites/grounds; and total noise restrictions (generators must be no louder than 65 dbs). Keep your voice down as sounds (especially at night) can travel a great distances and can be extremely disturbing to non-bowfishers trying to sleep.
• Follow all boating laws regarding life jackets, navigational lights, and so on.
• Educate yourself or refresh your memory regarding laws pertaining to aquatic invasive species. Do not spread them to bodies of waters which aren’t infested. We all have an obligation to ensure the protection of our natural resources.
Please take a moment and visit the rest of the website to see all of the statutes, rules, and regulations pertaining to bowfishing in Minnesota. If you have any questions please contact any of the board members listed on the website.

We all have an obligation to represent our sport in a positive fashion. Be respectful of property owners and non-bowfishers. Give shore fishers plenty of room and don’t use your lights in a disturbing manner. Finally, help educate those who are not familiar with bowfishing. What you put into the sport today will ensure its enjoyment by future generations.

Brian Petschl
President, Land of Lakes Bowfishing Association