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About Minnesota Traditions

Minnesota Traditions is the marketing branch of the Mississippi Headwaters Board. Formed in 1980, the Mississippi Headwaters Board (MHB) works to protect and preserve the first 400 miles of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.

A joint powers board of Clearwater, Beltrami, Cass, Hubbard, Itasca, Aitkin, Crow Wing and Morrison Counties, the MHB is mandated by Minnesota Statutes 103F.361-377 to enhance and protect the natural, cultural, historic, scientific and recreational values of the headwaters region. To learn more about the MHB, visit

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A Minnesota Tradition

It’s more than milfoil and zebra mussels. It’s about keeping our fishing traditions and way of life in Minnesota unspoiled. From spring fishing on the Mississippi River, to the Minnesota Opener, to the last cast on a brisk autumn day, our Minnesota lakes and rivers are in our heart and soul. It’s how we live and what we dream of all winter. For generations of anglers, it’s a way of life. For many, it’s a weekend getaway “Up North” and for others it’s getting a little time on a nearby metro lake. For all of us, it’s the understanding and actions taken to keep our waterways free from what doesn’t belong there.

We all want our lakes and rivers to maintain their unique characteristics. Invasive species change your favorite water’s ecosystem, the structure you fish, the way you fish and even how you use the lake. We’re all on the same team and benefit from each other’s positive actions.

What can you do to help keep Minnesota’s fishing traditions intact? Two important things:

  1. Take Action. When trailering your boat, take the time to go through the CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY steps. If you see others not taking action, offer to lend a hand by showing them these steps.
  2. Share the word! Like and share on social media, including our accounts and posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The more like-minded anglers we have the better – all looking out for our best interests.

Explore the videos and links below and please take the time to follow the CLEAN. DRAIN. DRY. steps at the boat ramp this year. Our Minnesota fishing way of life depends on it!

Watch for Minnesota Traditions TV airing across Minnesota!

Changing Minnesota Traditions

Changing Minnesota Traditions is a program that features how passionate outdoor recreation enthusiasts enjoy our natural resources while being pro-active in ways to protect our treasured resources from foreign invasive species.

Spending time in the outdoors is a tradition in Minnesota, preserving these resources for future generations requires a few adjustments in how we use them. Our goal is to motivate and empower viewers to take ownership of our natural resources and provide viewers with knowledge and tools to share with others on basic protection strategies to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Invaders that will help future generations enjoy these same.


Al Lindner
“Our lakes and streams in Minnesota are truly one of a kind. Our state has so many unique bodies of waters – it’s amazing and we’re very blessed. No matter what species you fish for, and wherever you’re passion takes you, we have so many outstanding opportunities whether you drive across town or take an adventure across the state.
As an angler, it’s my job to do my due diligence when it comes to AIS. I take the time at the boat ramp to make sure I do my part and I’m not afraid to approach another fisherman who isn’t doing their part. We’re all lake owners in Minnesota. I encourage you to do your part at the boat ramp too.”
Ron Schara
“I’m very passionate and outspoken about our Minnesota lakes and our outdoor opportunities. While I’m not always in agreement of how AIS is sometimes handled, one thing we can all do is simply Clean, Drain and Dry at the boat ramp. It’s very simple to do and doesn’t take much time to do it. In fact it’s a routine for most of us.
Another step is simple planning. If you’re fishing with live bait, plan for what you’re going to do with it after fishing ahead of time. Until there’s a magic potion to rid our lakes of these unwelcome visitors, these are our best bets to keep AIS out of our Minnesota water.”
Chip Leer
“Being from Minnesota, it's easy to take our natural resources for granted. However, after fishing and traveling across North America for the past 30 years, I now understand how valuable our lakes really are to our way of life here.
As fishermen, the responsibility to take action on AIS falls on all of us. Doing our part to preserve the resources and protect our fisheries only requires a little planning and preparation. Set the trend, make it a habit and a part of your fishing tradition to Clean, Drain and Dry. Be proacitve by not only doing this with your boat and trailer but also clean, drain and dry your waders, landing nets, buckets, bilges and more. Most importantly, we need to spread this word like a good fishing tip, sharing with everyone you know and reminding those who are not doing their best to preserve our precious Minnesota la
Jeremy Smith
“Minnesota's lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs are rich and beautiful resources that belong to all of us. All users have a responsibility to protect these resources. Make it a habit to inspect you equipment before and after each outing. It takes 100% commitment from everyone using the water to prevent the spread of AIS.”


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