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mountain-biking basics at Cuyuna Country SRA -
July 6, 2015
Experience the fun
of mountain biking during introductory programs on Saturday, July 25,
and Saturday, Aug. 29, at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in
Ironton, about 140 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Three I Can
Mountain Bike! sessions will take place each day, from 9 to 11:30
a.m., from noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
During the first
half of the program, participants will practice shifting, braking and
in a wide open
setting. During the second half, they’ll take a guided ride and
explore the single-track mountain bike trails.
Use of bikes and
helmets will be included with the $25 per person registration fee. A
Minnesota state parks vehicle permit ($5/day or $25/year) is also
required to enter the park. Children must be at least 10 years old to
participate and should be able to comfortably ride a bike on pavement
prior to attending this program. Anyone under age 18 must be
accompanied by a parent or guardian.
required and can be made online or by phone.
www.mndnr.gov/reservations (24 hours a day).
866-857-2757 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily, excluding holidays.
I Can Mountain
Bike! is part of a series of skill-building programs offered by the
DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. Other programs in the series
introduce camping, fishing, rock climbing, paddling and archery to
“If you’d like to
create some unforgettable outdoor experiences with your kids but don’t
know how to get started, the I Can! skill-building programs are
designed for you,” said Erika Rivers, Parks and Trails Division
director. “Minnesota has amazing state parks, trails and water trails,
and we want to spark interest in more families to get out and enjoy
The I Can!
programs are made possible with support from the Parks and Trails
Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy
Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25
percent of the three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only
be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide
information about the I Can Climb! or any of the other I Can!
programs, visit www.mndnr.gov/ican or contact the DNR Information
Center at email@example.com or 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between
8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
mussels confirmed in Fish Trap Lake in Morrison County -
July 6, 2015
Zebra mussels have
been confirmed in Fish Trap Lake near the city of Motley in Morrison
County, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Fish Trap Lake will be designated as zebra mussel infested.
On June 30, a
lake user reported a zebra mussel attached to a submerged tree branch
near shore in Fish Trap Lake that was later confirmed by a DNR aquatic
invasive species (AIS) specialist. DNR staff surveyed the lake
Thursday and found an established population of adult zebra mussels in
widespread areas of the lake. As such, this infestation would not be a
candidate for treatment. Treatment methods have recently been used in
other lakes with newly reported, isolated populations in shallow
waters. More detailed surveys of Fish Trap Lake will be conducted this
“Fish Trap Lake is
the first lake in Morrison County to be confirmed with zebra mussels,”
said Christine Jurek, DNR invasive species specialist in Sauk Rapids.
“This new infestation underscores the need for continued diligence in
complying with the state’s laws to prevent and curb the spread of
invasive species. Boaters and anglers need to be extra vigilant in
ensuring their boat and equipment are clean before leaving a lake
access, and to contact the DNR right away if they find suspicious
aquatic animals or plants.”
The vast majority of
Minnesota lakes are not infested by any aquatic invasive species, and
less than one-quarter of one percent of Minnesota lakes are known to
have zebra mussels. Likewise, most Minnesota anglers and boaters
follow the aquatic invasive species laws and do their part to prevent
the spread of invasive species. Under law, boaters are required to
clean weeds and debris from their boats, remove drain plugs and keep
them out while traveling, and dispose of unused bait in the trash.
When a report is made
to the DNR, the first step is to confirm that it is an invasive
species by obtaining the sample from the individual who discovered it.
Once identified, DNR staff immediately survey shorelines and lake
bottoms near the reported discovery site in an attempt to confirm the
infestation. Sometimes divers are used to search deeper waters.
these suggestions to anyone who thinks they may have made a discovery:
specimen in a bag or other container to keep it intact.
- Take a photo
of the suspected invasive species.
- Mark on a
lake map or GPS the exact location where the specimen was found.
- Contact a
local DNR office immediately to arrange transport to the office.
DNR regulations allow transport of vegetation and animals to field
offices for identification purposes.
- Email a photo
and the location of possible discovery to a local DNR office.
