DNR news releases for Aug. 7, 2014

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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #59                                                                                       Aug. 7, 2014

IN THIS ISSUE
Apply by Aug. 15 for Camp Ripley archery hunts
DNR announces fall duck and goose seasons
Zebra mussels discovered in 2 Crow Wing County lakes
DNR fisheries chief appointed to Great Lakes Fishery Commission
DNR names new regional Enforcement manager
Groundwater sampling planned for Renville County


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    
Apply by Aug. 15 for Camp Ripley archery hunts

The deadline for hunters to apply for the 2014 regular archery deer hunts at Camp Ripley near Little Falls is Friday, Aug. 15, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Hunters may pick one season out of two seasons offered: Oct. 15-16 (Wednesday-Thursday, code 668) or Oct. 25-26 (Saturday-Sunday, code 669). A total of 4,000 permits, with 2,000 per two-day hunt, will be made available. Successful applicants must buy a valid archery license at least two days before their hunt to participate.

Due to military training, the first of this year’s two hunts will begin one day earlier than usual, and hunting will not take place on a Friday. As a result, the first hunt will not coincide exactly with the annual statewide teachers’ conference when many schools are closed, as it has in the past.

Hunters can apply for the Camp Ripley hunts through DNR’s computerized Electronic Licensing System (ELS) at any one of 1,500 ELS agents located throughout Minnesota, by telephone at 888-665-4236, online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/index.html, or in the DNR License Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.

Application instructions and rules for this year’s hunt are at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Aug. 7, 2014

DNR announces fall duck and goose seasons

Minnesota’s waterfowl season will open a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 27, under a similar season structure to last year, with similar bag limits and with season dates that vary for north, central and southern zones, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The waterfowl seasons are based on a federal framework that applies to all states in the Mississippi Flyway.

“While the season structure is similar to recent years, there is an adjustment in the duck season dates in the south duck zone,” said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist.

In the south duck zone, hunting opens for three days from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Monday, Sept. 29, and then closes. The season then reopens from Saturday, Oct. 11, through Saturday, Dec. 6.

In all zones, the daily bag limit remains at six ducks per day. The mallard bag limit remains at four per day, including two hen mallards. The wood duck bag limit remains at three per day. The only bag limit change from the 2013 waterfowl season is the canvasback limit, which decreases from two to one per day.

Minnesota and three other states in the Mississippi Flyway had the option of including two additional blue-winged teal in the daily bag limit (bonus blue-winged teal).

“We thought the risk that green-winged teal might be taken by mistake was too great,” said Paul Telander, DNR wildlife section chief. “In addition, we did not get a chance to survey waterfowl hunters or take any form of public input related to bonus teal. We plan to do that within the next year.”

Mallard abundance from a continental spring survey that includes Minnesota is used to set overall duck season length. This year’s estimate was 11 million mallards, which was similar to last year’s estimate of 10.8 million mallards and well above the long-term average.

In another measure of Minnesota duck populations, a population index of resident breeding mallards was down slightly from last year, but 13 percent above the long-term average.

“Continental breeding duck numbers were good this year, and following heavy rains in the spring, wetland conditions in the major waterfowl breeding areas were favorable,” Cordts said.

Additional details on the duck, goose, sandhill crane, and other migratory bird hunting seasons will be available in the 2014 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations, available in mid-August in booklet form and online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

Duck seasons

  • In the north duck zone (north of Highway 210), the duck season will run from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Tuesday, Nov. 25.
  • In the central duck zone, the duck season will run from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 30.
  • In the south duck zone (south of Highway 212), the duck season will run from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Monday, Sept. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 11, through Saturday, Dec. 6.

Youth waterfowl day
Youth Waterfowl Day will be Saturday, Sept. 13. Hunters ages 15 and under may take regular season bag limits when accompanied by an adult age 18 or older. The accompanying adult can’t hunt that day and does not need a license. Canada geese, mergansers, coots and moorhens may be taken from a half-hour before sunrise to 4 p.m. Motorized decoy restrictions are in effect. Five geese may be taken statewide.  

