Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

July 10, 2006

Evolution of angler ethics

From the DNR

Over a lifetime, many anglers’ views on fish and fish habitat change.

This is similar to the change in values a hunter may experience with the accumulation of hunts gone by.

Respect for game and fish and the habitat they need for survival changes with increased experience in the field or on the water. And, these values influence public opinion on how fish and wildlife should be managed.

Today, many hunters lament the loss of good habitat and available hunting land from what they experienced when they were young.

As wild lands make way for housing and commercial areas, our attitudes and opinions change on how natural resources should be managed.

As hunters learn more about the long-term rewards of wildlife habitat management, they call for the protection, restoration, and acquisition of natural lands.

Because the loss of the wildlife habitat is often easier to see than the loss of fish habitat, many anglers have not sought habitat protection until more recently.

Trout anglers and their organizations (such as Trout Unlimited) were among the first to promote the concern for fish habitat.

Wading in a stream connects one to the problems of poor land management. Trout anglers see the sediment that enters steams because of improper treatment of rainwater and muddy waters that are the result of poor erosion control.

Many anglers are seeing the value in managing and protecting fish habitat. They know that fish are dependent on the shore or shallow water at one time in their life. They understand that managing shoreland to reduce or eliminate runoff of water that has fertilizers and pollutants in it will help fish population - so will natural shorelines.

For many fish species, a sand beach and a large dock do not provide desirable habitat.

Walleyes select clean, wave-washed gravel and cobble shorelines for spawning, and northern pike depend on aquatic vegetation for spawning and nursery areas - areas that are natural, not human altered.

A lawn-to-lake shoreline diminishes fish and wildlife habitat, reduces water quality, and degrades the scenic quality of the lake.

Many anglers are now asking what can be done to restore the shoreline and near shore fish habitat (see www. dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt).

Many of those who own river or lakeshore lands are working to minimize the impact of their activities on near shore, shallow water areas.

Angler enthusiasm and affection for fish evokes both the conservation of harvested fish and the protection of habitat.

Hydrologists and chemists have found interesting differences with the lawn-to-lake style of shoreline compared to a native vegetated shoreline. Rainwater runoff from lawn-to-lake shoreline was five to 10 times higher than forested shorelines.

The lawn-to-lake shoreline also allows seven to nine times more phosphorus to enter the lake than a more natural native vegetated shoreline.

Phosphorus is plant nutrient, and more of it entering the lake means more algae, which in turn results in lower water clarity and poorer fish spawning habitat.

The Governor’s Clean Water Initiative pilot project brought people together to create an alternative set of shoreland development standards.
Citizens that worked on the project assisted in the development of pragmatic tools for use by local governments.

The Alternative Standards give local governments options for use in local ordinances, which are based on the latest science on land use management.

The Alternative Standards ask that all lake homeowners preserve or establish a native forest shoreline of sufficient depth along the lake.

The timber harvest industry and farmers must leave a vegetative filter along lakes to protect water quality.

It is fair to require the same of lake homeowners. The maintenance of a healthy shoreline depends on all landowners and anglers that care about fish habitat.

Details of the Shoreland Rules Update project are online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters. (Click on the Shoreland Standards Update link). Email comments to shorelandupdate@dnr.state.mn.us.

Keg’s Bar Fishing League

Bass & Walleye
Week 7 - Howard Lake
Results
1. Mike and Kimberly Moy
2 bass, 1 walleye 11 lbs.
2. Jason and Mark Kieser
2 bass 7 lbs., 8 oz.
3. Marcus Halverson and Corey Zitzloff
2 bass 7 lbs., 6 oz.
4. Tim Thul
2 bass 6 lbs., 11 oz.
5. Gus and Bonnie Schoenfeld
2 bass 6 lbs., 10 oz.
big northern 3 lbs., 11 oz.
6. Tom Schoenfeld and Kyle Kulinski
2 bass 6 lbs., 9 oz.
7. John Lambrecht and Brian Hamkomp
2 bass 6 lbs., 4 oz.
8. Dave Fiecke and Todd Prudent
2 bass 5 lbs., 15 oz.
Week 7
Name Pts PtsTotal
Woody Langenfeld DNF 89
Dave Fiecke DNF 69
Gus Schuenfeld 11 71
Thomas Schuenfeld 10 60
Jason Kieser 16 43.5
Mark Kieser 16 43.5
Corey Zitzloff 14 43
Mike Moy 20 99
Kim Moy 20 99
John Lambrecht 9 61.5
Brian Hankomp 9 57.5
Tim Thul 12 28
Russ C. DNF 15
Dave Groff 8 47
Todd Prudent 8 46
Kyle Kulinski 10 19
Gaylen Schoenfeld DNF 8
Steve Sherman DNF 14
Neil Syvertson DNF 14
Bonnie Schoenfeld 11 19
Brad Gebhardt 1 1

To participate, stop in at Keg’s Bar in Winsted, or call (320) 485-4250. Tournament runs Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Lake is chosen at 3 p.m. on day of fishing. Twelve weeks total with different lake each week.

