Minnesota’s much anticipated fishing opener may be a week away, but Minnesotans can now “Go Fish” at their local lottery retailer. The $2 Go Fish scratch game is on sale at 3,000+ lottery retailers statewide and offers players the chance to win up to $15,000 instantly.

But the real hook is that lottery proceeds, through the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF), have been supporting outdoor recreation like angling for 30 years. Here are some of the ways ENRTF projects are making a difference:

Accessible Fishing Piers

Just in the last few years, nine new accessible fishing piers have been installed around the state to improve fishing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, including Duck Lake in Blue Earth County, Lake Koronis and Black Oak Lake in Stearns County, St. James Lake in Watonwan County, Maple Lake in Polk County, Bingham Lake in Cottonwood County, Hoot Lake in Otter Tail County, Lake Frances in Le Sueur County and South Lions Park in Chisago County.

Increase Golden Shiner Production

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Duluth Sea Grant are investigating new ways to grow more golden shiners—a popular but hard-to-find and expensive bait minnow used by walleye anglers—in an effort to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species from out-state importation.

Testing Effectiveness of Aquatic Invasive Species Removal Methods

Researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute in Duluth are testing the effectiveness of boat-cleaning methods to provide the Department of Natural Resources with a risk assessment regarding aquatic invasive species, and to provide recommendations for improving boat-launch cleaning stations to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Stop Starry Invasion

Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates in St. Paul is installing self-serve cleaning stations on public accesses on Minnesota lakes to prevent the spread of invasive starry stonewort algae beyond the 16 already-infested lakes.

Evaluating Minnesota’s Last Best Chance to Stop Carp

The University of Minnesota, in cooperation with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is studying and evaluating Minnesota’s last best chance to stop the highly invasive carp at Mississippi River Lock and Dam Number 5.

Identifying Chemicals of Emerging Concern in Fish

The Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa lead the first comprehensive study to determine if chemicals of emerging concern, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, are present in fish populations across northeastern Minnesota lakes. The study provided a foundation to determine what effect such chemicals have on Minnesota’s aquatic environment.

Loon Conservation

The Minnesota DNR assessed the damage that the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill had on Minnesota’s loon population, which helped secure a settlement to implement the Get the Lead Out campaign to restore Minnesota loon habitat.

Your support helps to make these projects possible. Thank you for playing your part.