DNR news releases, May 15, 2014

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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #37                                                                                  May 15, 2014
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.
Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr.

IN THIS ISSUE
2014 Arbor Month celebration encourages nature play
BOW program celebrates 20 years of connecting women to the outdoors   
DNR partnership expands invasive carp monitoring and detection
Public invited to meetings on walleye regulation for some Otter Tail County lakes
Public invited to comment on bass regulations for 4 Otter Tail County lakes



DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   

2014 Arbor Month celebration encourages nature play

A decline in nature play has prompted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to put this year’s Arbor Month (May) focus on encouraging kids to climb trees and play with nature in their back yards and within the community.

“Outdoor playtime can easily be doubled with a little planning and a commitment by parents to encourage their kids to climb trees, dig holes in dirt and sand, play in the leaves, plant a garden, build forts, run through tall grass and play with water,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR’s forestry outreach specialist.

The 2014 state Arbor Month celebration on Sat., May 17, from 9 a.m. to noon at Oak Hill Park in St. Louis Park, will give families a chance to play with nature, while watching some of the best tree climbers in the state compete at the Minnesota Tree Climbing Championship.

Schedule of events
-- 9 a.m. -- Ceremony with state dignitaries.
-- 9:30 a.m. -- Ceremonial tree planting.
--10 a.m. -- Musical performance by Kidtime with Rachel.
--10 a.m.–noon -- Nature play activities, exhibits and presentations.
-- 8 a.m.–5 p.m. -- Minnesota State Tree Climbing Championships.

According to the Children & Nature Network and the Commission on Education and Communication, 88 percent of children reported using a computer almost every day, while only 11 percent of children reported visiting a local park or natural area almost every day. In some cases, the use of electronic media has disconnected children and their parents from nature.

Nature play is easy, affordable and safe. Frequent, unstructured play in diverse natural settings promotes overall physical and emotional health, cognitive development, creativity, physical ability and coordination, the Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood reports. It also reduces stress and forms the foundation for responsible environmental behavior.

For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/arbormonth

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          May 15, 2014
 
BOW program celebrates 20 years of connecting women to the outdoors  

Learn how to hunt deer. Tie a fly and catch trout. Call a turkey. Go kayaking. Women and families all over Minnesota are learning these and more skills through the Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota offers more BOW programs than any other state in the nation, with more than 100 family and women-specific offerings. In early May, DNR staff honored volunteers and celebrated two decades of BOW.

“The program wouldn’t exist without volunteers and their commitment, knowledge and passion,” said Linda Bylander, BOW coordinator with the DNR. “These women share their skills and help each other connect with nature in a supportive environment. And exploring the outdoors is simply more fun with friends.”

Classes taught in a noncompetitive environment cover a range of outdoors skills, from Fishing 101 to guided sturgeon fishing adventure trips, from firearms safety classes to mentored archery deer hunts. For a list of upcoming BOW classes and events, see www.dnr.state.mn.us/education/bow/calendar.html.

“The BOW program has long been the gold standard in providing ways for adult women and families to learn outdoor skills,” said Jay Johnson, DNR hunting recruitment and retention supervisor. “Often they learn these skills through multi-session classes that move participants from low to high skill levels.”

Besides helping to recruit new hunters, BOW fosters a social support system for women looking to make friends through outdoor sports and hone newly learned skills, said Johnson.

“A great example of this is the Women’s Hunting Archery Series. It’s a collaboration between BOW and the North Country Bowhunters Chapter of Safari Club International. With each class, women have a chance to better their skills and share in each other’s success,” Johnson said.

To read more about the history and download the BOW catalog, see www.mndnr.gov/education/bow.

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DNR NEWS -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 May 15, 2014

DNR partnership expands invasive carp monitoring and detection

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC), will begin comprehensive monitoring and detection of bighead, black, grass, and silver carp in Minnesota waters in 2014. Currently, small numbers of bighead, grass, and silver carp are present in Minnesota.  

The goal of monitoring is to better understand the current status of invasive carp in the waters of Minnesota where habitat may allow them to establish self-sustaining populations. Detecting invasive carp in Minnesota waters is challenging because their numbers are low and they are difficult to catch using traditional sampling equipment.