Canada goose hunting  
Canada goose hunting is open in the three duck zones, and also in an intensive harvest zone. For a map of the intensive zone and other information, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl. Hunting dates and information:

  • The August Canada goose management harvest will open Saturday, Aug. 9, and run through Sunday, Aug. 24, in the Intensive Harvest Zone only. The bag limit is 10 per day. A $4 permit is required. This is the second year Canada goose harvest has been allowed during August due to high populations of Canada geese and agricultural crop depredation.

  • The early September Canada goose season will open statewide on Saturday, Sept. 6, and run through Monday, Sept. 22. Bag limits for Canada geese are 10 per day in the Intensive Harvest Zone and five per day in the remainder of the state. A $4 permit is required to hunt Canada geese during September season. The restriction prohibiting hunting within 100 yards of surface water remains in effect in the Northwest Goose Zone, Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area, Ocheda Lake Game Refuge, and an area surrounding Swan Lake in Nicollet County. Early season goose hunters should consult the 2014 Waterfowl Supplement for zone maps and additional details.

  • Minnesota’s regular goose season will open in conjunction with the duck season statewide on Sept. 27, with a bag limit of three Canada geese per day the entire season.  Goose season will be closed in the central and south duck zones when duck season is closed. In the north duck zone, goose season will run from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Thursday, Dec. 25. In the central duck zone, goose season will run from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Sunday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 11, through Tuesday, Dec. 30.  In the south duck zone, goose season will run from Saturday, Sept. 27, through Monday, Sept. 29, and Saturday, Oct. 11, through Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.


Sandhill crane season
The season for sandhill cranes will run from Saturday, Sept. 13, through Sunday, Oct. 19, in the northwest goose and sandhill crane zone only. The daily bag limit will be one sandhill crane per day. A $3 sandhill crane permit is required in addition to a small game hunting license.

“We reduced the bag limit from two per day to one per day this year in response to declines in our sandhill crane breeding population in northwestern Minnesota,” Cordts said.
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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Aug. 7, 2014

Zebra mussels discovered in 2 Crow Wing County lakes

Adult zebra mussels have been found in Gilbert and North Long lakes in Crow Wing County, resulting in both lakes being designated as infested, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The lakes are located near Brainerd.

The initial discovery was reported by the parents of two young boys who retrieved a plastic container with attached zebra mussels while snorkeling in Gilbert Lake. A few days later, children swimming in North Long Lake found zebra mussels and their parents reported this discovery to DNR. Following the positive identification of the zebra mussels, DNR aquatic biologists searched both lakes and found additional specimens to confirm the diagnosis.

“These young people and their parents saw something that looked out of place, reported it right away and assisted us in making a swift diagnosis of the problem,” said DNR Invasive Species Specialist, Dan Swanson. “It’s another good reminder to be informed about what invasive species look like, save a sample and report it as soon as you can. Early detection and slowing the spread is still our best means of control.”

Gilbert Lake (DNR public waters inventory number 18-0320) and North Long Lake (DNR public waters inventory number 18-0372), are now designated as infested and signs will be posted at public accesses to alert recreationists.

People should look for infested waters signage at public accesses. Signage will allow recreationists and other resource partners to be aware of the finding and take additional precautions to prevent the inadvertent spread to other lakes.

Anglers, boaters and other recreationists are reminded to remove all aquatic vegetation, drain water from all water-related equipment, and remove the drain plug from boats before leaving the boat landing.

Lake residents should take appropriate precautions when purchasing used water-related equipment or allowing their guests to launch watercraft from backyard boat ramps.

According to Minnesota law, docks and boatlifts must be dried for 21 days before placing in another water body.

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.

More information about zebra mussels, how to inspect boats and other water equipment, and a current list of infested waters is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/ais.
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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Aug. 7, 2014

DNR fisheries chief appointed to Great Lakes Fishery Commission   

Don Pereira, fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, was appointed in July to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission by President Barack Obama.

The international commission is best known for its successful work to control sea lamprey, an invasive species that harms native fish populations. The commission also funds fishery research; ensures the states, the Province of Ontario and the U.S. tribes coordinate their management actions; and makes recommendations to government about measures needed to sustain the Great Lakes fishery.

