The 32nd annual Howard Lake GND Fishing Tournament is Saturday

June 16, 2014

by Chris Schultz

The 32nd annual Howard Lake Good Neighbor Day’s fishing tournament is scheduled for Saturday, June 21 at Howard Lake.

Registration for the event is from 7 to 8 a.m. at Lions’ Park with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.

The tournament will wrap up at noon with a weigh-in.

The cost per entry is $30 with a maximum of 200 registrations accepted.

There will be prizes for the largest northern pike, walleye, bass, and panfish.

For additional information, contact Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.

DNR accepting applications for 2014 Camp Ripley archery hunts
From the DNR

Hunters can apply starting Tuesday, July 1, for the 2014 regular archery deer hunts at Camp Ripley near Little Falls. The application deadline is Aug. 15, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Due to military training needs, the dates for the first of this year’s two hunts are being held one day earlier than usual, and hunting will not take place on a Friday. As a result, the first hunt will not coincide exactly with the annual Education Minnesota conference as it has in the past.

Hunters may pick from only one of two hunting seasons: Oct. 15-16 (Wed.-Thur., code 668) or Oct. 25-26 (Sat.-Sun., code 669). A total of 4,000 permits, with 2,000 per two-day hunt, will be made available. Successful applicants must buy a valid archery license at least two days before their hunt to participate. The bag limit for this year’s hunt is one, and bonus permits may be used to take antlerless deer. Additional rules and instructions for this year’s hunt can be found on the DNR deer hunting Web page at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/deer.

Hunters may choose from four options to apply for the Camp Ripley archery hunts:

• Through DNR’s computerized Electronic Licensing System (ELS) at any one of 1,500 ELS agents located throughout Minnesota.

• By telephone at 888-665-4236.

• Through DNR’s Internet licensing link at www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/index.html.

• At DNR license center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.

The application fee for the hunt is $12 per applicant. Additional ELS transaction fees and convenience fees may be applied depending on how the application is made.

To apply, resident hunters 21 and older must provide a valid state driver’s license or public safety identification number.

Residents under 21 may also provide a DNR firearms safety training number to apply. Nonresident hunters must apply using a valid driver’s license number, public safety identification number, or MDNR customer number from a recent Minnesota hunting or fishing license.

All applicants must be at least 10 years old prior to the hunt for which they apply. In addition, anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1980 must have a firearms safety certificate or other evidence of successfully completing a hunter safety course to obtain a license to hunt or trap in Minnesota.

Hunters may apply as individuals or as a group of up to four people. Group members may only apply for the same two-day season. The first group applicant must specify “Create New Group” when asked, and will receive a group number.

Subsequent group applicants must specify they want to “Join an Existing Group” and must use the same group number supplied to the first group applicant.

The archery hunt at Camp Ripley is an annual event. The DNR coordinates the hunt with the Department of Military Affairs, which manages the 53,000-acre military reservation.

Annual list of potential timber harvest sites available for review
From the DNR

The annual list of potential timber harvest sites on state-administered forest land, prepared by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, is available for public review. DNR field staff will examine nearly 2,400 forest stands on 52,000 acres for potential timber sales in the upcoming state fiscal year.

The list of sites is for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2015. Comments will be accepted during a 30-day public comment period that ends July 2.

The public has two options for reviewing the list, according to Forrest Boe, DNR director of Forestry.

Forest stand locations, proposed management, and descriptions are on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/forestview/index.html. Comments about a potential timber harvest site can be submitted to the DNR using this website.

People without Internet access or those who prefer to review and discuss the site list directly with a forester, may contact or visit their local DNR area forestry office. Contact the office prior to a visit to ensure the appropriate forestry staff is available.

For statewide information, contact Jon Nelson, DNR Forestry, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4044; 651-259-5278; jon.nelson@state.mn.us.

The DNR administers 5 million acres of forest lands that have been certified as being well-managed under two separate third-party auditing systems. Annual lists of potential timber harvest sites are derived from multi-year forest management plans developed for these DNR lands by interdisciplinary DNR planning teams with public input, and based on long-term forest resource management goals.

DNR staff will complete field evaluations on the forest stands identified on the list and determine appropriate treatments, including timber harvest. It is estimated that about 35,000-40,000 of the 52,000 acres of forest land that staff examines will be suitable for timber sales and the timber will be appraised and offered for sale in the upcoming fiscal year.

More DNR-trained watercraft inspectors and checkpoints this summer
From the DNR

This summer, to help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species, the Department of Natural Resources is increasing the number of watercraft checkpoints to 36, double the number from last year.

The DNR also expects to hire 146 watercraft inspectors and place 23 decontamination units at zebra mussel infested waters and high-use areas. Up to 300 additional authorized inspectors will be working for tribal and local government units throughout the state.

“These folks are going to be out there checking boats, trailers and other water equipment this summer,” said Maj. Phil Meier, DNR Enforcement Division operations manager. “It’s their job. They aren’t there to cause a delay, but to keep invasive species from entering our lakes and rivers.”

The DNR’s watercraft inspection program is designed to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by educating boaters, inspecting watercraft and providing decontamination services at public water accesses.

All DNR-trained watercraft inspectors are authorized to help ensure boats and trailers are clean and free of AIS before entering or leaving a lake, river or other body of water. They will show boaters where aquatic plants and animals are likely to hide, and how to remove them.

Whether they work for the DNR, or for a county organization or lake association, inspectors are there to help make sure boaters are not in violation of AIS laws.