Unless it is a
sample being transported directly to a DNR office for identification,
Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any aquatic
invasive species in the state.
invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. Along
with the clean, drain, dispose steps required by law, spraying or
drying a boat helps prevent the spread of small species. To remove or
kill them before moving to another body of water, especially after
leaving zebra mussel or spiny waterflea infested waters, the DNR
recommends that boaters either:
- Spray boat
with high-pressure water;
- Rinse boat
with hot water (120 degrees for two minutes, or 140 degrees for 10
- Dry boat and
equipment for at least five days.
about zebra mussels, how to inspect boats and other water-related
equipment, and a current list of designated infested waters is
available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/ais.
Wildlife Drive opening July 18 at Roseau River
Wildlife Management Area -
July 6, 2015
27-mile “Wildlife Drive” through the Roseau River Wildlife Management
Area (WMA), 20 miles northwest of Roseau, will be open to vehicular
travel July 18-26 and the following weekends through Aug. 16. The
drive traverses wetland, woodland, brushland and farmland habitats,
providing visitors ample opportunity to see wildlife.
Roseau River WMA is one of the viewing stops along the Pine to Prairie
Birding Trail, which consists of 45 sites spanning a 223-mile corridor
from pine to prairie in the northwestern part of the state. These
sites offer some of the most spectacular birding in the state, along
with scenic beauty and friendly communities.
viewing route also cuts through the northern reaches of the Juneberry
3 wildfire, which burned an area in excess of 30,000 acres in October
The fire opened up stands of woody
vegetation, creating new foraging sites for birds and mammals and
improving nesting cover for a wide array of birds for years to come.
149 bird species breed within the Roseau River WMA. Yellow rails,
horned grebes and Western grebes are a few of the rare breeding
species found within the area’s vast wetlands. Along the drive you may
also encounter trumpeter swans, loons, white pelicans, sandhill
cranes, great blue herons, eagles, a variety of ducks and other water
birds, sedge wrens, yellow warblers, Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrows,
black bears, deer, beaver, otter, muskrat, red fox, gray wolf and the
Aside from excellent
wildlife viewing opportunities, the WMA “pools” offer spectacular
year-round northern pike fishing opportunities. Visitors typically
fish along the dike roads or near the water control structures. When
the dike roads are closed to motorists, visitors can bike to Pool 1
West or Pool 2 from the parking areas. During the waterfowl hunting
season only, motorboats of 10 horsepower or less may be used on the
Roseau River WMA.
The Wildlife Drive
can be easily accessed at the main dike road, located one and
three-quarter miles south of the WMA headquarters on Roseau County
Road 3. Only motor vehicles licensed for use on public highways are
legally permitted to operate on this road. Motorists are urged to use
caution due to narrow roads, soft shoulders, deep ditches and two-way
traffic. The speed limit on all WMA roads is 20 mph. Note that the
wildlife drive may be closed due to inclement weather or road
For more information,
contact or stop by the Roseau River WMA office to pick up a bird list,
maps, fishing regulations and additional information before your
visit: 218-463-1130, 27952 400th St., Roseau, MN 56751, or visit
mentored youth waterfowl hunts by Aug. 10 -
July 6, 2015
Youth ages 12 to 15
can apply for the chance to hunt waterfowl under the guidance of
experienced mentors on Minnesota Youth Waterfowl Day, Saturday, Sept.
teach youth the skills needed for safe and enjoyable hunting, and they
gain an appreciation of the interconnection between land, water and
wildlife,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR has teamed
up with Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the
Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club to offer the hunts, which will take place
in six areas:
- Hamden Slough
National Wildlife Refuge near Detroit Lakes.
- Southern Twin
Cities metro area locations.
Wildlife Production Area near Morris.
County private land between Fairmont and Windom.
- Private land
in Fergus Falls.
National Wildlife Refuge near Zimmerman.
must be received at the DNR central office by Monday, Aug. 10.
Applicants will be drawn in a lottery, with preference given to novice
hunters. Applicants will be notified within two weeks of the hunt, and
those chosen must attend an orientation on Friday, Sept. 11.
and an application form can be found at www.mndnr.gov/discover by
clicking on “Mentored Youth Waterfowl Hunt.”
DNR seeks comment on Solid Bottom Creek
Restoration Project -
July 6, 2015
Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comment on an
environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) prepared for the Solid Bottom
Creek Restoration Project in Becker County.
