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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #58                                                                               Aug. 4, 2014

Sign up to receive Mille Lacs Lake news 
Invasive species reported in 2 Kandiyohi County lakes
Several youth hunting opportunities offered this fall      |
Smokey Bear celebrates 70th birthday; encourages fire safety
Start planning for 2015 fishing tournaments  
Question of the week: youth waterfowl hunt


Sign up to receive Mille Lacs Lake news 

Those interested in Mille Lacs Lake can view a Department of Natural Resources quarterly newsletter that will keep readers up to date on research, fish population assessments and general information. Access the “Hooked on Mille Lacs Lake” newsletter by subscribing at www.mndnr.gov/millelacslakenews. 

“We want people to be aware of what’s going on and stay connected,” said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR Aitkin area fisheries supervisor.

The newest issue of the newsletter touches on topics, including a tagging study involving 14,000 walleye and 3,600 northern pike, a muskellunge assessment, predator diets, and other fish and lake facts. 

Subscribers will receive an announcement about the quarterly newsletter via email, as well as periodic email updates about Mille Lacs. The Aitkin area fisheries office produces the newsletter. 

In addition to the newsletter, anyone interested in learning more about Mille Lacs Lake management can visit www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake, and can see current and previous editions of the newsletter and other information at the Aitkin area fisheries page at www.mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries/aitkin.  


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Aug. 4, 2014

Invasive species reported in 2 Kandiyohi County lakes

New finds of aquatic invasive species have been reported in Green Lake near Spicer and Games Lake near Sunburg, both in Kandiyohi County, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

During the week of July 14, a new infestation of Eurasian watermilfoil was reported to DNR Invasive Species Specialist Nicholas Brown, by a lakeshore owner on Games Lake, about 7 miles east of Sunburg. The report was confirmed when the plant was found growing in the lake near the outlet from Norway Lake. Norway Lake is also infested with Eurasian watermilfoil.

On Monday, July 21, a suspected zebra mussel specimen was brought into the Spicer DNR office for positive identification. The property owner said he found the zebra mussel attached to a dock post in about 4 feet of water in Green Lake, but was unable to find another. The specimen was confirmed as an adult zebra mussel by Brown, though it was dead at the time of inspection. DNR personnel conducted additional searches on Green Lake, July 22 and July 24, but no additional zebra mussels were found. 

Green Lake will be designated as infested with zebra mussels. The DNR will work with local partners to continue monitoring for the presence of zebra mussels. If no additional evidence of a zebra mussel population is found in Green Lake for the next five years, the DNR may revisit the decision to list the lake as infested with zebra mussels. As a precaution, Lake Calhoun in Kandiyohi County will also be designated as infested because it is directly downstream from Green Lake.

“These newest reports emphasize the need for everyone to be on the lookout for zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species,” Brown said. “Lakeshore owners should take extra time to examine docks, boat lifts and rafts, especially when removing them this fall.”Zebra mussels pose serious ecological and economic threats to Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Heavy infestations can kill native mussels, impact fish populations and interfere with recreation.

Minnesota currently has more than 175 water bodies designated as infested with zebra mussels. Designation does not mean each body of water is confirmed to be infested, but that zebra mussels have been detected in a lake accessible by boat, and spread is likely between connected waters.

Preventing the spread of invasive species takes personal responsibility. Before leaving a lake, boaters must remove all aquatic vegetation and animals including zebra mussels or other prohibited invasive species, drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft. 

“We want to stress that lake users be diligent in following the laws, including inspecting, cleaning, and draining boats and dumping all unwanted bait in the trash,” Brown said. “Following these steps will slow the spread of all invasive species.”

More information about aquatic invasive species, how to inspect boats and other water-related equipment, and a current list of designated infested waters can be found on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/ais.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           Aug. 4, 2014

Several youth hunting opportunities offered this fall      

Youth can hunt with adult mentors during several organized youth hunting opportunities coming up this fall. For some hunts, application deadlines are approaching. 

Application forms and more information can be found at www.mndnr.gov/discover, or by calling the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Information Center, 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367, or Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator, 651-259-5193.

Youth waterfowl hunt

  • For ages 12 to 15.
  • Orientation is Friday, Sept. 12, hunt is Saturday, Sept. 13.
  • Hunts near Twin Cities metro, Detroit Lakes, Morris, Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge near Princeton, Sherburn near Windom, and Fergus Falls.
  • Apply by Monday, Aug. 11. 

Youth deer hunts at refuges and state parks

  • Ages 12 to 15 in 15 firearms hunts, ages 12 to 17 in two archery hunts.
  • Hunts and orientations held on various dates in October and November.
  • Locations at specific wildlife refuges and state parks throughout the state. 
  • Apply by Friday, Aug. 15.