If someone refuses to allow an inspection, or doesn’t remove aquatic plants or animals, DNR trained inspectors can prohibit the launching or operation of water-related equipment. Authorized inspectors can also require a watercraft to be decontaminated prior to launching into Minnesota waters.

In the rare situation when an individual does not follow instructions from a watercraft inspector before launching or leaving an access, inspectors are advised to contact the local conservation officer to report violations.

“Please work with them; it’s required by law,” said Ann Pierce, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division section manager. “Your cooperation will make it go faster and help everyone get in and out more quickly. All watercraft inspectors are trained by the DNR, and working in scheduled locations. If you have problems with them, let us know.”

Forest tent caterpillar peak: too soon to predict
From the DNR

The forest tent caterpillar population has been on the rise in some northern and west-central Minnesota counties since 2007, but may have reached a peak in 2013 when 1.1 million acres of aspen, oak, basswood, birch and other hardwood trees were defoliated.

Minnesota’s native forest tent caterpillars, sometimes called army worms, have outbreaks every 10 to 16 years.

“Based on historic trends, we would have expected the population to reach a peak this year or next year, but we have found few egg masses in recent surveys of last year’s infested areas,” said Mike Albers, DNR forest health specialist. “We also found up to 90 percent of forest tent caterpillar cocoons in our sample plots were killed by a native fly, which is more than we expected to be killed at this point in the outbreak.”

It’s still too early to tell if the forest tent caterpillar population is declining. If populations increase as normally expected, areas in Minnesota that saw large number of caterpillars last year could have even larger numbers this year, and portions of the state that had fewer caterpillars could also expect to see more. However, based on the results of the egg mass survey this spring, it’s difficult to predict what will happen with forest tent caterpillar populations and the impact they will have this summer.

More information about forest tent caterpillar identification, impact, management or local predictions can be found at www.mndnr.gov/treecare/forest_health/ftc.

Midwest boaters urged to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species across borders
From the DNR

Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan share many of the same boaters and anglers – now they’re sharing the same message to help protect their waters from aquatic invasive species (AIS), according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The states are teaming up on a new public service campaign to help carry a consistent message that encourages boaters and anglers to take steps to avoid accidentally spreading zebra mussels, spiny water fleas and other aquatic invaders when they travel between states.

The 30-second spot is available at http://tinyurl.com/nunhhx4.

“The Minnesota DNR welcomes every opportunity to work with other states on AIS prevention measures,” said Commissioner Tom Landwehr, “and this multi-state production is a fitting example. It offers a consistent message and a coordinated approach to effectively address the tough issue of AIS.”

The Great Lakes states are working together to meet the challenges of invasive species, which are non-native species that can cause environmental or economic harm, or harm to human health.

“We share a common goal of stopping aquatic hitchhikers to keep our Great Lakes and our inland waters healthy,” said Cathy Stepp, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources secretary. “By pooling our resources we can help reach more people with an important reminder as they travel back and forth.”

In addition to YouTube, the spot is airing on outdoor programs, public television, fishing and sports channels across the three-state area.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant invites partner organizations and individuals to share the video to spread awareness. “By taking a few minutes to drain water and clean boats, trailers, and other equipment we can help keep all of our Great Lakes healthy and protect inland waters.”

More information about AIS regulations in Minnesota is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/ais.

DNR Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: Does the DNR do anything to control mosquitoes?

A: The DNR does not generally do any control of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are a nuisance to people – but they are food for a variety of animals such as fish, birds, bats and dragonflies. All mosquito control products have some level of nontarget impact to the environment, and most treatments provide only a temporary reduction in adult mosquito numbers.

We do allow very limited mosquito control at Fort Snelling State Park when levels meet certain thresholds identified in an agreement between the DNR and Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD). We also have an interagency agreement between the MN Dept. of Health, MMCD and DNR for management of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Control treatments under both agreements occur only in localized areas within the park and only when sampling detects mosquito larva numbers above threshold levels. In many years, no treatments are conducted.

CO weekly report
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week.
CO Mies worked AIS checks along with ATV checks.
CO Mies checked night bow fishermen and found violations.

• CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) checked fishermen on area lakes and rivers.
He followed up on a number of nuisance beaver complaints.
He checked boats at boat accesses for invasive species, vegetation and transportation of water.
He received a number of calls of black bears.
CO Sladek advised homeowners to take down all bird feeders and keep all garbage inside.
He also advised them if they felt personally threatened to contact him or their local police department.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated a person moving floating bogs due to the high water on Lake Waconia.
He provided a ride along for an intern who is interested in becoming a Conservation Officer.
A TIP call in Victoria was responded to on kids shooting song birds.
A beaver trapping permit was issued in Dahlgren Township causing flooding and a fawn deer in Belle Plaine was picked up by a farmer cutting hay.
He was told to put it back where it was found and the doe returned.
Animal nuisance call of raccoons killing domestic ducks in Sibley County and trap tampering case were handled.
The muskie opener was worked and AIS inspections were done at lake access sites.

• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on miscellaneous wildlife complaints, including a turkey with a nest in a windowsill of a home and an injured bird.
She dealt with a fawn that appeared to be without its mother.
A safety hazard was addressed on a local lake.
She assisted with the academy at Camp Ripley during the week.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked on potential wetland issues in the area.
WMA and WPAs were patrolled.
ATV and angling enforcement was also worked.
Angling success still appears to be down.