Solid Bottom Creek is
a trout stream in Becker County that is eroding a steep hillside,
contributing sediment to the stream and Elbow Lake. The DNR is
proposing to move the stream away from the hillside to reduce erosion
and improve habitat conditions for brook trout and other species. The
agency will take comments during a 30-day public review from July 6 to
A copy of the EAW
is available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/index.html. Under
“Environmental Review,” select “Solid Bottom Creek Restoration
Project” from the scroll-down list. A hard copy may be requested by
The EAW is available
for public review at:
- DNR Library,
500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.
- DNR Northwest
Region, 2220 Bemidji Ave. Bemidji, MN 56601.
Central Library, Government Documents, 2nd Floor, 300 Nicollet
The EAW notice
will be published in the July 6 EQB Monitor. Written comments must be
submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, to the
attention of Kate Frantz, EAW project manager, Environmental Policy
and Review Unit, Ecological and Water Resources Division, DNR, 500
Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.
Electronic or email
comments may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Solid
Bottom Creek Restoration Project EAW” in the subject line. If
submitting comments electronically, include name and mailing address.
Written comments may also be sent by fax to 651-296-1811.
comment on lock and dam erosion repair project -
Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comment during a
public review period, June 22 to July 22, on an environmental
assessment worksheet (EAW) for a scour repair project on Lock and Dam
1, located on the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Scour is the removal of sediment by
swiftly moving water, causing potential damage to nearby structures.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposes to repair scour
immediately downstream of Lock and Dam 1 to ensure the lock and dam’s
structural integrity. The repair would involve placing about 14,000
cubic yards of rock below the water surface along the width of the dam
and up to 150 feet downstream. An estimated three acres south of the
dam would be impacted by the project. There would be two acres of rock
fill and about one acre of temporary disturbance.
A copy of the EAW
is available online at www.mndnr.gov/input. Under “Environmental
Review,” select “Lock and Dam 1 Scour Repair” from the scroll-down
list. A hard copy may be requested by calling 651-259-5082.
A copy is also
- DNR Library,
500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.
- DNR Central
Region, 1200 Warner Road, St. Paul 55106.
Central Library, Government Documents, 2nd Floor, 300 Nicollet
Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1992.
The notice will be
published in the June 22 EQB Monitor. Written comments must be
submitted no later than 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22 to the
attention of Kate Frantz, EAW project manager, Environmental Review
Unit, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, 500 Lafayette Road,
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.
Electronic or email
comments may be sent to email@example.com with “Lock
and Dam 1” in the subject line. If submitting comments electronically,
include your name and mailing address. Written comments may also be
sent by fax to 651-296-1811.
Annual list of potential timber
harvest sites available for review -
The annual list of
potential timber harvest sites on state-administered forest land is
now available for public review, according to the Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources. Comments will be accepted until July 17.
The list of
potential harvest sites is for fiscal year 2016, which begins July 1
and ends June 30, 2016.
DNR field staff
will examine nearly 2,600 forest stands on 58,000 acres for potential
timber sales during the year. The DNR estimates that about 40,000 of
the 58,000 acres of forest land will be suitable for timber sales.
“The public has
two options for reviewing the list,” said Jon Nelson, DNR forest
stand locations and descriptions, along with their proposed
management, are on the DNR website at
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/forestview/index.html. Comments about
a potential timber harvest site can be submitted to the DNR using this
without Internet access or who prefer to review and discuss the site
list directly with a forester, may contact or visit their local DNR
area forestry office. Contact the office prior to a visit to ensure
the appropriate forestry staff will be available.
administers 5 million acres of forest lands that have been certified
as being well- managed by two separate third-party auditing systems.
Annual lists of potential timber harvest sites are derived from
multi-year forest management plans for state lands. The plans are
developed by interdisciplinary DNR planning teams with public input,
and based on long-term forest resource management goals.
timber harvest information, contact Jon Nelson, DNR Forestry, 500
Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4044; 651-259-5278;
DNR approves new deer population goals -
June 9, 2015
New deer population
goals have been approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural
Resources for large portions of northeastern, north-central and
east-central Minnesota, covering 40 of 128 deer permit areas in the
“These new goals
will result in management to increase deer numbers in relation to last
year’s levels in most of the 40 permit areas,” said Steve Merchant,
wildlife populations manager. “The new goals largely reflect the
desires shared by stakeholders who participated in the deer goal
setting process and generally reflect the public feedback we’ve heard
during the past few years.”