“We are well-served with a leader like Don Pereira representing states’ interests in healthy fish populations and habitat, as well as the interests of everyone who depends on the Great Lakes,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

In Minnesota waters of Lake Superior, restoration of lake trout and other species following decimation from sea lamprey, overfishing and habitat loss can be credited in large measure to decisions following the international treaty that created the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 1955.

Pereira previously joined the commission’s Council of Lake Committees in 2007, and served as its vice chairman from 2011 to 2013 before becoming chairman. He also served on the commission’s Board of Technical Experts from 2009 to 2013. He remains the DNR’s fisheries chief while serving as a commissioner.

“Don Pereira is a well-respected fish researcher and manager who also understands the human element of fish management,” said Ed Boggess, director of the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. “He functions effectively as a scientist, a communicator and a diplomat, and he combines the roles well.”

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is made up of eight appointed commissioners, four from the U.S. and four from Canada. The U.S. commissioners, appointed by the President, work with their Canadian counterparts to ensure cohesive, border-blind implementation of the treaty.

Pereira has been DNR fisheries chief since 2013. He has held various positions within the agency since 1983, including fisheries research and policy manager, fisheries research program supervisor, and senior fisheries research biologist.

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DNR NEWS - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Aug. 7, 2014

DNR names new regional Enforcement manager

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources named Capt. Todd Kanieski its Region 3 Enforcement manager effective Aug. 13. Region 3 stretches from Camp Ripley and St. Cloud in central Minnesota through the metro area to portions of southeastern Minnesota.

“Capt. Kanieski shows exceptional leadership skills and is a true asset to the DNR’s Division of Enforcement,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement Division director. “He is a respected leader and trusted supervisor who fosters an atmosphere of teamwork within any work section, and he often inspires others through his actions. He is the right person for the job.”

Kanieski has served in areas of increasing responsibility since joining the DNR in 2001, including field officer, district supervisor and administrative manager.

Prior to joining DNR, Kanieski spent eight years as a police officer and detective with the Brooklyn Park Police Department.

Kanieski’s extensive list of specialized law enforcement training includes courses and certifications in leadership, officer training, investigations, employee development, tactical operations and K-9 management.

“I’m extremely honored by the opportunity to serve as the DNR Region 3 Enforcement manager and I’m looking forward to the challenges of a new job,” said Kanieski.

He replaces Greg Salo, who was promoted to major and named the Enforcement Division’s operations manager.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   Aug. 7, 2014

Groundwater sampling planned for Renville County

Water samples from about 90 wells in Renville County will be collected and analyzed for water chemistry over the next two months by hydrogeologists from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Samples will also be tested to learn how long the water has been underground.

The data are being collected for the Renville County Geologic Atlas, an effort involving staff from the Minnesota Geological Survey, the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resources Division and Renville County.

DNR staff will contact residents to request permission for well sampling, which involves collecting a water sample and measuring the depth to water in each well. The selection of wells for sampling will be based on geology, location, well depth and well construction. The samples will come from wells drawing water from aquifers at varying depths. Owners of wells that are sampled will receive a report of the laboratory results for their well.

Preserving the long-term quality of the region’s surface water and groundwater requires that policy makers have access to accurate information based on sound scientific principles. A county geologic atlas is a valuable tool used by county planners, resource managers, and other local government staff when making general planning, land use management, and water resource protection decisions.

The Minnesota Geological Survey has already published Part A of the atlas, which illustrates details of each county’s geology. In 2016, the DNR Ecological and Water Resource Division will publish the groundwater portion of the atlas (Part B). The Part B reports will include maps and descriptions of the hydrogeology, cross sections illustrating groundwater conditions, and the pollution sensitivity of groundwater in the county.

The DNR County Geologic Atlas Program is funded in part by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. Funding also comes from the Clean Water Fund, which receives 33 percent of the sales tax revenue from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, approved by voters in November 2008.

A full description of this DNR program and status reports for atlas products can be viewed at www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/groundwater_section/mapping/index.html.

For information, contact: Jan Falteisek, DNR county geologic atlas program supervisor, 651-259-5665, jan.falteisek@state.mn.us or Randy Bradt, DNR hydrogeologist, 651-259-5728, randy.bradt@state.mn.us.
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