The sunfish are spawning and the days are getting longer

June 8, 2009

by Chris Schultz

There are a few things you can bank on at this time of year in our great outdoors.

One is longer days in June, and the other is the sunfish spawn on our area lakes.

Although the sunfish spawn is a bit later, because of cooler water temperatures, then in normal years, it’s still happening.
Actually, on many of our area lakes, the sunfish are in shallow water and spawning right now.

Just head to your favorite lake, cruise the shallow water close to the shorelines, and look for saucer shaped impressions in the sand or gravel bottom.

When you find them you’ll find aggressive sunfish willing and ready to bite.

A good way to find sunfish that may be spawning in deeper water, 8 to 12 feet, is to troll with a small spinner rig tipped with a pan fish leach.

When you start feeling the taps or actually catch a few, anchor the boat and still fish.

The spawn should last more than a week and will vary from lake to lake.

Last week, in our area good reports on sunfish action were coming from Howard, Waconia, Washington, Emma, and the western bays of Lake Minnetonka.

A good walleye bite was also reported on Swan Lake, near the city of Silver Lake.

Also, many sunfish anglers take pride in throwing back the smaller fish they catch and most of the female sunfish they nab.

However, the big males are the most important when it comes to sunfish reproduction.

The reality is, to protect and improve our sunfish population anglers should keep the medium sized fish that are good for eating and release a majority of the bigger fish, the females that are full of spawn, and the big males.

Good luck fishing and enjoy the long days.

Waverly Gun Club events coming up

The following events are planned at the Waverly Gun Club, located at 4465 Desota Ave. SW, Waverly:

• Conceal and carry class will be sponsored by the Waverly Gun Club, Monday and Wednesday, June 8 and 10 beginning at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Russ Johnson at (763) 675-3527.

• Ladies Night at the Waverly Gun Club is Tuesday, June 9 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

• Range open for public shooting Saturday, June 20, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, check the website at www.waverlygunclub.org

HL GND fishing contest is coming up

Howard Lake’s Good Neighbor’s Days is fast approaching, and with it so is the annaul Good Neighbor Day’s fishing contest.

This year the GND fishing contest will take place Saturday, June 27 on Howard Lake.

For additional information and registration forms, stop by Joe’s Sports Shop in Howard Lake, or call Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.

Open burning restricted in metro and central Minnesota counties
From the DNR

Due to the continued dry conditions, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will issue open burning restrictions for six central Minnesota counties.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, June 5, restrictions go into effect for Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright counties.

In these counties, permits for open burning will not be issued and no open burning will be allowed until significant rainfall reduces the risk of wildfires.

In addition, central Minnesota counties using the Internet based electronic system of burning permits will be monitoring fire conditions daily and will restrict activations when the fire danger is high.

“Although these counties have already been through spring burning restrictions, the lack of rainfall has created spring-like conditions again,” said Larry Himanga, wildfire prevention coordinator for the DNR.

The lack of rainfall has limited the emergence of green grass – which moderates fire behavior – in the fields and swamps.
Some of the new vegetation has already dried and will now burn fairly readily.

The central portion of the state continues to be in a dry spell and the lack of rainfall has allowed even the heavier fuels to dry, creating conditions that may result in large fires.

The central third of the state is especially dry, including the area from Alexandria to Brainerd to Sandstone and south from the Twin Cities to Litchfield.

Firefighters have had a busy spring and continue to run on fires almost daily.

Implementing burning restrictions should reduce the number of fires.

For more information about wildfires, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.hmtl.

Firewood restrictions in effect on state land
From the DNR

The recent discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) in a St. Paul neighborhood means that people should no longer pack firewood when making summer camping plans.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Mark Holsten on May 20 issued a revised order dealing with use of firewood on state land.

Under the new order, only firewood purchased at a state park or from a DNR-approved vendor may be brought onto state land.

Otherwise, kiln-dried, untreated lumber that is free of any metal or foreign substances can be used as firewood.

For more information, see – www.mndnr.gov/firewood.

Approved firewood vendors must supply firewood that meets one the following standards:

• Non-ash firewood originating on lands within Minnesota and within 100 miles of the DNR land on which it is to be used.

• Firewood originating from Minnesota that has been heat-treated in a kiln certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

• Split firewood from Minnesota that is 100 percent debarked according to federal guidelines (removal of bark and outer one-half inch of sapwood).

A list of approved firewood vendors is at www.mndnr.gov/firewood_vendors/vendors/list.html.

The receipt supplied by the approved vendor should be retained as proof of purchase.

Unapproved firewood brought to a state-administered campground will be confiscated and the transporter is subject to a $100 fine.

People camping on state forest lands outside of a designated campground may gather dead wood on the ground for campfire use on site.

In state parks and designated campgrounds in state forests, people are prohibited from scavenging dead wood.

In addition, the new order specifies that firewood originating from a quarantined county in Minnesota will be approved only for use in that county.

Firewood from counties contiguous to quarantined counties in Minnesota will be approved only for use in those counties.

Currently, there is a quarantine on firewood, ash trees and ash products in Hennepin, Houston and Ramsey counties.

To slow the spread of EAB, the quarantine prohibits the movement of the following items out of Hennepin, Houston and Ramsey counties:

• Firewood from hardwood (non-coniferous) species.

• Entire ash trees.

• Ash limbs and branches.

• Ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark attached.

• Uncomposted ash chips and uncomposted ash bark chips greater than one inch in two of the three dimensions.

While EAB spreads slowly on its own, it can hitch a ride to new areas when people transport firewood or other wood products infested with the larvae.

Officials urge Minnesotans to take steps to keep EAB from spreading:

• Don’t transport firewood, even within Minnesota.

• Don’t bring firewood along on a camping trip.

• Buy the wood you need locally from an approved vendor.

• Don’t bring extra wood home with you.

• Don’t buy or move firewood that came from outside of Minnesota.

Minnesotans should not buy firewood from people selling it door-to-door if the wood originated from outside Minnesota.

EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees. Its larvae kill ash trees by tunneling into the wood and cutting off the tree’s supply of nutrients.

Since its accidental introduction into North America, EAB has killed millions of ash trees in 12 states and Ontario, Canada.

With more than 900 million ash trees, Minnesota is a prime target for EAB.

More information about firewood is at www.mndnr.gov/firewood.

More information about EAB is at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals/eab/index/html.

Question of the Week
From the DNR

Q: Loons are nesting now and, as a result, can be especially vulnerable at this time of the year.

What should anglers and boaters know as they take to the lakes?

A: Loons began nesting in early May. Like many wildlife, loons are very sensitive to disturbance.

Boats, including canoes, passing too closely to a nest may cause the adults to abandon their nest.

This exposes the eggs to predators like raccoons and gulls.

The two most traumatic times of the year for loons are Memorial Day weekend, when the adults are sitting on their nests, and the Fourth of July, when the adults are with their young.

Thus, boaters can help the long-term survival of Minnesota’s state bird by avoiding nesting sites and looking for loons while out fishing or boating.

Loons that nest in a less disturbed area show a significantly higher hatching success rates.

Minnesota’s loon population is about 12,000 and appears stable.

Anglers can also reduce the risk to loons by not discarding old fishing line in lakes or streams, and by using non-lead jigs and sinkers.

About 25 percent of all loon mortality that has been documented in Wisconsin and Michigan is caused by lead poisoning that results from loons swallowing lead jigs and sinkers that have been lost by anglers.