As a result of
this process, 85 percent of the 40 areas will be managed for
populations higher than those experienced in 2014; the remaining will
see no change.
to former goals
Of the 40 deer permit
areas with new goals, 26 will be managed for deer densities higher
than those established by the previous goals; eight will be managed at
similar densities to former goals; and six will be managed for
densities below former goals. More information about the goals for
each deer permit area can be found at www.mndnr.gov/deer.
With respect to
the four advisory team recommendations not accepted by the DNR, the
agency chose more moderate population increases to better reflect the
preferences suggested by hunter and landowner survey data and public
input; allow more deer to be harvested; and minimize anticipated deer
damage to agricultural lands and forest habitat.
Goals are intended
to be in place for three to five years. The DNR shortened the goal
timeframe to allow more frequent opportunities to revisit and adjust
goals with input from stakeholders.
This is the third
year the DNR has worked with citizens and stakeholders to re-assess
and re-establish deer population goals in portions of the state. Goals
for southwestern and portions of northern Minnesota were set in 2012.
Goals for southeastern Minnesota were set last year.
DNR will postpone
goal setting in the remaining 54 deer permit areas scheduled for
consideration in 2016 until the current legislative audit of
Minnesota’s deer population management program is complete.
about deer goal setting can be found at www.mndnr.gov/deer.
DNR studies muskie to improve fishing for anglers
- June 9, 2015
carefully hoist a huge muskellunge onto a boat. They record its
measurements, identify the sex of the fish, scan an electronic tag
implanted in the muskie and return it to the lake where, one day, it
could take an angler’s lure and provide a long-remembered thrill.
information and studying muskie populations allows the Minnesota
Department of Natural Resources to make well-informed decisions about
how to stock muskie and manage harvest.
“As anglers head into
the muskie season that began June 6, they are enjoying opportunities
that came about largely due to research-based management,” said Don
Pereira, fisheries section chief. “Better information can lead to
better fishing in a state that’s already a renowned muskie fishing
The DNR studies
muskie in a variety of ways, including looking into everything from
muskie ancestry using DNA analysis to how well muskie grow and survive
once they’re stocked in certain southern Minnesota lakes. The research
builds on past work that identified how to best capture and rear a
large-growing native strain of muskie, stock this strain into
appropriate waters, and manage the harvest.
strain is one reason muskie anglers are able to catch fish in the
50-plus inch trophy range,” Pereira said. “There are enough of these
fish in the population that many anglers asked for the change to a
54-inch minimum length on muskie in most waters of the state, which is
in effect this year.”
Along with a growing
interest in muskie fishing, research taking place around the state
aims to fine-tune muskie management.
fisheries: Using DNA to study muskie ancestry
With the help of DNA
analysis, researchers can trace the ancestry of individual fish,
including muskie. The work has real-world management implications.
pretty cool concept. We’re starting to do more of it now on special
projects around the state,” said Doug Schultz, Walker area fisheries
For one study, Walker
area fisheries teamed up with Loren Miller, a fisheries research
geneticist, as well as anglers who were shown how to collect muskie
scale samples for DNA analysis.
The study’s central
question: In Baby and Man lakes in the Walker area, stocking of the
less desirable Shoepack Lake strain of muskie ended in the 1970s. Now,
what is the residual effect of Shoepack strain muskie on the current
muskie population in these two lakes?
“Strain” in fish is
similar to heritage in humans: Fish from a geographic location of
origin tend to have similar physical characteristics that may differ
from those of other locations. From the 1950s to the early 1980s,
muskie from Shoepack Lake were reared and stocked in several Minnesota
lakes, even in lakes where a native muskie population already existed.
later seen that the Shoepack strain grew slower and reached smaller
maximum sizes than the Mississippi strain, which are native
populations connected to the upper Mississippi River drainage system,
including Leech Lake. The use of the Shoepack strain ended in favor of
the faster growing and larger Leech Lake-Mississippi strain.