Youth and family upland bird hunt

  • For ages 12 to 17, and family members who want to hunt together.
  • Hunts and orientations are Saturday, Oct. 18.
  • Locations throughout Minnesota.
  • Apply by Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Youth deer season

  • For ages 10 to 15.
  • Season is Thursday, Oct. 16 through Sunday, Oct. 19.
  • Permit areas in southeastern and northwestern Minnesota and portions of the Twin Cities metro area.
  • • Twenty-seven deer permit areas are open to hunt, see hunting regulations book or DNR hunting page at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer for permit areas.


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       Aug. 4, 2014

Smokey Bear celebrates 70th birthday; encourages fire safety

Smokey Bear’s message “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires” is as relevant today as it was 70 years ago when Smokey first became a champion of wildfire prevention. Smokey’s 70th birthday is Aug. 9.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources joins Smokey in celebrating fire safety successes and urging all Minnesotans to be careful with fire.Smokey Bear is one of the most well-known symbols in the United States. An amazing 96 percent of U.S. adults recognize Smokey Bear and 70 percent are able to recall Smokey’s tagline without prompting.

Smokey has many educational materials available, especially for kids kindergarten through fifth grade. The Minnesota Interagency Fire Center is home to the National Symbols Cache, the place where all Smokey Bear educational materials are stored and sent out nationwide.

Since 1944, Smokey has told kids and adults that they can make a difference in preventing wildfires. His fire safety lessons have helped reduce forest fires. The average number of acres lost to wildfire nationwide has decreased from 22 million acres in 1944 to an average of 6.7 million acres today. 

Yet, wildfires still harm public health and safety, destroy homes and property, and cost millions of dollars annually in firefighting. Minnesota wildland firefighters extinguish an average of 1,400 fires that burn 31,000 acres each year. Most of these wildfires, 98 percent, are caused by people and can be prevented.  

Help Smokey celebrate 70 years of fire prevention by being careful with fire at all times.

Here are eight of Smokey’s tips for fire safety.

  • Don’t play with matches.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it is cold to the touch before leaving.
  • Use grills, camp stoves and lanterns away from materials that can catch fire.
  • Be careful with fireworks.  Put used fireworks in a bucket of water.
  • Make sure outdoor vehicles and equipment are in good working order. Sparks from vehicles and equipment can start fires.
  • Watch the weather. Hot, dry, windy weather can increase chances of wildfire.
  • Put out cigarettes in a safe place.
  • People who see a wildfire, should call 9-1-1 immediately.

For more information on prevention and safety, wildfire emergencies and Smokey Bear education materials, visit Minnesota’s wildfire prevention webpage at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/wildfire/prevention/index.html.  




DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Aug. 4, 2014

Start planning for 2015 fishing tournaments  

Anglers and others who want to host fishing tournaments in 2015 can apply now, and will find an application form at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/tournaments, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Applicants should consider:

  • The application period opened Friday, Aug. 1, and preference is given to applications received by Friday, Sept. 26.
  • Permits are required for most tournaments with more than 25 boats, or an entry fee more than $25, or ice fishing contests exceeding 150 participants. 
  • A fee is required to apply, due at time of application, with fees typically ranging from $60 to $200.• Permits are not required for certain types of contests, including youth tournaments.
  • A lottery is used to allocate permits if the number of applications exceeds monthly limits.

The DNR limits the size and frequency of tournaments on most waters based on lake size, and also keeps two weekends each month free of permitted tournaments. 

“By limiting the number of contests held on a monthly basis, we are addressing the concerns that fishing tournaments might disturb the fishing, swimming, boating and other water recreation of lake users,” said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant.

The application fee is designed to recover administrative costs and free up dollars for fish management programs.

For detailed tournament regulations, call the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367; online at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/tournaments.

Question of the week

Q: I heard about the DNR’s youth waterfowl hunt. How does the program work?

A: Experienced mentors take youth ages 12 to 15 out hunting on Minnesota Youth Waterfowl Day on Saturday, Sept. 13.
Youth learn about waterfowl habitat and how to hunt safely and have fun. We’ve found that mentors can have a profoundly positive experience on youth who show an interest in hunting. Early positive experiences help keep youth going back into the duck blind, field or deer woods year after year as they grow up and as adults.

For the youth waterfowl hunt, the application deadline is Monday, Aug. 11. When a youth applies, their name is placed in a lottery in case there are too many who want to hunt, but preference is given to new hunters. Once chosen for a hunt, the youth and a parent or guardian go to an orientation that includes waterfowl identification, calling techniques, decoy arrangements, ethics and more on Friday, Sept. 12. The hunts take place on the following day in several areas around the state and in the Twin Cities metro area.

Ducks Unlimited, the U.S. National Wildlife Service, Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have teamed up to offer the hunts. Find more information and the application form at www.mndnr.gov/discover.

Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator

This email was sent to editor@woodsnews.com on behalf of: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources · 500 Lafayette Road · Saint Paul, MN 55155 · 1-888-MINNDNR  

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