Mille Lacs walleye slot unchanged, northern pike adjusted

May 2, 2011

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Lake Mille Lacs anglers are reminded that walleye regulations won’t change from 2010 when the season opens Saturday, May 14, but the slot limit for northern pike will be different this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Anglers may keep up to four walleyes shorter than 18 inches, one of which may be longer than 28 inches.

All walleyes 18-to 28-inches in length must be immediately released.

Up to three northern pike shorter than 27 inches may be kept, one of which may be longer than 40 inches.

All northern pike 27-to 40-inches in length must be immediately released.

The change from the 24- to 36-inch protected slot implemented in 2002 creates a slightly more liberal slot limit that provides additional angler opportunity.

Starting July 15, if angler harvest is low enough to allow it, anglers may be allowed to keep walleyes up to 20 inches with one trophy more than 28 inches in the four-fish limit.

All walleyes from 20-to 28-inches would need to be immediately released.

Then, on Thursday, Dec. 1, the slot would revert to four walleyes up to 18 inches, with one more than 28 inches in the four-fish limit.

If the DNR implements walleye regulation changes for Mille Lacs in July, the new limit will be posted at public accesses and the DNR website at mndnr.gov/fishing.

Smallmouth bass season opens Saturday, May 28.

Anglers can keep only one fish and all smallmouth must be at least 21 inches long.

A night fishing closure is in place on Mille Lacs from 10 p.m. Monday, May 16, through midnight Monday, June 13.

During this period, no one may fish for any species between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Lake Mary Ice Out contest winners

The ice was officially 100 percent off Lake Mary April 13.

In the Lake Mary Association Ice Out contest, there were 30 people which correctly picked the ice out date.

Of those those, three were randonly drawn for first, second, and third place in the contest.

Tony Kahle of Winsted was the top prize winner, followed by Brenda Sudheimer of Norwood Young America, and Louie Juncewski of Winsted.

100 percent of the proceeds from this yearly contest are used for the sole purpose of stocking Lake Mary (bi-annually) with 6-inch fingerling walleye.

Thus far, with the combinded efforts of the Winsted Sportsmen’s Club, the Watertown Rod and Gun Club, and the Lake Mary Association, 12,600 walleye have been introduced into Lake Mary sinc 1999.

Wavery Gun Club upcoming events

The Waverly Gun Club will be hosting a number of classes and evnets in the upcoming weeks and months.

A complete list of the upcoming action at the Waverly Cub Club is listed below.

For more information or to register, call Kevin at (763) 242-4553.

The Waverly Gub Club is at 4465 DeSota Ave. SW, Waverly.

• Summer trap league

The summer trap league will begin Thursday, May 5 with individuals nad teams welcome.

Visit the web site www.waverliygunclub.org for more information.

• Handgun league

The handgun league is open to the public and will take place all four Wednesdays in May starting May 4 and ending May 25.

The league runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and there are five classes – you may shoot in as many as you like.

The cost is $15 per gun per class, which covers all four nights.

You must supply your own ammo with 30 rounds needed per gun.

League shooting is at 25 yards, and any leagal handgun is allowed.

For additional information, contact Russ Johnson at (763) 218-7376.

• Youth ATA shoot

The youth ATA shoot will be Saturday, May 14 starting at 9 a.m.

It is open to any youth, a 12-gauge shotgun will be used, and costs do apply.

• Ladies Night begins Tuesday, May 10, and will continue the second Tuesday of every month.

It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and will go on rain or shine. You may shoot from the comfort of a shelter.

You may bring your own center fire handgun and ammunition, if you prefer, otherwise .22 cal. pistols, rifles, targets, and ammuntion are provided at no charge.

A NRA-Certified Range Safety Officer will be present on the shooting line, with instruction available upon request.

Targets for hanguns will be from 7 to 25 yards out, with rifle targets at 50 yards.

For additional information on ladies night contact Al Moy (612) 889-4423, Ken Reinert (612) 308-9259, or Russ Johnson (612) 218-7376.

