Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

October 1, 2007

Waterfowl hunters reminded to avoid spreading invasive species

From the DNR

It is waterfowl hunters’ turn to help stop aquatic hitchhikers by taking steps to avoid inadvertently transporting aquatic invasive species during the hunting season.

Without the proper precautions, invasive species such as purple loosestrife, Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels could be transported in waterfowl hunters’ boats, decoys or blind material.
“Hunters should take a few minutes to clean and drain water from their boats and equipment,” said Heidi Wolf, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources(DNR) watercraft inspection coordinator. “It’s the key to avoiding the spread of invasive species.”

DNR conservation officers routinely inspect equipment during the hunting season and enforce state regulations relating to invasive species.

In addition to draining water and removing plants and animals from boats and trailers, waterfowl hunters should:

• switch to elliptical, bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors that won’t collect submergent aquatic plants as easily

• inspect and remove aquatic plants, zebra mussels and mud from decoy lines or anchors, push poles, boats and waders

• drain the water from boats and equipment before leaving the lake or marsh

• cut cattails or other plants above the water line when used as camouflage for boats or blinds.

To kill or remove life-stages of invasive species such as seeds or young zebra mussels that are difficult to see, the DNR recommends boaters use a high-pressure spray or a hot water rinse before launching in another water body. Rinse water should be at least 104 degrees.

There are also other non-native invasive species that have not yet invaded Minnesota.

Hydrilla, an aquatic plant, has caused extensive and severe problems in the southern United States for many years and was recently discovered in northern Indiana.

Invasive species can damage habitat for fish, waterfowl and other wildlife.

Prairie Archers steak/shrimp dinner at the Dodge House in LP

Prairie Archers will be hosting a steak/shrimp dinner at the Dodge House in Lester Prairie Saturday, Oct. 13 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For a steak and shrimp combo the cost is $10, while just steak or shrimp is $8.

The meal includes baked potato, tossed salad, bread, dessert, coffee or milk, and a complimentary drink.

Call in your reservations before 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 to either Jim Richardson (320) 395-2721, or to the Dodge House at (320) 395-2877.

Waverly Gun Club news

• Conceal/carry classes will take place at the Waverly Gun Club Tuesday, Oct. 16, and Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 6 to 10 p.m.

For further information, call Russ Johnson at (763) 675-3527.

• Doubles league and 16-yard singles will start at the Waverly Gun Club Thursday, Oct. 4. Participants are welcome and invited.

• The Waverly Gun Club range will be open to the public for sight-in Saturday, Oct. 20, Sunday, Oct. 21, Saturday, Oct. 27, and Sunday, Oct. 28 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $7 per gun.

For more information about the gun club, visit its web site at www.geocities.com/waverlygunclub or call (763) 658-4644.

Kinship and PF work together to provide outdoor experiences
From Pheasants Forever

Minnesota Pheasants Forever (PF) and Kinship Inc. are proud to announce a joint partnership.

The new relationship is aimed at introducing “Kinship Kids” to hunting and the outdoors.

PF will encourage its local chapters to get involved with local Kinship affiliates to teach Kinship Mentors and Kinship Kids proper hunting safety and etiquette along with sound conservation practices.

In return, Kinship will encourage its matches to get involved with the conservation efforts of PF.

“PF is honored to work with an organization of Kinships reputation,” stated Eran Sandquist, regional wildlife biologist for PF in Northern Minnesota. “What a great opportunity to pass on understanding and appreciation for hunting, conservation and the outdoors where there is a great need and desire.”

Kinship Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization which believes in and promotes the concept of youth mentoring.

The National Kinship office exists to serve as a resource for established and emerging local Kinship affiliates that support a grassroots approach to providing service.

Building upon the strength of local communities is vital to the success of local Kinship affiliates.

“We understand that local Pheasants Forever Chapters and their volunteers have been providing quality instruction for those interested in hunting, conservation, and the outdoors in general,” said Kevin Stirtz, Kinship Inc executive director. “We think this partnership is a perfect match for our Kinship Mentors and Kids that do not have the opportunity to experience hunting, shooting, and outdoors activities.”

The Kinship Affiliate Network is made up of 47 affiliates located in the upper Midwest, having established mentoring relationships for nearly 1,800 of today’s youth. Many want to learn target shooting, hunting, archery or fishing.

The chance to provide quality, safe and fun experiences in the outdoors to those without opportunity coupled with Kinships record of helping youth, is the main reason for PF’s support.

Scott Luing, President of the Morrison County Pheasants Forever chapter, looks forward to working with Kinship of Morrison County in Central Minnesota, “When our chapter developed our local priorities, a main focus was educating youth about habitat conservation, appreciating our great outdoors and passing on the hunting tradition.

We have built a youth program that reaches out to kids and provides them with the chance to learn and experience those things. However, we have found that we are often reaching the kids that already have that opportunity. Our chapter wants to do more for the kids and mentors in our area who lack outdoor opportunities and I think that this partnership will take us to that next level.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the Kinship program contact Kevin Stirtz at (952) 212-4681 or visit the http://www.kinshipinc.org.

