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Want to go fishing? DNR has a license to fit

April 28, 2014

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

Resident married couples can obtain an annual combination fishing license for $35, compared to $44 for two adult individual licenses, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Asking a spouse, child or friend to go fishing is one way to start a tradition, said Jenifer Wical, of the DNR’s outreach section.

“Most people won’t start fishing by themselves but they will if someone asks them to go,” Wical said.
Buy licenses at any DNR license agent, online via mobile and desktop at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236.

Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers, and cut their time between front door and fishing.

For children, a fishing license can be an investment in building a lifetime interest in the outdoors.

Lifetime angling licenses for children age 3 and under are $304, while lifetime angling licenses for those age 16 to age 50 are $508.

Want to try fishing for a weekend? Purchase a 72-hour fishing license for $12, around the price of a movie.

Teens ages 16 and 17 can buy annual fishing licenses for only $5, little more than the price of some smartphone apps.

Kids under 15 are not required to buy a license to fish, but must comply with fishing regulations.

Time outdoors need not end at the boat access.

Outdoors-savvy customers can buy hunting and fishing licenses in one fell swoop.

A Sports license includes angling and small game for $38, while a Super Sports license includes a trout/salmon stamp, small game with pheasant and waterfowl, and a deer tag (archery, firearms or muzzleloader) for $93.

Waverly Gun Club to host hand gun league

The Waverly Gun Club will be hosting a hand gun league at the club.

The league will run for four nights in May, starting Wed., May 7, and continuing May 14, May 21, and May 28.

Shooting starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m.

For additional information go to www.waverlygunclub.org, or contact Gary at either (612) 210-5356 or gary51@charter.net.

Youth trap league starts at Waverly Gun Club April 28

Youth trap league will begin at 6:30 pm Monday, April 28 at Waverly Gun Club. The league runs Mondays through June 30.

Summer trap league set to begin at Waverly Gun Club

The Waverly Gun Club will be hosting a summer trap league, which begins Thursday, May 1 at 6 p.m. Men and women are encouraged to shoot.

There will also be a Merchandise Shoot at the Waverly Gun Club Sunday, May 4 starting at 10 a.m.

In addition, permit to carry classes will take place Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21.

Check the Waverly Gun Club website for additional information on all of the upcoming events – www.waverlygunclub.org.

DNR discovers that eagle cam bird once treated at Raptor Center
From the DNR

A bald eagle that has had thousands of people across the country glued to their computer screens for the past couple months may well be the natural world’s equivalent of a comeback kid, according to officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and The Raptor Center.

DNR nongame wildlife biologists recently were able to get a good look at a leg band on one of the adult eagles nesting beneath its eagle camera in the Twin Cities.

The numbers on the band identified it as a bird that was found along the Minnesota River in Burnsville and brought to The Raptor Center in St. Paul in October 2010.

Unable to fly or even stand, the adult female had an abscess in her right foot and had a large number of intestinal parasites.

Staff at The Raptor Center removed the abscess and treated the bird for its other ailments, then released it at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington about a month later.

In February, the female bald eagle laid three eggs, which have subsequently hatched, in a nest watched by a DNR video camera that streams live footage over the Internet.

Since then, more than 272,000 people from all 50 states and 145 countries have been following the family’s daily feedings and other activities.

DNR biologists believe the adult bald eagles are the same pair that in 2013 laid three eggs in early January, only to have them freeze.

“While this is just one of thousands of birds treated at The Raptor Center, it’s exciting that it’s gone on to become such an educational celebrity on DNR’s eagle cam,” said Dr. Julia Ponder, The Raptor Center’s executive director. “Because the bird was banded, we’re able to learn what became of it, and how the care she received here allowed her to go on and become a reproductive member of the species.”

Part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, The Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 800 sick and injured birds each year, while helping to identify emerging environmental issues related to raptor health and populations.

It also provides training on raptor medicine and conservation for veterinary students and veterinarians from around the world.

This year is the Center’s 40th anniversary, and on Thursday, April 24, it broke ground for updated facilities.

The eagle camera (www.webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/eagle) is a project of the DNR’s nongame wildlife program, which works to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore native nongame wildlife resources, helping more than 700 species of Minnesota wildlife thrive.

Both the nongame wildlife program and The Raptor Center are supported largely by voluntary donations.

