DNR encourages hunters to apply early for deer permits, wolf licenses

August 27, 2012

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Hunters who have yet to apply for an either-sex deer permit or wolf hunting and trapping licenses are encouraged to do so well before the Thursday, Sept. 6, deadline.

Nearly half of the state’s deer permit areas now are lottery areas, which means hunters must apply for and be selected to receive a permit that allows them to shoot antlerless deer in lottery areas.

Because many of these areas – focused in the northwestern, north-central and a portion of northeastern Minnesota – have not been lottery areas for years, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strongly recommends that hunters check to ensure the area where they hunt has not become a lottery area.

Hunters already have applied for more than half of the licenses available in each of the three wolf hunting seasons to be conducted this fall and winter.

Applying early allows time for hunters to gather information needed for applications.

Early application also helps reduce long lines and bottlenecks that can occur when hunters apply at the last minute.

Current and up-to-date information is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer and www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf.

Deadline for disabled veteran hunt application is Friday

The Wright County Pheasants Forever chapter has teamed up with Wright County Parks, Wright County Veteran Services, Hasty-Silver Creek Sportsman Club, Capable Partners, Four Points Retriever Club, and the NAHRA to offer a special disabled veterans waterfowl hunt Saturday, Oct. 6.

The hunt will take place on land owned by the Wright County Parks Department.

Applications can be obtained through Wright County Veteran Services, or online at www.wrightcountypf.org, and will be available until Friday, Aug. 31.

The hunt is open to all disabled veterans who currently reside in Minnesota. Eight disabled veterans will be selected to hunt through a lottery drawing and will receive an all-expense-paid morning of waterfowl hunting, lunch, and target shooting.

For more information on the application process or to apply for this hunt, contact Genell K. Reese from Wright County Veteran Services at (763) 682 7325, or Melissa Sandquist from the Wright County Pheasants Forever Chapter at (763) 354 4090.

Upgraded mobile website adds fishing regulations, invasive species
From the DNR

Minnesota anglers who forgot their fishing regulations booklets at home now can easily find special fishing regulations information and more on their smartphones.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently made its popular LakeFinder application compatible with more mobile devices and upgraded content to include special fishing regulations, invasive species information, lake contour maps and public access locations.

LakeFinder can be accessed by just about any device that runs a web browser.

“On GPS-enabled devices, our new version knows where you are geographically and can tell you what you need to know about the lake you are on,” said Steve Lime, DNR web applications manager. “If you are on Lake Mille Lacs, it knows that. You can quickly get a listing of species in the lake, special fishing regulation information and what invasive species inhabit the lake. It’s all at your fingertips.”

Lime said the upgraded LakeFinder application has improved mapping capabilities, too, as DNR data has been integrated with Google maps.

All of the updated information has been reformatted to fit smaller smart phone screens.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said the new application is a logical extension of its popular website information.

“LakeFinder gets more web hits than any other location on the agency’s website,” said Landwehr. “Now, people can hit this site even if they’ve already hit the lake.”

To access LakeFinder, visit www.mndnr.gov/mobile/lakefinder.

DNR officials offer advice to citizens reporting possible aquatic invasive species discoveries
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Resources (DNR) Invasive Species Program recently made several confirmations of new aquatic invasive species (AIS) infestations in lakes around the state.

The DNR urges people who think they may have discovered an aquatic invasive species to contact the DNR immediately or bring it to a local DNR office for verification.

“If people have a true concern about something they’ve found that might be an AIS, we want to check it out immediately,” said Christine Herwig, invasive species specialist in Park Rapids. “We will respond quickly. Although not all reports end up uncovering actually infestations, we believe it is always better to be safe than sorry.”

After a report is received, the DNR’s first step is to obtain the sample from the individual who discovered it.

If the specimen is confirmed as an invasive species, DNR fisheries and AIS crews survey shorelines and lake bottoms near the reported discovery sites.

