By Chris Schultz Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn. May 17, 1999
No fish? Try mushrooms
Chris is on assignment, that means he's fishing.
However, and aside from the DNR information that is in this week's column, he did leave one note.
If the fish aren't biting, get off the lake and head into the woods for some morel mushroom hunting. Morels are just starting to pop up in our area and the best hunting typically comes with warm weather right after heavy rains.
The season is only about three to four weeks long in our area so get out there now while it lasts.
Also, be prepared for thick undergrowth in the woods and all kinds of bugs. Aside from that, good luck hunting.
1999 Minnesota moose season announced
From the DNR
Applications will be available the week of May 10 for the 1999 Minnesota moose hunt, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Applications may be obtained from license vendors, county auditor offices, and the DNR License Bureau at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.
The application deadline is Friday, June 18. A total of 189 permits are available in 29 zones in the northeastern part of the state. Season dates are Oct. 2-Oct. 17.
For the third consecutive year, no moose hunting permits are being offered for zones in northwestern Minnesota. Moose populations have declined there. A cooperative study is underway to determine causes for this decline.
Individuals who applied for permits for last year's moose hunt will be sent postcards with peel-off stickers that contain the information necessary to apply for permits. Moose hunters may apply in parties of from two to four individuals. An application fee of $3 per individual must be included with the application. Only Minnesota residents are eligible for the moose hunt.
Permits are issued through a random drawing. Because the moose hunt became a "once-in-a-lifetime" hunt beginning in 1991, hunters who have received permits for moose hunts for the 1991 hunt and later are not eligible for the 1999 drawing or future moose hunt drawings.
The bag limit is one moose of any age or either sex per party of two to four hunters. The license fee is $275 per party. There will be mandatory orientation sessions required for all hunters chosen for moose licenses.
In 1998, 184 parties took 125 moose in northeast zones for a 68 percent success rate. The harvest included 90 bulls and 35 cows. Approximately 4,200 parties consisting of 10,500 individuals applied for moose hunting permits in 1998.
Boaters reminded to help prevent spread of exotic species
From the DNR
With the start of 1999 boating and fishing season upon us, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding boaters that they hold the key to minimizing the spread of exotic species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.
Using a combination of radio and television ads, signs at public accesses, watercraft inspections, and public service announcements across the state, the DNR hopes boaters and anglers will remember to clean all aquatic plants off their boats and trailers, empty water from livewells and bait buckets before leaving the boat landing, and dispose of unwanted live bait on land rather than into a lake or river.
"After eight years of informing Minnesota boaters, taking these precautions should now be part of their routine," said Jay Rendall, DNR Exotic Species Program coordinator. "These simple precautions help boaters comply with the state laws that prohibit the transport of aquatic plants and zebra mussels."
The rate of spread of Eurasian watermilfoil increased in 1998 to its highest level in eight years, with nine additional lakes infested. In addition, the threat of zebra mussel spread increases as they become more abundant in the Mississippi River downstream of Minneapolis, the Duluth harbor, and in other states.
"It's important for any boater who is bringing in a boat from out of state to make sure it is not carrying any zebra mussels on it," said Rendall in response to several reports of boats purchased in Ohio being transported to Minnesota with attached zebra mussels. "Anyone who buys a boat that has been moored in waters of another state should thoroughly inspect the boat, remove visible mussels, and wash the boat with hot water to prevent accidentally introducing any harmful exotics such as zebra mussels."
DNR proposes extension of September Canada goose season
From the DNR
The DNR is proposing to extend the closing date of the early September Canada goose season to Sept. 22 statewide except in the Northwest Goose Zone.
Previously, the season has closed Sept. 15. This would add a third weekend to the early hunt. The DNR's objectives in extending this season are to help control the population of local breeding giant Canada goose flocks in Minnesota and to help reduce nuisance or depredation problems in both urban and rural areas.
This proposal was approved by the Mississippi Flyway Council in March, but still requires approval by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this summer before it can go into effect. If approval is granted, the season extension will be experimental for three years. Each year during the extension period, DNR biologists will have to collect measurement data from harvested geese to determine whether the birds are local giants or migratory geese from the Eastern Prairie Population (medium size) or Tall Grass Prairie Population (small size). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not allow states to open early September Canada goose seasons if more than 10 percent of the birds harvested are migrants. After three years, if Minnesota meets the criteria, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may allow the extension to become a standard part of Minnesota's early Canada goose season.
Also new this year will be an early September Canada goose season in Minnesota's Northwest Goose Zone. Previously this zone had been closed during the September season. The season in the Northwest Zone will run from Sept. 4-15, with a bag limit of two per day and four in possession.
To provide comments on the proposed extension of the September goose season, contact: Minnesota DNR, Section of Wildlife, Box 7, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4007.