Fishing and Hunting

A woman catches a large fish from a canoe.

NPS/Gordon Dietzman

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.

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
9750 Egret Boulevard, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
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
651 Lilydale Rd, Saint Paul, MN 55118
GPS: 44.919665, -93.121243
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
Snelling Lake Road, Saint Paul, MN 55111
Fishing Pier and parking: GPS: 44.885192, -93.183847
Boat lake launch GPS: 44.875411, -93.189991
Boat river launch GPS: 44.885543, -93.175151
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)
Hidden Falls Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55116
GPS: 44.905458, -93.190370

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.

Lake Rebecca

Lake Rebecca Park, Hastings, MN
474-842 Lock and Dam Rd, Hastings, MN 55033
GPS (for both fishing pier and boat launch: 44.747000, -92.859499
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 Boating and Canoeing. 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.


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. See the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge regulations brochure.

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 to purchase licenses at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.

Last updated: March 10, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

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


This is the general phone line at the Mississippi River Visitor Center.

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