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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Game and Fish Commission

Also known as:
Board of Game and Fish Commissioners
Active dates:1891-1915
Function: The commission was responsible for: protection, propagation, and breeding of game and fish species and varieties deemed of value to the people of the state; gathering statistics and making reports; and enforcing the laws enacted for protection of game and fish. It was in charge of the state fish hatcheries and was also responsible for the protection of non-game birds and animals.
History: The Game and Fish Commission was created as the Board of Game and Fish Commissioners in 1891 (Laws 1891 c9). It superseded and took over the duties of the Fish Commission which had been created in 1874 (Laws 1874 c109). The law also provided for the appointment of a game warden who would act as secretary and business agent for the board.

Although the name was not officially changed, it was referred to as the Game and Fish Commission after about 1911. The work of the commission was funded by direct legislative appropriations, the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, and the sale of confiscated contraband game, fish, and paraphernalia for the propagation of food and game fish.

The commission was abolished in 1915 and all of its powers and duties were transferred to the newly created Office of State Game and Fish Commissioner (1915 Minn. Laws Chap. 355).
Membership: The commission was composed of five members, selected by the governor for four-year terms. One of these was selected by the members as the executive agent and was given all the authority of the commission when it was not in session. Other employees and officers of the commission included a superintendent of fisheries, superintendents of the state hatcheries, and a force of wardens.
Agency heads: Executive agents: (none listed in legislative manuals, 1891-1896); Samuel F. Fullerton, 1897-1898; John Beutner, 1899-1900; Samuel F. Fullerton, 1901-1906; Carlos Avery, 1907-1909; H. A. Rider, 1909-1914; Carlos Avery, 1915.
Agency heads: Commissioners: W. P. Andrus, 1893-1895; Carlos Avery, 1906-1909, 1915; C. S. Bensen, 1897-1898; John Beutner, 1899-1900; William Bird, 1893-1898; George Bradley, 1911-1915; A. L. Cramb, 1899-1900; Jacob Danz II, 1899-1900; D. L. Durkin, 1913-1915; A. F. Ferris, 1893-1896; Samuel F. Fullerton, 1895-1898, 1901-1908; John H. Grill, 1907-1912; Robert Hannah, 1907-1912; W. P. Hill, 1901-1902; O. J. Johnson, 1907-1912; Uri Lamprey, 1901-1906; D. W. Meeker, 1901-1906; T. O. Ofsthuse, 1913-1915; Edward L. Ogilvie, 1911-1914; R. S. Rider, 1909-1915; H. G. Smith, 1901-1906; W. S. Timberlake, 1893-1898; Beecher Ward, 1903-1904; Fred Von Baumbach, 1893-1898; William W. Ward, 1897-1900; Joseph A. Wessel, 1909-1912; Alfred T. Williams, 1899-1900.
Record last updated: 09/22/2014

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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