The Fisheries Section was created at the end of 1946 to consolidate all of the efforts of the Game and Fish Division relating to fish. It combined the work of five of the division's agencies: Licensed Commercial Fishing, Rough Fish Removal, Bureau of Fisheries Research, Bureau of Fish Propagation, and Bureau of Stream Improvement. From 1954 to 1966 the research portion of the section was part of the Section of Research and Planning.
The Fisheries Section has had the responsibility for carrying out a state-wide fish management program in accordance with state laws, policies of the department, regulations, and available funds. It now operates under the direction of the director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Department of Natural Resources and its field force operates from 6 regional and 26 area offices. The regional offices are located in Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, New Ulm, Rochester, and St. Paul. Major activities of the Fisheries Section include: fish habitat protection and improvement; propagation and distribution of fish, including operation of hatcheries; rough (i.e., neither sport nor food) fish control; lake reclamation; and regulation of sport and commercial fish harvesting. The section issues permits for removal of rough fish, for control of aquatic nuisances, and to transport and stock fish. It also has a research unit which conducts extensive research to develop new management methods and improve techniques.