Fishing by the numbers: Cost of a guide, average length of a keeper walleye, and much more


We live in a world of numbers, and when it comes to fishing, it’s no different. We fish with 8-pound test line, measure the length of fish to determine if we can keep them and count dollars for licenses, minnows and jigs. We measure water temperature, check water depth and plug in GPS coordinates for favorite fishing holes. And, of course, we count fish. Especially if I catch more than you.  Saturday, 500,000 people — one-third of the state’s 1.5 million anglers — are expected to wet a line on the fishing opener. (What will those other 1 million anglers be doing Saturday?) Here are some fishing-related numbers you can count on:


Where Minnesota ranks nationally in fishing licenses per capita.


Minimum number of pores on underside of a muskie’s jaw. A northern has five or fewer.

4.6 million

Pounds of walleyes anglers harvest yearly.


Cost to rent a houseboat for a week at Ebel’s Voyageur Houseboats in Voyageurs National Park.

1 to 2

Minutes it takes guide Tom Neustrom of Grand Rapids to clean a typical walleye.

$400: Typical cost for a guide for eight hours of fishing, usually including bait, equipment and fish cleaning. The fishing stories and advice are free.

4: Minnesota counties with no natural lakes (Mower, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rock).

94 pounds, 4 ounces: Weight of heaviest fish caught by an angler in Minnesota record books, a lake sturgeon caught in the Kettle River in 1994.

14: Average number, in inches, of a typical harvested walleye.

17 pounds, 8 ounces: The state walleye record from 1979 that you’ll be trying to beat this year. Good luck with that.

67: Stocked urban fishing ponds in the seven-county Twin Cities region under the Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program.

400: Number of fishing piers, platforms and developed shore fishing areas on public lands around the state.

10: Most common lake names: Mud, Long, Rice, Bass, Round, Horseshoe, Twin, Island, Johnson and Spring.

244: Distance from Minneapolis to Ely.

6 a.m.: Time Frankie’s Live Bait in Chisago City opens on weekends.

240 feet: Maximum depth of state’s deepest inland natural lake, Lake Saganaga.

18 feet: Maximum depth of Upper Red Lake.

68: Number of years the Governor’s Fishing Opener event has been held. This year the governor, his guests and media will be at Lake Vermilion.

288,800: Number of acres of Upper and Lower Red Lake, the largest lake entirely within Minnesota’s borders.

132,516: Number of acres of state’s second largest lake, Lake Mille Lacs.

250 million: Average number of walleye fry stocked in Minnesota lakes yearly.

11,842: Number of Minnesota lakes, 10 acres or larger.

290: Miles of shoreline of Lake Vermilion — longest in the state.

80: Number of miles the Mississippi River flows through Minnesota.

$1,500: Average annual expenditure per angler.

162: Number of fish species in Minnesota.

35,400: Number of Minnesota jobs supported by fishing.

32: Percentage of state residents who fish.

6: Ranking of Minnesota among states with the highest number of anglers. ___


This article was written by Doug Smith from Star Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.