The DNR employs a variety of techniques to gather data about invasive carp, including:  commercial fishing contracts, targeted field sampling, eDNA (genetic surveillance), and telemetry. Detecting individual fish and observing changes in overall population, helps inform management efforts and identify ways to prevent the spread of invasive carp.   

“These efforts are an important element of the Minnesota invasive carp action plan, because invasive carp species are not yet established in Minnesota,” said Nick Frohnauer, DNR invasive fish coordinator. “Expanding our knowledge of their presence and population dynamics is important to establish timelines and direct deterrence measures.”

Previous monitoring efforts for these invasive carp were focused on the Mississippi River from Hastings to Coon Rapids, St. Croix River to Taylor’s Falls, and the mouth of the Minnesota River. These efforts, combined with additional data from Iowa and Illinois, indicate that for the Mississippi River, the leading edge of established populations of bighead and silver carp is in northern Iowa. As a result, the DNR and partner agencies plan to:

  • Expand sampling into Mississippi River Pools 5a, 6, and 8 (in southeastern Minnesota).
  • Conduct detection surveys of invasive carp on the Minnesota River while also gathering baseline data on native aquatic communities.
  • Maintain sampling stations established on southwestern Minnesota rivers and streams to detect if invasive carp expand into Minnesota via the Missouri River. 
  • Continue collaborating with MAISRC on collecting water samples from Lock and Dam 1, Lock and Dam 5, and Taylor’s Falls for future analysis.   


The DNR is also working on or supporting additional projects to deter the expansion of invasive carp into Minnesota, including: St. Anthony Falls, Lock and Dam 1, Mississippi River Lock and Dams 2, 5, and 8 (MAISRC research locations), and southwestern Minnesota.

For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/AIS.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                         May 15, 2014

Public invited to meetings on walleye regulation for some Otter Tail County lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold two public meetings to provide updated information on the existing walleye regulation on North and South Lida, Venestrom and Mud lakes in Otter Tail County.

The first meeting will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 17, at Lake Region Electric Cooperative, 1401 South Broadway in Pelican Rapids.

The second meeting will be from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Fergus Falls DNR headquarters, 1509 First Ave. N. in Fergus Falls.

The lakes are located 5 miles east of Pelican Rapids. At the meetings, the DNR will present updated information collected since the regulation was implemented in 2005.

The existing walleye regulation is: All walleye from 17- to 26-inches must be immediately released. One fish over 26 inches is allowed in possession.

Those unable to attend the meetings may submit written comments any time to: DNR Fergus Falls area fisheries, 1509 First Ave. N., Fergus Falls, MN 56537, or via email to james.wolters@state.mn.us or fergusfalls.fisheries@state.mn.us. To provide comments by phone, call 218-739-7576.


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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        May 15, 2014


Public invited to comment on bass regulations on 4 Otter Tail County lakes  

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold two public meetings to provide information about the existing bass regulations and ask for public comments on whether the regulations should be continued, modified or rescinded on Jewett, Pickerel, Clitherall and Sewell lakes in Otter Tail County.

The first meeting will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Fergus Falls DNR Headquarters, 1509 First Ave. N. in Fergus Falls.

The second meeting will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Lakes Area Community Center, 112 West Main St. in Battle Lake.

Jewett Lake is 8 miles north of Fergus Falls. Pickerel Lake is 12 miles north of Underwood. Clitherall Lake is 5 miles south of Battle Lake. Sewell Lake is 7 miles southeast of Dalton.

Currently, there is a 12- to 20-inch protected slot length limit for bass on Jewett, Pickerel and Sewell lakes. Clitherall Lake currently has a catch-and-release regulation for smallmouth bass.

Prior to the meeting, notices will be published in local newspapers.
 
Those unable to attend the meetings may submit written comments any time to: DNR Fergus Falls area fisheries, 1509 First Ave. N., Fergus Falls, MN 56537, or via email to james.wolters@state.mn.us or fergusfalls.fisheries@state.mn.us. To provide comments by phone, call 218-739-7576. All comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30.

Public comments will also be accepted during an open house 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24 at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

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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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