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Council to consider bowfishing in city limits

The Austin City Council instructed Austin Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Kevin Nelson to draft an ordinance proposal for bowfishing within city limits during its work session Monday evening. The instructions came after resident Andy Majerus addressed the council Monday evening, based on a bowfishing request he made that was brought forward by Councilman Paul Fischer (Third Ward).

Bowfishing is currently prohibited within city limits, but not within the county.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, bowfishing in Minnesota can only be for rough fish, including carp, buffalo, sucker, redhorse, sheepshead, bowfin, gar, goldeye and bullhead. Some MnDNR bowfishing regulations include:

• Arrows must have a barb and be attached to the bow with a tethered line;

• Bow possession must be in compliance to local ordinances;

• From sunset to sunrise you cannot discharge a bow within 300 feet of a campsite or within 150 feet of an occupied structure;

• You cannot make more than 65 decibels of noise on the “A” scale measured at a distance of 50 feet from the boat;

• If you shoot a fish you have to try to retrieve the fish and your arrow. You may not throw it back in the water, leave it on any bank of any waterway or any access site or otherwise illegally dispose of it; and

• You may not bowfish in designated trout lakes and streams or in posted spawning areas.

The council will vote on the proposed ordinance once it has been drafted.