A typical survey involves shoreline searches in the immediate area of the discovery and lake bottom surveys in open water.

Herwig offers these suggestions to those who think they may have made a discovery:

• Place the specimen in a bag or other container to keep it intact; if the specimen is an animal (e.g., snail, zebra mussel, spiny water flea), pour rubbing alcohol on it to preserve the animal.

• Take a photo of the suspected invasive species.

• Mark on a lake map or GPS the exact location where the specimen was found.

• Contact the local DNR office immediately to arrange transport to a DNR official.

• Email a photo and the location of the possible discovery to a local DNR office.

“We appreciate the reports we receive from citizens,” said Herwig. “The DNR and citizens are in this together, so we need to work together to deal with AIS issues.”

Minnesota law prohibits the possession or transport of any aquatic invasive species in the state unless it is a sample being transported directly to a DNR office for identification.

AIS include, but are not limited to, zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and spiny waterfleas.

Boaters and anglers need to continue to take extra precautions when using lakes to avoid spreading AIS to new waters.

Boaters are required by law to:

• Remove aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited species from boats, trailers and equipment before transporting from any water access.

• Drain all water from bilges, livewells, motors, ballast tanks and portable bait containers before leaving water accesses or shoreline property.

• Remove the drain plug, open water draining devises, and drain bilges and live wells; the drain plug must be removed or open when transporting a boat on public roads.

It is also recommended that people spray or rinse boats with high pressure and/or hot water, or let them dry thoroughly for five days before transporting to another body of water.

Boaters are also reminded of a new law that went into effect July 1.

Boat lifts, docks, rafts and related equipment removed from any water body may not be placed in another water body until at least 21 days have passed.

A zebra mussel volunteer monitor report form is available online for lakeshore owners to complete and send to the DNR, even if zebra mussels are not found.

That for can be accessed at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteering/zebramussel_monitoring/index.html.

To find the local DNR office, visit www.dnr.gov/contact/locator.html or www.mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries.

More information about aquatic invasive species is available on DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/indes_aquatic.html.

CO weekley reports
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) spent the week training a new officer.
CO Mies checked boaters and anglers in Stearns and Wright counties.
CO Mies worked on a waters case.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) and COC Mueller had a busy start to Phase 3 of training.
Officer’s investigated two different possible wetland violations, patrolled the state park, and checked multiple shore fishermen.
Officers spoke at a youth firearms safety class in Rockford.
A violation was found during an AIS detail for failure to remove the drain plug.
A TIP complaint regarding netting of fish was investigated resulting in two citations being written.
Also during a boat and water detail multiple panda awards were handed out, along with violations for registration, and failure to have PFD and fire extinguisher on board.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked commercial minnow dealer operations enforcement.
Several goose hunting and baiting questions were answered.
Several TIP calls were investigated.

• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and boating activity.
Additional time was spent checking and advising boater on AIS laws.
Hatlestad also checked ATV activity, and followed up on a possible wetland violation.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports completing his August roadside surveys in the area.
Survey results seem to indicate similar numbers as last year.
CO Oberg also spent time working the Minnesota River with area officers.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: How do I know if a small fish is a minnow?

A: Not all small fishes are minnows; many are the young of other fish.

A number of characteristics serve to separate small fish from true minnows.

All minnows have naked heads except during breeding season when mature male develop many hornlike bumps, called tubercles.

Some minnows also develop bright colors during breeding season, as suggested by such names as redside dace, redbelly dace, rosyface shiner, red shiner and redfin shiner.

A single dorsal fin with fewer than 10 soft rays is characteristic of all native minnows.

In carps and goldfish, the dorsal fin has a hard ray and more than 10 soft rays.

Minnows lack teeth in their jaws, but have specialized teeth in their throat (pharynx) region.

These pharyngeal teeth are useful in identifying the various minnow species.

Minnesota is currently home to 47 different minnow species, according to the Bell Museum of Natural History.