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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #72                                                                             Sept. 26, 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
Missouri anglers face fines for catfish over-limits
DNA test confirms identity of wolf that bit teen
Bicycle enthusiasts continue quest to make Minnesota ‘the most bike friendly
   place on earth’

 

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Missouri anglers face fines for catfish over-limits

Two anglers from Missouri face fines and restitution for over-limits of catfish caught on Lac qui Parle, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Conservation Officer Ed Picht observed two people fishing on a public fishing pier on Lac qui Parle and saw one of the anglers was using two lines.

Upon further investigation, he found that Frankie Munger and Roger Murphy had 14 catfish on a stringer and 36 catfish fillets in their cooler. The limit on catfish is five with only one more than 24 inches. They were also in possession of too many catfish over length. Fines and restitution for the pair totaled $600.

“The men didn’t think it was a big deal to keep too many catfish,” Picht said. “In reality, most of the people who fish the Minnesota River system this time of year are targeting catfish.”

Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the 24-hour, toll-free Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       ;Sept. 26, 2013

DNA test confirms identity of wolf that bit teen

DNA tests confirm that the male gray wolf trapped and killed Aug. 26 in the West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish is the wolf that bit a 16-year-old male on Aug. 24.

Testing done by forensic scientists at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California-Davis showed identical matches between the wolf’s DNA profile and the profile of samples obtained from a comforter used when the teen was transported for treatment.

“We were confident that the wolf involved in the attack was removed based on the description and location of the wolf captured following the incident,” said Michelle Carstensen, wildlife health program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “DNA results provide further assurance that the wolf we captured was the animal involved.”

The DNR also received final results this week of the wolf necropsy conducted by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The necropsy report documented a number of abnormal conditions that may have contributed to it approaching and biting a human, which is not normal wolf behavior.

The wolf, estimated to be 1½ years old, suffered from severe facial deformity, dental abnormalities and brain damage caused by infection, according to Anibal G. Armien, the pathologist and veterinarian at the University of Minnesota who performed the necropsy.
  
It’s likely that the wolf experienced a traumatic injury as a pup and those injuries developed into abnormalities that caused the brain damage, Armien said.

The wolf’s condition likely explains why it was searching for food around the campground, said Dan Stark, the DNR’s large carnivore specialist. In most cases it is extremely rare for a wolf to be scavenging around an area with frequent human activity and not avoid the presence of people. The wolf’s stomach contained only fish spines and scales.

“It’s surprising that a wolf in this condition survived to this point given its reduced ability to survive in the wild,” Stark said.

“We can’t know with certainty why this wolf approached and bit the teen,” Carstensen said. “But the necropsy results support the possibility that its facial deformity, dental abnormalities and brain damage predisposed it to be less wary of people and human activities than what is normally observed in healthy wild wolves and also affected its ability to effectively capture wild prey.”

The teen sustained multiple puncture wounds and a laceration to his head when the wolf approached and bit his head from behind. The injuries were not life-threatening. The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Aug. 28 that the wolf was not rabid.

Attacks of wild wolves on humans are rare. This was Minnesota’s first documented wild wolf attack on a human that resulted in a significant injury.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Sept. 26, 2013


Bicycle enthusiasts continue quest to make Minnesota ‘the most bike friendly place on earth’
Bicycle summit to take place in Brainerd Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Bicycle enthusiasts from across the state will gather in Brainerd on Monday, Sept. 30, and Tuesday, Oct. 1, to share how they are getting more people on bikes more often in Minnesota, which improves the health of individuals, communities, the environment and the economy, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

“Creating Connections” is the theme of the 2013 PedalMN Bicycle Summit, which will take place at Cragun’s Resort. Explore Minnesota Tourism is convening the summit in partnership with the DNR, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Department of Health, Department of Transportation, Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota and the National Park Service. These seven organizations have been working together since 2011 to promote biking in Minnesota through the Pedal Minnesota campaign (www.pedalmn.com), which aims to make Minnesota “the most bike friendly place on earth.”

“With so many great trails and routes, bicycling has become an important part of Minnesota tourism,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. “Bike friendly communities not only benefit their residents, they also attract visitors and add to the vitality of our state.”

The first day of the summit will include guided rides on the mountain bike trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, on the paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and the Mississippi River Trail. There will also be a van tour showing examples of how bicycling and new mountain bike trails are connecting with local businesses and contributing to economic development.

Alison Dewey, program manager for The League of American Bicyclists (http://www.bikeleague.org/) will give a keynote address on how to create bike friendly communities at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1. The League issues an annual list of Bicycle Friendly State rankings. Minnesota consistently ranks among the top five states in that list and was ranked fourth in 2013. 

At 11:45 a.m., a panel of health professionals from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, OptumHealth and HealthPartners will speak about their role in promoting bicycling to improve health. Break-out sessions on “Bicycle friendly success stories” and other topics will take place in the morning and afternoon. To see agenda, visit www.exploreminnesota.com (www.exploreminnesota.com/industry-minnesota/tools-training/pedalmn-bicycle-summit/index.aspx).
 
Minnesota’s extensive statewide trail system includes more than 620 miles of paved trails managed by the DNR, along with hundreds of additional paved trails managed by local and regional units of government. Virtual tours of Minnesota state trails can be found at www.mndnr.gov (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/virtual_tours.html).

Cyclists in Minnesota also have access to many road touring and mountain biking opportunities, including the 25-mile single-track trail system at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/cuyuna_country/index.html) north of Brainerd. The summit will include information and resources for recreational and utilitarian bicyclists. The second day will highlight how to engage women and diverse audiences around every day bicycling and its numerous benefits.

A survey conducted by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center in 2008 estimated the total trip spending for bicycling in Minnesota to be $337 million.

Additional information about the summit can be found at www.industry.exploreminnesota.com/bike-summit/. The experiential rides scheduled for Sept. 30 are full, but there is still space available for the second day. Walk-in registrations ($60) are welcome on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

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