Mother’s Day present? Take a Mom Fishing Weekend
From the DNR

Any mother who is a resident of Minnesota can fish without a license on Saturday, May 10, and Sunday, May 11 during Take a Mom Fishing Weekend, which coincides with the 2014 walleye and northern pike fishing opener, and Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Moms who live in the seven-county metro area or are visiting can learn fishing tips, bait shop locations, where to borrow fishing equipment and more by visiting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fishing in the Neighborhood program website at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/fin.

Opening day tips for Minnesota anglers
From the DNR

Minnesota’s interstates, highways, and county roads will fill with anxious anglers in anticipation of the May 10 fishing opener.

The Department of Natural Resources has some tips to anglers for a safe and enjoyable experience.

“The fishing opener results in a substantial increase in the workload for conservation officers so we are asking for everyone’s help,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director. “We can assist conservation officers by providing information on common rules and regulations to anglers before the opener.”

• Fishing License: All residents and nonresidents age 16 years or older are required to have an appropriate fishing license while angling.

Buy a Minnesota fishing license electronically at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense, at a DNR license agent location, or by calling 888-665-4236.

Also, pick up a copy of the 2014 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook along with the license as a ready reference guide to limits and transportation of a catch.

• Watercraft Registration: Motorized watercraft operators must have their registration on board.

The number issued to the boat and the current state validation decal must be displayed on the forward half of the hull on each side of the boat.

• Aquatic Invasive Species: Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, and spiny water fleas have affected many Minnesota fresh water ecosystems, but there are ways to stop the spread and protect the resource.

Remove any visible plants and animals from boat, trailer, and other boating equipment.

Drain water from the boat, livewell, bilge, and impellor by removing drain plugs and open water draining devices before leaving any water access.

Spray, rise, or dry boats and recreational equipment before transporting to another water body, especially after leaving zebra mussel and spiny waterflea infested waters.

• Experimental and Special Regulations: These regulations help the DNR improve fishing quality, protect unique fisheries, provide more fishing opportunities, or protect threatened species.

A partial list of water with experimental or special regulations, which are posted at access sites, is available in the 2014 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.

• Turn-in-Poachers: Over-limits, license and closed season violations impact the resource and diminish opportunities for everyone. Tips are received through the 24-hour phone line 800-652-9093.

Access Courtesy: Practice backing a boat trailer prior to the opener. It can prevent a lot of confusion.

Transfer gear upon arrival at the public access rather than waiting until it’s time to back the boat into the water.

Make sure the outboard is in top running order before arriving at the lake.

A secure lock goes a long way in preventing someone from stealing a trailer.

Questions? Contact the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157, or 888-646-6367, or via email at: info.dnr@state.mn.us.

Upper Red Lake’s summer walleye regulations unchanged for 2014
From the DNR

Regulations that allow Upper Red Lake anglers to keep larger walleye after June 15 will be in effect again for the 2014 open water season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Beginning Saturday, May 10, to Saturday, June 14, anglers must release all walleye 17- to 26-inches long.

Effective Sunday, June 15 to Sunday, Nov. 30, anglers may keep walleye less than 20 inches and must immediately release all walleye 20- to 26-inches long.

The possession limit for both periods is four fish and only one of those fish can be longer than 26 inches.

The more restrictive size limit is necessary for the early season when angler catch rates are high and mature walleye are extremely vulnerable.

As the open water season progresses, catch rates and fishing pressure decline, reducing the impact of harvesting larger walleye.

Winter regulations will not be finalized until open water harvest is determined.

Winter regulations will be announced in late summer and will be posted on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/fishingregs.

Bear hunt application deadline is Friday, May 2
From the DNR

The deadline to apply for a Minnesota bear hunting license is Friday, May 2.

Licenses are available at any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236 at a cost of $44 for residents and $250 for nonresidents.

The season opens Monday, Sept. 1, and closes Sunday, Oct. 12. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Thursday, Aug. 1.

Remaining unpurchased licenses will be available to anyone eligible starting at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 6.

An unlimited number of bear licenses will be sold over-the-counter for no-quota areas in east-central and far northwestern Minnesota.

No-quota licenses are valid only in a no-quota area.

Hunters with a no-quota license can harvest one bear.