On Baby and
Man lakes, the study found that Shoepack ancestry declined to only
nine percent, down from 13 percent in 1995. Yet, historical Shoepack
strain stockings are still having an impact on size potential of some
fish in today’s muskie populations.
“This study could set
the stage for future muskie management decisions on lakes with
residual Shoepack ancestry,” Schultz said. “A study using DNA adds a
new level of certainty about the effects of past stocking. That helps
as we take multiple factors into account when making management
decisions aimed at improving opportunities for anglers.”
area fisheries: Tagging and recapturing muskie after new stocking
Muskies were first stocked in 2011 in the Sauk River Chain of Lakes,
giving anglers in the St. Cloud area a chance to fish for muskies
close to home.
For Montrose area
fisheries staff, the stocking offers a rare chance to track the growth
of a new fish population using electronic tags.
“It’s a new fish to
the system. We don’t really know what the growth potential is out
there. It will be neat to find out,” said Joe Stewig, Montrose area
fisheries supervisor. “Some of these fish will be marked, and we will
then be able to track their growth throughout their lives.”
2013, Montrose area staff started implanting electronic tags into
muskies, work paid for through hunting and fishing license dollars and
with financial help from the Hugh C. Becker Foundation through the St.
Cloud chapter of Muskies Inc. After fish are tagged, the goal is to
recapture some of these fish during fall electrofishing, when crews
look specifically for these stocked muskies.
funding, we’ll be able to use these tags to monitor the growth of this
newly established muskie population,” Stewig said. “Using this method
goes above and beyond the standard lake survey.”
fisheries: Tagging muskie to evaluate stocking efforts
To study the
effectiveness of muskie stocking in three Twin Cities metro area
lakes, the DNR’s west metro fisheries staff is working on a muskie
tagging project in partnership with the Muskies, Inc. Twin Cities
Chapter and Hugh C. Becker Foundation.
The study taking
place on Lake Minnetonka, Bald Eagle Lake and White Bear Lake measures
the survival numbers of year-old muskie, called yearlings, and smaller
muskie less than a year old, called fingerlings.
“All three lakes have
high northern pike populations. So we normally don’t stock muskie in
the face of that kind of competition,” said Daryl Ellison, west metro
area fisheries manager. “But there’s an interest in it because they’re
The study results
will help evaluate the DNR’s standard stocking ratio of one yearling
per three fingerlings – important knowledge because yearlings cost
more to stock than fingerlings.
“Initial results seem
to support the 3:1 ratio, but more study is needed,” Ellison said.
“The study was showing some positive results for fingerlings in Lake
fisheries: Studying Fox Lake muskellunge
Fox Lake is
Minnesota’s southernmost muskie lake, and was first stocked with
muskie in 1999. Years later, electronic tags began informing an
ongoing study on muskie in that lake.
Each spring from 2011
to 2013, Windom fisheries staff counted, measured and weighed muskie
captured with nets. They also implanted muskie with electronic tags,
and recorded information about the growth of individual fish already
implanted with a tag from a previous spring.
Starting in 2012,
muskie fingerlings have received electronic tags before they are
stocked into the lake. To date, more than 1,200 muskellunge of varying
sizes have been tagged in Fox Lake.
“Through this study
on Fox Lake, we’ll gain pertinent information on population abundance,
growth and longevity of muskie,” said Nate Hodgins, Windom area
fisheries assistant supervisor. “It will give us a good picture of
muskie populations in similar size and type lakes.”
plans to use the data to help evaluate how Fox and perhaps other lakes
are stocked in smaller, southern Minnesota lakes in the future. They
will be netting muskie and updating Fox Lake population numbers every
two years starting in 2015.
cautions boaters to avoid Upper St. Anthony Falls dam
June 9, 2015
available for paddlers after June 10 lock closure
boaters and paddlers are reminded that as of Wednesday, June 10, the
Upper St. Anthony Falls lock in downtown Minneapolis will permanently
close. Boaters and paddlers should avoid approaching the area from
upstream, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
closure by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was supported by the DNR,
as it will create an important barrier against the spread of invasive
carp in the Mississippi River watershed.
and paddlers are cautioned that the closure will affect navigation
routes and safety conditions above Upper St. Anthony Falls and dam.