Aquatic plant removal may require permits
From the DNR

Lakeshore property owners are reminded that removal of aquatic plants from Minnesota lakes may require a permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“The DNR staff members who issue permits for aquatic plant removal can help property owners avoid harming the lake or river near their home,” said Steve Enger, DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources.

“Aquatic plants serve many important functions in lakes,” Enger added. “They prevent shoreline erosion, stabilize bottom sediments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise spur the growth of algae. We encourage shoreline property owners to limit the disturbance of near-shore vegetation so that plants can still perform these important functions.”

Aquatic plant removal

Lakeshore property owners can control a modest area of aquatic plants for swimming or boat docking without a permit from the DNR.

Cutting, pulling, raking, or harvesting submersed vegetation, like pondweeds, watermilfoil, or coontail, in an area for recreation is allowed under the following conditions:

• the cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet
• the cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along shore or more than one-half of frontage width, whichever is less
• if the cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to open water may be added
• the cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from the water.

If floating leaf vegetation such as white or yellow water-lilies interferes with boat access, a lake shore property owner can mechanically maintain (by cutting or pulling) a channel extending to open water without a permit.

However the channel must be no more than 15 feet wide and comply with the following conditions:

• the cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year
• the vegetation that is cut or pulled must be removed from the water.

A DNR aquatic plant management permit (permit fee is $35) is required if plans include the following:
• using herbicides or algicides
• removing emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice
• installing or operating an automated plant control device (such as the Crary WeedRoller, Beachgroomer or Lake Sweeper)
• removing floating leaf vegetation in an area larger than a 15-foot wide channel (see above)
• controlling submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider than 50 feet (see above)
• removing or relocating a bog of any size.

The DNR aquatic plant management regulations do not allow the following activities:
• excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control
• use of hydraulic jets
• using lake-bottom barriers to destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants
• removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas
• removing aquatic plants from undeveloped shoreline.

More information

For more information on the Aquatic Plant Management Program, contact the nearest regional fisheries office.

Those phone numbers are available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/regulations.html or by calling (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

Apply now for the 2011 Minnesota elk hunt
From the DNR

Hunters have until Friday, June 3, to apply for one of 12 elk licenses offered this year by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This year the application deadline is moved to Friday, June 3, to allow successful applicants more time to plan their hunt.

Also this year, elk licenses will be available in the traditional Grygla area and central Kittson County.

The DNR website features maps of the two hunt zones at mndnr.gov/hunting/elk.

Hunters must file their applications electronically at any DNR license agent, the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by telephone at 888-665-4236.

Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two.

There is a non-refundable application fee of $10 per hunter.

Successful applicants will be notified by mail and must purchase an elk license for $250.

Each party will be authorized to harvest one elk.

One license in Grygla and one in Kittson County may be issued to qualified landowners in a preferential drawing.

Unsuccessful landowner applications will be added to the general drawing, from which the remaining applicants will be selected.

Alternates will be selected in case successful parties opt not to purchase a license.

Two seasons will be conducted in each zone.

The first season in each zone runs from Saturday, Sept. 17, to Sunday, Sept. 25.

The second season in each zone runs from Saturday, Dec. 3, to Sunday, Dec. 11.

During the first season, two either-sex licenses will be available in Grygla (Zone 10) while one either-sex license and three antlerless licenses will be available in Kittson County (Zone 20).

In the second season, two antlerless licenses will be available in Grygla while one either-sex license and three anterless licenses will be available in Kittson County.

Applicants must choose one zone in which to hunt. They cannot apply to hunt in both zones.

If no qualified landowners apply, all licenses will be drawn from the general pool of applicants.

Elk hunts are considered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities in Minnesota, which means parties who choose to purchase a license will not be eligible to apply for future elk hunts.

The DNR expects bull elk to be the preference of most hunters.

