2007 fishing and shelter licenses good until April 30, 2008

Feb. 11, 2008

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Minnesota anglers are reminded that their 2007 fishing and shelter licenses are good through April 30, 2008.

“This was a mid-season change by the Legislature last session so it isn’t contained in the 2007 Fishing Regulations Handbook which was already in print at the time,” said Major Roger Tietz, DNR Enforcement operations support manager. “To avoid any confusion, we’re issuing a friendly reminder that the fishing and fish-house licenses in peoples pockets are good until April 30, 2008.”

State statute now states that the license year for resident fishing, the angling portion of a sporting license, nonresident fishing, resident fish house, resident dark house, and nonresident fish house begins on March 1 and ends on April 30 of the following year.

Tietz said the Legislature’s reasoning was folks wouldn’t have to buy a new fishing license in the middle of the winter fishing season.

However, they would need to buy a new one by the 2008 spring fishing opener.

“Current year licenses are good through April 30th, even if that date isn’t reflected on your 2007 fishing and shelter licenses or the 2007 Fishing Regulations Handbook,” Tietz said.

Prairie Archers to host dinner at Dodge House

The Prairie Archers-sponsored February “Sweethearts” dinner will be Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Dodge House in Lester Prairie.

The cost for the prime dinner is $16. Non-prime rib lovers can order a 12-ounce butterfly pork chop for $10.

Call in your reservations before 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 to either (320) 395-2877 or (320) 395-2721.

The dinner will run from 4 to 8 p.m.

2008 firearms safety training course in Delano

The registration date is Monday, March 3, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the Delano Sportsman’s Club for the firearms safety training course.

There is a $7.50 registration fee. A parent or guardian is required to register each student.

Students must be 11 years old by March 3, 2008. Adults are welcome and encouraged to take this course.

Class hours are 7 to 9 p.m. each night.

Saturday, April 5 is the field/range day from 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m.

A parent or guardian is requested to attend the March 4 class.

Class dates are as follows:
• March 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 24, 27, April 1, and 3; April 5 will be field/range day.
The firearms safety training course will cover hunter responsibility, firearms handling, archery, marksmanship, wildlife identification, game management and game care, survival, water safety, and first aid.

If you have any questions, call John McClay at (763) 675-2397, after 6 p.m.

2008 volunteer monitoring workshops planned
From the Crow River Organization of Water newsletter

The CROW will once again be teaming up with the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District and Minnesota Waters to offer free training opportunities to interested stream and lake volunteers in the Crow River Watershed.

The intent of the workshops is to provide volunteers with the knowledge and tools necessary to conduct monitoring on surface waters in the Crow River Watershed.

The 2008 training dates are:
• Saturday, March 29 in Glencoe from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
• Saturday, April 12 in New London from 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Contact Jenny Gieseke at (507) 766-0173 or Vanessa Glieden Henjum at (320) 796-0888 for additional information.

4-H shooting sports/wildlife instructor training

Minnesota 4-H is looking for adults who are interested in becoming shooting sports instructors/leaders in the 4-H Shooting Sports/Wildlife project area.

A leader training is being offered by Minnesota 4-H in Mora Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4. The cost is $60 (doesn’t include housing).

Training runs from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm Saturday and 8 am. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

There is an optional DNR Firearm Safety Certification training offered Friday night.

Instructors can be trained in air rifle/pistol, shotgun, archery, muzzle loading, and wildlife.

For more details and registration information go to www.fourh.umn.edu/programs/shooting-sports/.

You can also receive the information by calling Kanabec County Extension at (320) 679-6341.

Registration deadline is Friday, April 18. Register early as classes fill up quickly.

Carver, Scott County lakes opened to liberalized fishing
From the DNR

Two lakes in western Carver County and two lakes in south central Scott County have been opened to liberalized fishing because oxygen levels have dropped to the point where the fish in them likely will winterkill.