In light of these
changed conditions, boaters and paddlers should avoid approaching the
lock, dam and falls area from upstream. Due to strong currents above
the upper falls and dam, paddlers especially need to avoid the area
and should go no further downstream than Flagpole Plaza, just upstream
of the Hennepin Avenue Bridge on the river’s west bank.
“The concern is
that boaters and paddlers will navigate to the area above the dam only
to discover they can no longer lock through,” said Stan Linnell, DNR
boat and water safety manager.
“With the close
proximity of the upper falls and dam to the lock, paddlers may have
extreme difficulty moving back upstream due to strong currents above
the dam, meaning they could be pulled over the dam into the dangerous
recirculating currents below – a typically fatal situation,” Linnell
At a minimum, all watercraft must stay at least 600 feet above the
dam, which is a designated restricted zone. However, Linnell
recommends that, due to the potential for motor failure, boaters
should give the upper falls area a wider berth.
Paddlers who wish to
continue downstream may access a 1.5-mile paved portage route at
Flagpole Plaza. Bohemian Flats, located below Lower St. Anthony Falls
near the University of Minnesota’s pedestrian bridge, will serve as
the downstream put-in location.
The nearest motorized
boat access below Upper St. Anthony Falls is at Hidden Falls, below
the Ford Lock and Dam 1 in St. Paul.
In addition to the
Upper St. Anthony Falls lock closure, boaters and paddlers should be
aware that starting Wednesday, June 10, the Lower St. Anthony Falls
lock and Lock and Dam 1 will operate on a reduced schedule, from 10
a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
As with Upper St.
Anthony Falls, watercraft may not navigate within the 600-foot
restricted zone above either dam or within the 150-foot zone below the
dams. However, safety officials recommend boaters and paddlers avoid
the short stretch of river between the upper and lower falls due to
frequently turbulent conditions.
Any boaters or
paddlers who are inadvertently caught in the strong current above a
waterfall or dam should attempt to reach shore as soon as possible,
and should not try to paddle across the current. The DNR strongly
recommends that boaters and paddlers always wear a life jacket,
especially when on water with strong currents, dams, or other
inherently dangerous characteristics.
For more information
about boating and water safety on the Mississippi River, including a
map of the new portage route and the Metro Area Rivers Guide, visit
www.mndnr.gov/boatingsafety, or call the DNR’s Boat and Water Safety
Unit at 651-259-5400.
Newest state record fish hooked in Root River,
8 is turning into a red-letter date for angler Chad Wentzel.
Last year on that
day, Wentzel landed the state record golden redhorse. A year later to
the day, on the bank of the Root River in Fillmore County, he broke
his own state record by one ounce.
resident used 8-pound test line and worms as bait. He left the rig on
the bottom to catch a 4-pound, 1-ounce golden redhorse that the
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed as a new state
with a group of fellow anglers who target all sorts of fish beyond
walleye, bass and panfish,” said Mike Kurre, who coordinates the state
record fish program for the DNR.
“Indeed, there are
many types of fish to catch in Minnesota. We keep state records on
five types of redhorse alone, and in all there are state records for
62 species of fish.”
State records are
measured by weight. To certify a fish as a record:
- Take it to a
DNR fisheries office for positive identification.
- Fill out a
record fish application.
- Locate a
state-certified scale (found at most bait shops and butcher
- Weigh the
fish with two witnesses present.
- Send a clear,
full-length photo of the fish with the application to the address
listed on the application form.
form and guidelines can be found online under the list of state-record
fish at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/staterecords.html. The list is also
published on page 83 of the 2015 Minnesota Fishing Regulations
Cooke State Park celebrates 100 years with special programs -
June 4, 2015
The public is invited to
attend a special event on Saturday, June 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate
the 100th anniversary of Jay Cooke State Park, located south of Duluth. A formal
program will take place at 1 p.m. with DNR Parks and Trails Division Director
Erika Rivers, followed by a cake cutting and refreshments.
The event will feature a river
theme to highlight the ecological and historical importance of the St. Louis
River, which flows through the park. Visitors will have an opportunity to
participate in activity stations that explore plants, animals, history,
recreation, invasive species and water quality. Activities will be ongoing, and
visitors can visit the stations of interest to them.
