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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #74                                                                                 Oct. 3, 2013
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
No surplus either-sex deer permits available for 2013
Zebra mussels found in Watab Lake, connected to Rossier Lake, in Stearns County
Popular 6-mile bicycle trail at Itasca State Park to be closed until mid-June for  
 reconstruction
Minnesota’s nongame wildlife program debuts Facebook page
Roseville artist wins 2014 pheasant stamp competition
Temporary OHV trail closures begin in November


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

No surplus either-sex deer permits available for 2013

For the first time since surplus permits were offered in 2007, no leftover either-sex deer permits are available for purchase after the lottery deadline, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

The DNR offered 38,850 either-sex permits in 58 deer permit areas this year. Every permit area received applications for at least 100 percent of the permits available.

In lottery deer areas, firearm and muzzleloader license holders who intend to take an antlerless deer must have an either-sex permit; otherwise, they are restricted to hunting bucks. The total bag limit for deer in lottery areas is one deer per year.

Availability of leftover permits has declined since the development of the hunter choice management designation, which was first used in 2011. Similar to lottery areas, hunter choice-designated areas have a bag limit of one deer; however, no limit is placed on the number of available either-sex permits and lottery applications are not required.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Oct. 3, 2013 

Zebra mussels found in Watab Lake, connected to Rossier Lake, in Stearns County

Three connected lakes in Stearns County have been designated as infested waters after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the presence of invasive zebra mussels in Watab Lake -- connected to Rossier Lake -- north of St. Joseph. Watab Lake should not be confused with Big Watab Lake south of Avon.

The confirmation came after a Watab Lake resident reported finding what appeared to be zebra mussels on the ladder of a swimming raft early last week. When DNR staff investigated, they found zebra mussels attached to several other pieces of recreational equipment as well.

Because Watab Lake is connected to Rossier Lake and Lower Watab Lake, those waters will be designated as infested waters, as well as the Watab River downstream of Watab Lake to the confluence with the Mississippi River. 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. 

“This is the first confirmed case of zebra mussels in a Stearns County lake, and it underscores the need for continued diligence in complying with the state’s invasive species laws,” said Christine Jurek, DNR invasive species specialist. “Before leaving a water access, remove all aquatic plants and animals, drain water-related equipment, remove drain plugs from bilge, livewell and baitwell and dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.”

Moving docks, boat lifts and other water-related equipment from one lake to another can move invasive species as well. State law requires that all docks, boatlifts and swim rafts removed from any lake, river or stream be dried for 21 days and all aquatic plants and animals such as zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil be removed from the equipment before it is placed in another body of water.

Early detection is critical in preventing the spread of invasive species. Fall provides a good reminder for lakeshore owners to inspect all water-related equipment when it is removed from the water at the end of the season.

People who find something they suspect is a zebra mussel or other aquatic invasive species should take a photo or keep the specimen, and report it to the nearest DNR invasive species specialist. DNR staff will be working with area residents on the connected waters of Watab Lake, Rossier Lake and Little Watab Lake this fall to further document the extent of zebra mussels in these waters.

More information about zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/AIS.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Oct. 3, 2013

Popular 6-mile bicycle trail at Itasca State Park to be closed until mid-June for reconstruction

The six-mile paved bicycle trail that goes from Douglas Lodge to the Mississippi headwaters area at Itasca State Park in Park Rapids is about to undergo major reconstruction, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

All of the existing asphalt will be removed this fall. The trail will be regraded and, in the spring, it will be given a new coat of blacktop. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-June.

“Once this project is done, the trail will be smoother and safer for bicyclists,” said Jeff Karels, assistant park manager.

The majority of the $1.5 million project will be paid for with state bonding dollars. The rest will come from a federal recreational trail program grant and from the parks and trails fund, created after Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008.

While the bicycle trail is closed, Wilderness Drive will remain open for bicyclists who don’t mind sharing the road with motor vehicles. The 10-mile, one-way scenic drive heads west from the headwaters and ends near Douglas Lodge. There are many spectacular sights along the way, including a couple of Minnesota’s tallest pine trees.

For a map and other information about the park, including details about renting bicycles, visit www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/itasca) or contact the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or at info.dnr@state.mn.us.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Oct. 3, 2013

Minnesota’s nongame wildlife program debuts Facebook page

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is expanding its use of social media with the recent launch of a Facebook page for its nongame wildlife program
www.facebook.com/minnesotanongamewildlifeprogram.

The DNR now has nine Facebook pages and four Twitter accounts.

The nongame Facebook page highlights success stories, emerging issues and photographs pertaining to the program’s work to help more than 700 species of Minnesota wildlife thrive.

“We are excited about the use of social media outlets like Facebook,” said Carrol Henderson, nongame wildlife program supervisor. “Social media is a great way to get younger, and more tech savvy, Minnesotans interested in our native wildlife species, DNR projects and volunteer opportunities.”

The nongame wildlife program is the same program as the donation check-box on Minnesota income and property tax forms. The program’s Facebook page tells more about how donation money is spent.

The DNR’s social community includes:

Facebook

Minnesota Boat and Water Safety (www.facebook.com/mndnrboatandwatersafety)

Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program (www.facebook.com/minnesotanongamewildlifeprogram)

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Magazine (www.facebook.com/mcvmag)

Minnesota Fishing (www.facebook.com/mnfish)

Minnesota Hunting & Trapping (www.facebook.com/mnhunting)

Minnesota State Climatology Office (www.facebook.com/minnesotastateclimatologyoffice)
 
Minnesota State Parks and Trails (www.facebook.com/mnstateparksandtrails)

School Forest Program (www.facebook.com/mnschoolforest)

PlayCleanGo (www.facebook.com/playcleango)

Twitter

Minnesota DNR  (www.twitter.com/mndnr)

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine (www.twitter.com/MCVmag)

Minnesota State Parks (www.twitter.com/mnstateparks)

PlayClean Go (www.twitter.com/playcleango)

YouTube

www.youtube.com/minnesotadnr

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Oct. 3, 2013

Roseville artist wins 2014 pheasant stamp competition

A painting by Ed DuRose of Roseville was selected as the winning design from among 11 entries in the 2014 pheasant habitat stamp contest sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). DuRose was last year’s second place finisher.

Six entries advanced to the second stage of judging, from which the five-member panel of judges selected four finalists. Nicolas Markell of Hugo took second place and Ronald Engerbretson of Owatonna took third.

The $7.50 pheasant stamp is required of all Minnesota pheasant hunters ages 18 through 64. Stamp sales generate money for habitat enhancement efforts on both public and private lands in Minnesota’s pheasant range.

The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work, which is usually done as limited edition prints. The 2014 Pheasant Stamp will be available for sale in March.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Oct. 3, 2013

Temporary OHV trail closures begin in November

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will restrict recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) in some areas during the upcoming firearms deer hunting season. Vehicles affected by the restrictions include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and registered off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.

The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, aim to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and recreational riders who may inadvertently disturb them.

Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity:

  • Before legal shooting time.
  • From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • After legal shooting hours.

Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions will be:

  • Nov. 9 – 24 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season.
  • Nov. 9 – 17 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season.

Because recreational OHV trails located in southeastern Minnesota close Nov. 1 each year, no additional OHV riding restrictions are necessary in that part of the state.

While many recreational OHV riders have voluntarily opted not to ride forest trails during deer hunting and small game seasons, recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many. DNR officials remind everyone who visits Minnesota’s state forests this fall to put safety first.

For more information, see the 2013 deer season map online at www.mndnr.gov (http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/hunting/2013/deermap.pdf) or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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