Effective through Feb. 24, 2008, the liberalized fishing regulations on Goose and Rutz Lakes in Carver County and Cynthia and St. Catherine Lakes in Scott County allow anglers to take as many fish as they want by any means except seines, hoop nets, fyke nets or explosives.

The fish may be taken only for personal use, except that bullheads and rough fish may be sold.

A resident angling license is still needed to take fish on liberalized lakes.

Lakes are opened to liberalized fishing when a fish population is endangered due to the lack of oxygen available in the water.

Shallow lakes such as these four are especially prone to winterkill when they freeze over early and are subsequently covered by snow.

The snow cover prevents sunlight from reaching aquatic plants that would otherwise help regenerate the oxygen levels through photosynthesis.

Goose and Rutz Lakes are located near Highway 30 in Waconia Township. Cynthia and St. Catherine Lakes are located along 220th Street/Scott County Road 8 near the border between Spring Lake and Cedar Lake townships.

Committee sets lower Mille Lacs Lake harvest caps in 2008
From the DNR

Members of the 1837 Treaty Fisheries Technical Committee have established Mille Lacs Lake 2008 harvest caps of 430,000 pounds for walleye, 270,000 pounds for yellow perch and 25,000 pounds for northern pike.

The committee, comprised of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Chippewa band interests, sets safe harvest levels every winter to help ensure that Mille Lacs Lake remains a productive fishery.

Now that harvest levels have been identified the DNR will develop fishing regulation options the 2008 season.

The options will be presented to the citizen-comprised Mille Lacs Lake Fisheries Input Group later this month.

This year’s safe harvest level means anglers will be able to harvest 307,500 pounds of walleye, 135,000 pounds of yellow perch and 12,500 pounds of northern pike from Mille Lacs Lake.

The remaining allocations are divided among the eight Chippewa bands that have treaty rights to fish Mille Lacs Lake.

This year, the bands declared a harvest level of 122,500 pounds, up from 100,000 pounds in previous years. Mille Lacs, which is subject to allocations and quotas, is managed differently than any other lake in the state.

2008 spring light goose hunting begins March 1
From the DNR

Minnesota hunters will be allowed to harvest snow geese, including blue-phased and the smaller Ross’ geese, this spring under the provisions of a federal conservation order.

Since 2000, when Minnesota began participating in the conservation order, the state spring harvest of light geese has varied dramatically from a few hundred to 6,000, depending on weather conditions. Hunting during 2008 will be open from March 1 to April 30.

“Minnesota is at the extreme eastern edge of the spring migration through the Midwest,” said Ray Norrgard, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wetland wildlife program leader. “March weather, particularly snow and ice conditions, can have a tremendous effect on the migration routes of light geese.”

A spring light goose permit is required and may be obtained after Feb. 20 at any of the 1,800 Electronic License System agents statewide.

Spring light goose permits also will be available by telephone at 1-888-665-4236 or online after March 1 at mndnr.gov.

No other license, stamp or permit is required to participate. Although the permits are free, there is a $3.50 application fee to cover permit issuing costs.

Non-toxic shot requirements and federal baiting regulations as well as most regulations that apply to fall goose-hunting seasons also will apply during the spring light goose conservation action. The use of electronic calls and unplugged shotguns is allowed.

Refuges closed to either duck or goose hunting during fall seasons also are closed during the spring conservation action.

Shooting hours will be one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset each day. No daily or possession limits apply.

The conservation order is part of an international effort to reduce populations of lesser snow geese, which breed in high Arctic coastal areas and the Hudson Bay area.

High populations of the birds cause habitat damage on breeding grounds and negatively impact other bird and waterfowl species that breed in the high Arctic.

A summary of regulations will be available from license vendors, DNR wildlife offices or by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367.)

First Bird program served up by Pheasants Forever’s new corporate partner
From Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever (PF) is proud to announce Pizza Ranch is the organization’s newest national corporate partner.

