Fishing license sales to Minnesotans continue to impress, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Individual resident licenses, for example, are up 36% over 2019, as of the Friday before Memorial Day. Similarly, combination fishing license sales are 24% higher and conservation individual licenses and conservation combination licenses are 32 and 31% higher, respectively.

But notable among licenses not selling at a fast clip this spring — in fact whose distribution is significantly down from 2019 — are nonresident 14-day married couple licenses; nonresident seven-day licenses; and nonresident 72-hour licenses.

These licenses are typically sold to tourists and others who are in Minnesota only a brief time — a category hit hard by the pandemic and widespread lockdowns.

Yet in what might appear to be a paradox, nonresident seasonal individual and nonresident seasonal married couple licenses are 22 and 16% higher than in 2019.

This suggests, perhaps, that anglers from neighboring states who occasionally come to Minnesota to fish chose this year to fish here more often. Perhaps some or all of these people were, or are, out of work. Or perhaps they simply wanted to get out of the house.

Finally, as further proof anglers are optimists who believe they can survive anything, including a pandemic, sales of resident lifetime fishing licenses are up 13% and resident three-year licenses are 83% higher.