There will be no two-line fishing in the summer. No free fishing for 16- and 17-year-olds. No early duck season or special hunter access program, for now.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a wide-ranging game and fish bill on Tuesday that contained numerous controversial items, including special regulations on Fish Lake Reservoir near Duluth, where a state senator who pushed for the measure has a cabin.

The bill would have allowed open-water anglers to use two fishing lines and would have created a hunter access program that would have paid landowners to allow public hunting.

It also would have closed or restricted fishing on three lakes or rivers -- action Pawlenty said had no scientific basis. It even would have set the deer hunting season in southeastern Minnesota, something not normally done by statute.

The governor said that several provisions reflected "legislative overreach" and that legislators tried to set "arbitrary hunting and fishing management policy" that conflicted with Department of Natural Resources experts.

The DNR opposed many of the provisions.

Signing it would "condone an approach that establishes harmful precedent for managing our natural resources and undercut public confidence in the process," Pawlenty wrote in a letter to legislators. He said it also would accelerate the declining balance in the DNR's game and fish fund, which is funded by hunting and fishing license fees.

"I recommended a veto," said DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten. "It wasn't any one thing; it was the volume of them and the fiscal implications."

But Sen. Satveer Chaudhary, DFL-Fridley, chairman of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee and a chief author of the bill, said the veto was a blow to outdoor enthusiasts.

"I feel bad for Minnesota sportsmen who brought these initiatives to the Legislature," he said.

As for legislative overreach, Chaudhary said: "Sportsmen and the Legislature simply acted when the DNR would not."

Chaudhary himself made the bill more controversial when, at the 11th hour, he had a colleague insert an amendment directing the DNR to adopt special regulations for Fish Lake. He has said he thought the majority of the lake's residents wanted the action but learned afterward that they didn't. Chaudhary has taken public criticism for appearing to try to boost fishing on his own lake, but he said he did nothing unethical.

The financial shortcomings of the bill also prompted the veto, Holsten said.

Pawlenty said there was no evidence that a provision to allow anglers fishing open water to use two lines for an extra $10 would generate up to $2 million in revenue. Anglers buying tags would have had their bag limits cut in half and faced other restrictions. Holsten said he doubted anyone would buy the endorsements.

Those revenues would have helped offset the proposed $1.4 million "walk-in" hunting program, which would have allowed hunters access to private lands. Such a program, popular in other states, has been long-sought by Minnesota hunting groups.

Despite his veto, Pawlenty directed Holsten to develop a program, though funding remains uncertain.

The veto kills some provisions the DNR supported, including allowing the duck season to start in September instead of October. It also would have reinstated a requirement that hunters on ATVs step away from their machines before shooting at ruffed grouse.

"There were a number of things we would have liked, but none so critical that we can't wait a year," Holsten said.


Closed parts of the Mississippi and Rum rivers to smallmouth bass fishing until the third Sunday in June and closed fishing on parts of Florida Lake one month before the regular fishing season.

Allowed northerns to be speared on Cass Lake.

Boosted the fines for poaching a trophy deer.

Removed a 16-foot restriction for hunting stands on private lands.