To accommodate this, the first drawing will select hunters for each zone.

A second drawing among selected hunters will determine what license a hunter may purchase and the season in which they can participate.

“The early hunt is timed to coincide with the elk rut and hunters will have a good opportunity to try calling a bull,” said Lou Cornicelli, DNR big game program coordinator. “During the second season, elk should be congregated in larger groups with snow on the ground, making tracking and trailing easier.”

All successful applicants will be required to attend an orientation session at Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area headquarters in Middle River prior to the hunt.

Also, hunters will be required to register their elk in their hunt area.

Some biological information relative to elk physical condition will be collected at the check station.

Elk will be tested for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis as part of Minnesota’s wild cervid disease surveillance program.

Hunters should be aware that both zones contain private land, and permission to hunt these lands should be obtained prior to purchasing a license.

Free sticker reminds boaters to check the drain plug
From the DNR

A bright-yellow warning sticker has been created by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help remind boaters to “check their drain plug.”

Invasive species regulations, which went into effect last year, now require boaters to remove the plug and drain the bilge and live well before transporting a watercraft.

The DNR developed the sticker because some boaters forget to put their drain plug back in place before relaunching their boats.

DNR conservation officers say that some boaters have reported near-misses.

“I’m told that one angler returned to the dock after parking his truck and trailer, only to find his boat nearly filled with water,” said Tim Smalley, Minnesota DNR boating safety specialist. “This is something new that boaters need to incorporate into their boat launch routine.”

The DNR suggests the warning sticker be placed next to the boat trailer’s winch handle, or somewhere else the boater is likely to see it before the boat is launched.

Boaters can obtain the stickers at no charge by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

They are also available by emailing boatandwater.dnr@state.mn.us and requesting the “Drain Plug Sticker.”

DNR’s interactive map of state water trails makes online debut
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a new online interactive map to help people explore the Minnesota state water trail system, which offers 4,400 miles for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping along rivers and in Lake Superior.

The interactive map includes all 32 designated water trails, in addition to public water accesses and campsites along each route.

The map makes it easy to zoom, search, and pan and to find and print information about facilities.

“Minnesota is the state of paddling,” said Mel Baughman, president of the Minnesota Canoe Association. “We are fortunate to have the premier water trails system in the nation. There is a DNR water trail within about an hour of almost anywhere in the state. These new interactive maps will make it easier for paddlers and boaters to plan outings and find new adventures.”

The new digital map format provides paddlers and boaters with an opportunity to create a customized map and to take advantage of the connections between water trails and other public lands, such as state parks, state trails, wildlife management areas, and state forests.

DNR still distributes free paper maps as well.

“We were honored to win the 2009 American Trails ‘Winning Website’ national award, and the DNR water trails program continues to improve its online trip-planning features,” said Forrest Boe, deputy director of the DNR Division of Parks and Trails. “Also, we will soon launch an upgrade to the river level reports on our website.”

The interactive maps and other trip planning resources can be found at mndnr.gov/watertrails.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: Water quality is important to all of us. Are there any simple things people can do to help keep our lakes, rivers and wetlands healthy?

A: Removing trash along a riverbank, lakeshore or from a wetland is a step in the right direction.

Through the DNR’s Adopt-a-River program, people can sign up to “adopt” a section of a lake, river or wetland to ensure its long-term health through annual cleanups.

Volunteers choose their own site from shorelines that have not yet been adopted.

The program supplies “how-to” assistance, free rubbish bags and gloves for the cleanup and recognition after you report your results.

The program began in 1989 to clean up the state’s designated canoe and boating routes.

These areas sustained considerable damage from being used as dumpsites, and they continue to accumulate storm water laden with trash.

Since the program’s first year, 3,000 cleanups have removed nearly 6 million pounds of trash from 10,000 miles of shoreline, including lakes, rivers, ravines, ponds and wetlands.

For more information on the Adopt-a-River program, visit the DNR’s website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/adoptriver/index.html.