To learn more becoming involved with a local PF chapter contact Eran Sandquist at (320) 236 7755 or esandquist@pheasantsforever.org.

Don’t forget to ask for permission to hunt on private property
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters to always ask landowners for permission to hunt on their property.

It is also important for hunters to remember that once they have obtained permission, they are an invited guest and should always respect the rights and property of their host.

A little respect and a simple “thank you” will go a long way in obtaining permission to hunt on that property for years to come.

Any entry onto the private property of another without permission is considered trespass.

Landowners may be able to pursue court action against trespassers whether the property is posted or not.

People who are caught trespassing may be issued a citation and assessed a fine under civil penalties, and repeat violators can lose their license or registration.

If people are convicted of violating trespass laws under criminal procedures, they may lose their hunting privileges for up to two years, lose hunting equipment, and be subject to fines and possibly a jail sentence.

All DNR conservation officers and all other licensed peace offers enforce trespass laws and may issue a citation to a person who trespasses in violation of the law or who removes a sign without authorization.

A brochure about hunting private land is available by contacting the DNR Information Center at info@dnr.state.mn.us., (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

Brochure may also be downloaded from DNR Web site at mndnr.gov.

Minnesota state parks fall camping update
From the DNR

Even though Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer, it signaled the start of a whole new, colorful and exciting season…fall.

It’s also a season that brings lots of visitors to Minnesota state parks according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
“The fall color season brings visitors out for events and programs or to hike, camp and enjoy the scenic beauty of our state parks,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR Division of Parks and Recreation.

Nelson said that of the 67 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas that offer camping, all but four have camping this fall.

The four parks are: Old Mill in northwestern Minnesota, Monson Lake in west central Minnesota, Kilen Woods and Lake Louise in southern Minnesota.

Whitewater State Park currently remains closed due to floods that damaged the park in late August. For all other state parks, camping remains available.

“A change for state parks this year is the campground in Carley State Park in southeastern Minnesota will remain open this fall through Oct. 21 weather permitting,” Nelson said. “By extending the season at Carley, campers who ordinarily would have stayed at Whitewater State Park will have an alternative location for fall camping. Forestville/Mystery Cave and Beaver Creek Valley state parks are two other alternatives in southeastern Minnesota where camping is available this fall.”

For arrival dates from Nov. 1 to April 1, campsites are first-come, first-served; no advance reservations are taken.

Showers and modern restroom facilities will remain open in most campgrounds until a hard or continued frost occurs, Nelson said.

After that, water lines are drained and facilities are closed for the season but the parks remain open to camping and other activities.

At that time, camping rates are reduced to reflect the rustic conditions in the campground.

“We also encourage visitors to check the Web site at www.mnstateparks.info for a list of programs and events in the parks or current information on fall colors and availability of park facilities,” Nelson said.

Specific information about conditions will be listed on each individual state park Web page.

Questions can also be directed to the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

New invasive aquatic plant discovered in Minneapolis lake
From the DNR

Brazilian elodea, an invasive aquatic plant new to Minnesota waters, was discovered in Powderhorn Lake in south Minneapolis, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologists.

Thanks to the sharp eye of Rachael Crabb, a limnologist with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Brazilian elodea was spotted during a survey of aquatic vegetation in the lake.

The plant is native to South America, and also known as Brazilian waterweed, giant elodea, or Egeria densa.

Brazilian elodea can cause problems similar to those caused by Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasive aquatic plants.

These problems result when the invasive plant produces mats at the water’s surface and interfere with activities such as boating and swimming, as well as displacement of native plants.

To date, Brazilian elodea has become abundant in other states or areas where climates are milder than Minnesota’s.

It is important to limit the spread of the plant in Minnesota to prevent the development of potential problems.

Although it is not known how the plant reached the lake, it is suspected someone may have dumped the contents of an aquarium, including the Brazilian elodea, into the lake.

Brazilian elodea is widely sold in the aquarium trade.

Goldfish, which also are widely sold in the aquarium trade and are not native to Minnesota, previously have been seen in Powderhorn Lake.

This observation suggests that past aquarium releases have occurred there.

The DNR reminds people with aquaria and water gardens that it is illegal to release or dump unwanted plants or animals into lakes or streams.

Instead, the DNR recommends people pursue one of two options.

The first is to find another aquarium owner, pond owner, or water gardener who will take unwanted plants and animals.

The second is to dispose of the contents of the aquarium safely.

In the case of aquatic plants, seal them in plastic bags and dispose in the trash.

In the case of animals, contact a veterinarian or pet retailer for guidance on humane disposal of them.

The DNR and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plan to apply herbicide to the Brazilian elodea in Powderhorn Lake in an attempt to eliminate the plant from the lake.

For more information about options for disposal of aquarium plants and pets, visit: mndnr.gov.

Limited number of the 30th anniversary of Migratory Waterfowl Stamp posters available
From the DNR

People interested in obtaining a copy of the poster celebrating the 30th anniversary of Minnesota’s Migratory Waterfowl Stamp can request one from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Information Center.

A limited number of posters are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

People can call (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) to request a poster.

Walk-in visitors are welcome from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

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