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

DNR announces video-streaming peregrine falcon camera
From the DNR

Once pushed to the brink of extinction, peregrine falcons have returned to Minnesota’s skies and their natural habitat, including the state’s bluffs, cliffs and buildings, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Live video from a nesting pair of peregrine falcons in downtown St. Paul is now featured on the DNR website at http://webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/falcon/.

The female has already laid four eggs and will incubate them for the next 30 or so days.

Last year, the pair laid and incubated three eggs, but none of the eggs hatched.

Hopefully this year will be different.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to watch peregrines raise their young in an urban setting,” said Carrol Henderson, nongame wildlife program supervisor. “It is exciting to watch the birds first-hand, in their normal habitat, without disturbing them.”

A video camera was placed in a nesting box at the top of the Bremer building several years ago.

Peregrines have been using the box and raising their young there since 1988, a year after the box was installed.

The peregrine camera was paid for by DNR’s nongame wildlife program, which is largely funded by donations, especially those made when Minnesotans file their state income and property taxes.

The lines on the Minnesota income tax form and property tax form, marked with a drawing of a loon, give taxpayers the option to donate to the program, a feature often referred to as the “chickadee check-off.”

The nongame wildlife program works to protect and preserve more than 800 species of animals in the state that are not traditionally hunted or harvested.

In addition to peregrine falcons, populations of species such as bald eagles, trumpeter swans, loons, and American white pelicans are directly benefited by contributions to the nongame wildlife check-off.

People can help Minnesota wildlife by donating on their tax forms, or donate directly online at www.mndnr.gov/nongame/checkoff.

DNR urges homeowners to resist pruning evergreens with red needles
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds homeowners to wait to prune evergreen tree branches that have brown or red needles.

“This year evergreen trees in Minnesota had a long, hard winter with plenty of opportunity for injury,” said Val Cervenka, DNR forest health program coordinator. “Chances are your trees are alive and healthy even though they have damaged needles.”

Cervenka recommends waiting till late spring after the tree has put on new growth to decide if pruning is needed.

Moisture loss from drying winter winds, intense winter sunshine and low humidity causes damage to evergreen needles.

Therefore, the south and southwest sides of evergreens show more winter damage than other parts of the tree.

Trees that are protected by snow, shade or less wind show little to no signs of damage.

Evergreen needles are also damaged when deicing salts are splashed on the tree.

Brown and red needles are especially noticeable on pines and spruces planted along highways.

To help prevent winter injury, keep evergreens properly watered throughout the growing season until the ground freezes.

Choose tree species that are adapted to local growing and winter conditions.

Avoid planting white and red pines, balsam fir and white spruce within 150 feet of a roadway to prevent salt damage.

Consider planting yews and arborvitae on the north and northeast sides of buildings, out of exposure to sun and wind.

Wrapping evergreen trees in burlap or other materials in late fall can also help prevent moisture loss from the needles.

For more information on tree care and forest health, visit www.mndnr.gov/treecare/forest_health.

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: The same woodpecker pecks at our house non-stop. Doesn’t he get a headache after awhile?

A: Woodpeckers have well-adapted structures that act as shock absorbers inside of their heads.

They have a hard, but elastic beak, a springy tongue-supporting structure called the hyoid and an area of spongy bone inside the skull.

These features, in addition to cerebral fluid, interact to suppress vibration in their head so they can peck all day without getting a headache.

CO weekly report
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers.
CO Mies attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.
CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven firearms class.
CO Mies worked on a tip call.

• CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on the Mississippi and Elk rivers.
He followed up on a complaint of an illegally shot hen turkey; charges are pending.
He attended annual training at Camp Ripley.
He answered a number of questions about turkey hunting and is following up on a trespassing complaint.
CO Sladek wants everyone to be careful when navigating the rivers they are very high and cold.
He advises everyone to wear a life jacket at all times.

• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week at in-service training at Camp Ripley.
Officer Reller also handled a call related to a possible fish trap which turned out to be just a minnow trap.
Most of the lakes in the area still have some ice, but that should change by early in the week.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended in-service training during the week at Camp Ripley.

• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with in-service training.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports with spring finally here waterfowl are back in large numbers.
Oberg reports shore fishing activity is also starting to pick up.
Oberg also spent time instructing at officer in-service training at Camp Ripley.