To kick off the partnership, Pizza Ranch is sponsoring the Pheasants Forever “First Bird” program as a way to congratulate all young hunters who harvest their first bird.

The Pheasants Forever “First Bird” program sponsored by Pizza Ranch is a great way for youngsters to share their success in the field with other hunters and conservationists.

Young hunters who send in a photo of their first bird will receive:
• A “First Bird” Commemorative Pin
• Coupon for a free mini pizza at a Pizza Ranch restaurant
• A chance to get your photo published in Pheasants Forever’s magazine.

“Pizza Ranch is excited to be partnering with Pheasants Forever to encourage young hunters to enjoy time outdoors. Engaging the youth will be the long-term key to preserving the tradition of hunting and conservation in America,” said Jon Moss, Pizza Ranch Brand Director.

“Pizza Ranch has been a longtime supporter of Pheasants Forever at the local level and we’re thrilled to come together to launch the First Bird program,” said Greg Emerick, PF Director of Corporate Sales, “We’re excited to see all the great photos from young hunters’ early days afield!”

To enter the Pheasants Forever “First Bird” program sponsored by Pizza Ranch: send your photo (prints will not be returned) along with your first and last name, birth date, mailing address, phone number, and any other information you would like to share to: Pizza Ranch Inc., Attn: First Bird, PO Box 465, Orange City, IA 51041-0465.

Pizza Ranch has 140 franchises in Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan and Illinois.

The chain was founded in 1981 in Hull, Iowa and since has grown to its current size while focusing its brand around “providing a business ministry opportunity where guests receive a legendary experience through quality food and service.”

More information about Pizza Ranch can be found at www.pizzaranch.com.

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education.

PF/QF has more than 120,000 members in 700 local chapters across the continent.

Ask a trooper
From Sgt. Kathy Pederson of the Minnesota State Patrol

Dear Trooper Kathy: What are the rules for fish houses? Can I pull mine down the highway or do I need registration on it?

Trooper Kathy says: I am going to refer you to another agency that also has a vested interest in this question. The DNR have the following suggestions. Here are the rules.

Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), the Minnesota State Patrol and the DNR have determined that a fish house on wheels meets the requirements of a trailer and must be registered as such.

Registration is required for:
• Enclosed trailers with cargo doors that haul all-terrain vehicles or other cargo and are used as a fish house.
• Other trailers manufactured for use as a fish house.
• Recreational trailers used seasonally as a fish house.

These vehicles must be registered in one of the trailer classes. Recreational trailers must be registered in the recreational class.

DVS has notified dealers that fish houses on wheels are considered trailers.

Anyone in the business of selling them has to have the appropriate Minnesota dealer’s license.

If you have any questions, contact the deputy registrar procedural line.

DNR no longer requires a fish house license if the fish house is not left on the ice overnight unattended.

Keep in mind that the trailer registration requirement is separate from any fish house license that the DNR may require.

It is possible that someone who has a fish house on wheels will need to have trailer registration from the DVS and a fish house license from the DNR.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: Our snowfall totals this winter have made cross-country skiing ideal for the first time in years. What sort of skiing opportunities are available throughout Minnesota?

A: The DNR supports more 150 cross-country ski trails statewide, totaling more than 1,800 miles.

These trails are a great way for people to see the unique natural environments of Minnesota – from the prairies to the northern hardwood forests.

Skiers are required to purchase and possess a ski trail pass before skiing on state or grant-in-aid trails.

Ski passes cost $5 for the daily, $15 for the annual, and $40 for the three-year pass.

Most state parks and some trailheads sell daily passes, but not all of them do, so it is recommended that skiers pick up their passes at any of the more than 1,800 DNR electronic licensing agents statewide or on the DNR’s Web site.

The DNR Web site has an updated list and information on every state and grant-in-aid ski trail in the state: www.dnr.state.mn.us/skiing/index.html.