Apply now for prairie chicken, fall turkey hunts
From the DNR

Hunters who wish to apply for one of 182 permits for the 2006 Minnesota prairie chicken season or for one of 4,290 permits for the fall turkey hunt must do so by July 28.

Applications are available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

• Prairie Chicken Season

The five-day prairie chicken season, which begins Oct. 21, is open to Minnesota residents only.

Hunters will be charged a $4 application fee and may apply individually or in groups up to four. Prairie chicken licenses cost $20.

The hunt will be held in 11 prairie chicken quota areas in west-central Minnesota between Warren in the north and Breckenridge in the south.

Up to 20 percent of the permits in each area will be issued to landowners or tenants of 40 acres or more of prairie or grassland property within the permit area for which they applied.

The season bag limit is two prairie chickens per hunter. This year, licensed prairie chicken hunters will also be allowed to take sharp-tailed grouse while legally hunting prairie chickens.

Sharptails and prairie chickens are similar looking species and the general closure on taking sharp-tailed grouse by small game hunters in this area is to protect prairie chickens.

Licensed prairie chicken hunters who wish to take sharptails must meet all regulations and licensing requirements for taking sharp-tailed grouse.

Minnesota’s prairie chicken population increased substantially between 1997 and 2004 and now stands at more than 1,760 adult males.

The DNR expects more than four times that number of birds in the fall population.

Prairie restoration and protection programs have helped stabilize the bird’s population in recent years.

The restoration of a regulated prairie chicken hunting season has helped build awareness and support for protecting and enhancing prairie and grassland habitats, according to the DNR.

• Fall Turkey Season

Applications for this year’s fall turkey hunt are also being accepted at Electronic License System (ELS) vendors across Minnesota.

Fall turkey hunters may apply for one of 4,290 permits to hunt in one of 32 permit areas from Oct. 18-22 or Oct. 25-29. Application fee is $3.
The license costs $18 for residents and $73 for nonresidents. A $5 stamp validation is also required for turkey hunters 18 years of age or older.

Area 463 was inadvertently put on the 2006 fall turkey hunt application procedures brochure map mailed to ELS license agents. There will be no permits in area 463 in 2006.

The deadline for applications for both the prairie chicken and fall turkey hunts is July 28.

Application worksheets and maps of permit areas for both hunts are available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail and must purchase permit at an ELS vendor.

People seeing red as they travel north
From the DNR

Minnesotans traveling north on Interstate 35 to cabins or favorite resorts in July may see red. That is not a prediction of the traffic situation, but a description of jack pine trees along the roadway.

General Andrews State Forest, which spans I-35 between Willow River and Sturgeon Lake, is experiencing an outbreak of jack pine budworm (JPBW), which turns the trees reddish-brown.

The young larvae of JPBW start feeding on the pollen cones (male flowers) in early spring and move to the adjacent needles as the larvae grow.

Chewed off needles are held together in webbing at the ends of branches and begin to turn reddish-brown after a few days.

When there is a large number of JPBW feeding, the accumulation of dead needles becomes very noticeable by late June, attracting a lot of attention.

The degree of browning can even be used to estimate the intensity of defoliation.

Healthy jack pine trees can withstand severe defoliation by JPBW for one year without undue harm to the tree. This is the third year of sporadic outbreaks in General Andrews State Forest.

Because of the increased mortality of jack pine after repeated defoliation and the maturity of the jack pine stands, the decision was made to harvest stands weakened by repeat attacks of the JPBW.

About 400 acres in General Andrews State Forest east of I-35 already have been harvested or will be harvested this year.

St. Croix State Park has some infestation of JPBW, but nothing severe and no control or harvest is expected.

About 600 acres of jack pine in Camp Ripley, near Little Falls, was treated in early June with Btk, a naturally occurring bacterium that kills the larvae.

The current outbreak that is visible is mainly west of the freeway.

About 130 to 160 acres of jack pine have been assessed as severely defoliated with high tree mortality predicted. This area is expected to be marked for harvest.

Stands not defoliated in past years should see little to no long-term damage, unless already stressed or of advanced age.

Jack pine budworm can be managed best through cultural means. These include maintaining proper stand density, minimizing factors that favor abundant cone production and rotating the stand at approximately 45 years of age.

The General Andrews harvest sites will be replanted with a mixture of jack, red and white pine.

Outdoor notes

• Erlen Schroeder of Mayer and his son Gregg Schroeder of Waconia won top honors aand $7,200 in a 90-team field with a catch of 28.45 pounds at the 26th annual Lake Osaksi Walleye Tournament June 17-18.

Erlen won the event 10 years ago, partnering with his son Doug, and also has a second- and third-place finish at the event.

Gregg, a Waconia letter carrier, also has placed in the winning category and is a fishing guide in Waconia, Minnetonka, Mille Lac, and the Red Wing area.

Competitors caught a total weight of 584 pounds during the tournament and donated 100 pounds of food for are food shelves.

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