“It’s not every year that a
state park turns 100, so we’ve been celebrating with special programs
throughout the year,” said Kris Hiller, park naturalist. “More activities are
planned for July and September, and for the park’s actual birthday on October
18, the date when the land acquisition was finalized.”
Jay Cooke State Park was
originally established in 1915 when a group of local citizens spearheaded the
effort to secure a land donation of 2,350 acres from the Great Northern Power
Company, now known as Minnesota Power. Today the park is 8,818 acres and is
widely known for its iconic Swinging Bridge, unique river rock formations,
trails and campground.
The 100th anniversary event is
being held in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day, a day when vehicle
permit fees ($5) are waived at all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas.
For more information about
the park, visit www.mndnr.gov/jaycooke.
For more about the free
activities taking place at Jay Cooke State Park and other Minnesota state parks
and recreation areas on National Get Outdoors Day, contact the DNR Information
Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday.
maple trees showing signs of stress -
June 4, 2015
Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources foresters are seeing many silver maples and some elms with
stunted or no leaves and an abundance of seeds this spring. These trees are not
dead and will rebound over the next couple of years. The DNR encourages proper
tree care and patience.
“Silver maples from Minnesota
to Ohio are experiencing this phenomenon,” said Brian Schwingle, DNR forest
health specialist. “Environmental stressors and natural cycles of large seed
production are factors in this situation.”
The large production of seeds
means less energy is available for leaf development, causing stunted and sparse
patches of leaves. Such conditions happen periodically with elms, maples, ashes
Watering trees during periods of drought is important. The best way to water an
established tree is to slowly apply water once a week for four to eight hours in
the tree’s dripline (area underneath the canopy). This can be done by moving
around a hose that is trickling water under the tree’s canopy or laying drip
tubing on the ground under the tree’s canopy.
Fertilizing stressed trees is
To learn more about tree care,
visit the DNR’s tree care Web page at
will attempt to travel entire Minnesota River in 1 day -
June 4, 2015
hope to see an unprecedented number of canoes and kayaks on the Minnesota River
on Saturday, June 13 (National Get Outdoors Day).
“The goal will be to paddle
every navigable river mile of the Minnesota River,” said Alex Watson, a regional
naturalist for the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trails Division and
one of the event’s organizers. “The Minnesota River is 318 miles long, though,
so we will need as many paddlers as we can get.”
Participants can paddle a
section of the river on their own that day or join one of the following
organized paddles that will take place all along the river, from the headwaters
at Big Stone Lake State Park in Ortonville to its confluence with the
Mississippi River at Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul:
County Park to Vicksburg County Park (13 miles or about 5 hours).
and kayaks available, or bring your own.
o Group leader: Peg
Furshong, Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) Events and Adventures
o How to register: Call 1-877-269-2873 or email
- Memorial Park
to Upper Sioux Agency State Park (8 miles or about 2.5 hours).
Bring your own canoe or
kayak (no wooden canoes).
o Group leader: Brian
Wojtalewicz, CURE board member.
o How to register: Call
1-877-269-2873 or email
- Judson to Land
of Memories Park (11.5 miles or about 3 hours).
Bring your own canoe or
leader: Brad Nawrocki, Mankato Paddling and Outing Club.
o How to register: Call
- Mack Lake
County Park to Fort Ridgley State Park (8.5 miles or about 5
canoes available, or bring your own canoe or kayak.
o Group leader: Scott
Kudelka, naturalist, Minneopa State Park.
o How to register: Call
507-384-8890 or email
- 35W Bridge to
downtown St. Paul (email for trip details).
Limited canoes available,
or bring your own canoe or kayak.
o Group leader: Natalie
Warren, Wild River Academy.
o How to register: Email
- Big Stone
National Wildlife Refuge (3 miles or about 4 hours).
Bring your own canoe or
leader: Alice Hanley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
o How to register: Call
320-273-2500 or email
Watson asks anyone planning
to paddle a different section of the river to let him know in advance by sending
an email to email@example.com or by leaving a message at
507-359-6062. That will help organizers keep track of which sections of the
river are “spoken for,” and which sections are still in need of paddlers.
