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Aquatic plant removal may require permits

April 9, 2012

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

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

DNR staff members who issue permits for aquatic plant removal can help lakeshore owners avoid harming the lake or river near their home, said Steve Enger, DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife.

“Aquatic plants serve many important functions in lakes. They prevent shoreline erosion, stabilize bottom se=diments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise grow algae. We encourage shoreline property owners to keep the disturbance of near shore vegetation as small as possible,” Enger said. “Removing too many aquatic plants can impair their ability to 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 in size.

• The cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along your shore, or more than one-half the 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, like white or yellow water-lilies interfere with boat access a lake shore property owner can mechanically maintain (cutting or pulling) a channel no more than 15 feet wide, extending to open water without a permit, under the following conditions:

• The cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year.

• And the vegetation that is cut or pulled must be removed from the water.

A DNR aquatic plant management permit (the permit fee is $35.00) 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.

For more information

For more information about the Aquatic Plant Management Program, contact nearest regional fisheries office, phone numbers are available at the following web pages, http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/regulations.html or by calling (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

Winsted sportsmen’s club firearms safety classes coming up

The Winsted Sportsmen’s Club will be offering firearm safety classes starting Monday, April 9 at the Blue Note in Winsted.

You can sign-up at the first meeting April 9, and must be 12 years old by Sept. 1, 2012 to participate. Adults are also welcome.

Classes will take place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays for three weeks, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The cost is $10 and checks should be made out to the Winsted’s Sportsmen’s Club.

If you have any questions, or are looking for additional information, contact Steve Fiecke at (320) 485-2434.

Firearms safety training in LP

There will be a firearms safety training class taking place at the Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club.

Registration for the class will be Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the LP Sportsmen’s Club, with classes beginning that evening.

The class will then run every Tuesday and Thursday night through early May.

For additional information, contact Doug Minnick at (320) 395-2143.

Crow River/Winsted DU Banquet April 16

The 32nd annual Crow River/Winsted Ducks Unlimited Banquet is set for Monday, April 16 at the Blue Note in Winsted.

A cash bar will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the dinner program at 7 p.m.

Tickets will be available at the door.

LP trapshooting league starting soon

The Lester Prairie Sportsmen’s Club is ready to kick off the 2012 trapshooting season.

Practice night will be Wednesday, April 11, with league shooting kicking off Wednesday, April 18.

For additional information, or to sign up a team, contact Ed Mlynar at (320) 395-2258.

Bear hunt applications opened Tuesday
From the DNR

Applications for this fall’s bear hunt will be accepted from Monday, April 2, through Friday, May 4, at any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) license agent and online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense.

They also are available at the DNR License Center in St. Paul or by phone at 888-665-4236.

A total of 6,000 licenses are available in 11 permit areas.

This year’s bear hunt will run from Sunday, Sept. 1, to Sunday, Oct. 14.

Hunters selected in the annual lottery must purchase their licenses by Wednesday, Aug. 1, so licenses that aren’t purchased can be made available to other hunters.

After this year’s Aug. 1 deadline, any eligible hunter may purchase any remaining licenses starting at noon, Monday, Aug. 6.

In 2011, hunters purchased 5,684 licenses by the deadline.

Those hunters were chosen from a pool of 19,170 applicants for the available 7,050 permit area licenses.

The remaining 1,336 permits were sold after the deadline passed. Hunters harvested a total of 2,131 bears.

Bear licenses cost $38 for residents and $200 for nonresidents.

The bag limit is two bears in the no-quota area and one bear in all quota permit areas.

Complete information on the fall bear hunt is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/bear.

DNR spring egg taking operations ramp up
From the DNR

Now through mid-April, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries staff will be working at lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota on the spring fish egg take to support the state’s 17 hatchery operations.

Early ice-out, warming water temperatures and increasing hours of sunlight are signaling fish to begin their annual spawning ritual.

Fish traps already are set at a number of historically used sites.

DNR fisheries staff is checking them frequently to time optimal egg collection conditions.

Fish eggs are extracted by hand from live fish and taken to hatcheries throughout the state for a 21-day incubation period.

Fry, or new hatchlings, then can be moved to rearing ponds where they are grown to fingerling size or released directly into selected lakes, depending on the management plan, water and habitat conditions.

Hatchery operations include five cold-water hatcheries that produce a variety of trout species and splake.

Twelve warm-water hatcheries produce walleye, northern pike, muskellunge and catfish.

“Fish genetics and disease control are key components of the state’s hatchery and fish rearing program,” said Tim Goeman, DNR Northeast Region fisheries manager. “Fish and eggs are regularly sampled and tested to ensure that hatchery operations do not become vectors for spreading aquatic invasive species or fish diseases such as VHS, and to ensure native fish strains are preserved.”

The DNR’s fish stocking program supplements prime fish habitat and sound lake management practices, which are the foundation for angling in Minnesota.

Natural reproduction sustains the overwhelming majority of Minnesota’s fish populations.

It is estimated 5 percent of walleyes caught in Minnesota are stocked from hatcheries, while the rest are naturally reproduced.

The DNR’s fish hatchery operations produce enough fry and fingerlings to stock approximately 1,333 lakes and 125 streams.

Some waters are stocked annually. Some are stocked infrequently. Many never are stocked.

The number and frequency of stocking activities in a water body are determined by the lake or stream management plan, which incorporates the carrying capacity of that water body.

The DNR’s fish hatchery programs are funded through the sale of fishing licenses and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Funds.

Excise taxes on certain fishing equipment and boat fuel goes to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which distributes sport fish restoration funds to state natural resources agencies based on criteria, including the number of fishing licenses sold.

Today, these dollars fund about one-fourth of the DNR’s fish, wildlife and law enforcement work.

People interested in visiting an egg take site or hatchery are encouraged to call their DNR area fisheries office for available dates and times.

Hatchery locations are listed on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries.

CO Weekly Reports
From the DNR

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked area lakes and river for angling activity.
Panfish started to come in to the shallows on the warmer days.
Reller also worked the Pelican Lake area and did a lot of educating anglers about the motorized watercraft restrictions on the south end of the lake.
AIS work was also put in this week at area accesses.
Enforcement action was taken for motorized watercraft operating in a restricted area, transporting water from lake in live wells, bait containers and leaving drain pulls in, no angling license and watercraft with no registration.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers on area special regulation lakes and rivers.
Set up several presentations to be given in the next few weeks.
Investigated litter complaints at wildlife management areas and public water access sites.
Enforcement action was taken for no angling licenses in possession, unattended lines, angling with extra lines and taking over limits of fish.

• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) assisted with the TIP Wall of Shame in Minneapolis.
She checked shore fishermen on several Hennepin and Carver lakes.
She also assisted a local police department on a trapping complaint, responded to an injured swan, and handled a litter complaint on the Luce Line State Trail.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked angling enforcement in the Minnesota River Valley.
CO Oberg observed channel catfish, perch, and bullheads being caught.
Oberg continues to get calls of incidental catches of muskrat and raccoon by beaver trappers.
Fish run enforcement was also worked in the area.
Enforcement action was taken for allowing the illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and ATV activity.
Additional time was spent checking and advising boaters of invasive species.
Hatlestad also checked trapping activity, and collected incidental fur.
Time was also spent assisting on a taxidermy inspection, assisting other agencies, and attending the tri-state meeting.