Participants should also email or call at the end of the day on June 13 to
confirm how many miles they paddled, along with their put-in and take-out
For more information,
contact the group leaders, visit www.mndnr.gov/riverinaday or call the DNR
Information Center at 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through
Roadsides are important
habitat for pollinators and pheasants -
June 4, 2015
People who own or manage land
along Minnesota roads and highways are urged to delay roadside mowing until the
beginning of August, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“A quarter to a third
of all the pheasants in the state are hatched in roadsides,” said Nicole Davros,
DNR upland game project leader. “Roadsides provide more than 500,000 acres of
nesting and chick-rearing habitat in southern and western Minnesota.”
This year, pheasants
will be hatching mostly in early- to mid-June. Chicks need at least two to three
weeks to have any chance of escape from mowers. While mowing can delay or
prevent nesting, so can other disturbances including burning, tilling, grazing
and spraying herbicides.
“People can influence the
abundance of local wildlife populations by protecting roadside habitat in the
summer months,” Davros said. “Roadside vegetation is especially important in
intensively row cropped regions where there is little other undisturbed
grassland habitat available.”
At sites where noxious weeds
are a problem, the DNR recommends that landowners use spot mowing or spraying
for treatment. If landowners are worried about traffic safety, mowing should be
limited to a narrow strip adjacent to their mailbox or driveway to reduce the
likelihood of disturbing a nest or brood.
Pheasant hens will make from
one to four attempts at nesting during the spring nesting season, but will only
hatch one brood per year. The majority of nests (about 60 percent) hatch in
June, but re-nesting attempts can stretch the nesting season out through July.
By Aug. 1, the reproductive season is over for most pheasants with the exception
of a few late re-nesting attempts.
A nesting hen lays eggs at a
rate of about one per day. Nests contain an average of 10 to 12 eggs. The
incubation period is 23 to 28 days and starts after all eggs have been laid. The
hen remains on the nest, leaving only briefly to feed.
of roadside habitat
Roadsides also provide
important habitat for mallards, teal, gray partridge, grassland songbirds,
pollinators, frogs and turtles.
Roadsides with native
wildflowers benefit native bees. Research has shown that the width of the
roadside and the proximity to traffic does not matter to bees. Minnesota bee
keepers place a high value on roadside wildflowers. Loss of habitat is a
critical cause of the decline in both wild bees and honeybees.
For more information see
www.mndnr.gov/roadsidesforwildlife or contact the DNR Information Center at
651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.
June 6-14 is
All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Week -
June 4, 2015
The Minnesota Department of
Natural Resources reminds all-terrain vehicle (ATV) operators about safety
training opportunities. June 6-14 is All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Week in
Over 600,000 ATVs are used
in Minnesota by men, women and children for outdoor recreation and work. State
law requires that anyone born after July 1, 1987, complete ATV safety training
if they are 12 or older and want to ride on public land, trails, and frozen
waters. Safety training is also available for adults.
In the last five years, 85
Minnesotans have lost their lives in ATV accidents.
Many fatalities could be
avoided if people followed safety guidelines and took safety training, said
Acting Capt. Jon Paurus, DNR education program coordinator.
“ATVs require special
knowledge and training to be operated safely," Paurus said. He emphasized the
importance of safety training for everyone, regardless of age.
Anyone born after July 1,
1987, and who is 16 years of age or older who wants to operate an ATV on public
lands in Minnesota, must successfully complete the independent study ATV Safety
Training CD. Youth ages 12-15 must complete the ATV Safety Training CD and
attend a safety class before riding on public lands. Youth and adult ATV
training CDs are available by calling 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.
The DNR offers the
following guidelines for reducing risks involved with ATVs:
- ATV operators less than
18 years old must wear an approved safety helmet, except when operating on
private property. To prevent head injuries, everyone should wear a helmet.
- ATVs are not toys and
can be hazardous to operate. Supervise young riders at all times.
- An ATV handles
differently from other vehicles. Even routine maneuvers, such as turning and
driving on hills and over obstacles, can lead to serious injury if the
driver fails to take proper precautions. With preparation and practice,
operators can safely develop and expand their riding skills.
- Youth need to “fit” the
machine. A 60- to- 120 pound youth and a 400-pound ATV are a mismatch.
- More information can be
found in the 2014-2015 Off-Highway Vehicle Regulations booklet at
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