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DNR, conservationists celebrate 50th designated wildlife lake; this one in McLeod County

September 8, 2014

by Chris Schultz

From the DNR

A state program that provides wildlife habitat by managing Minnesota’s shallow lakes celebrated a major milestone Friday, Sept. 5.

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr designated Eagle Lake in McLeod County as the 50th designated wildlife lake in a ceremony at the Ras-Lynn Wildlife Management Area on Eagle Lake south of Hutchinson.

“It’s an honor to celebrate the state’s 50th designated wildlife lake,” Landwehr said. “This represents a powerful and enduring accomplishment for the state’s wildlife and its citizens. Permanent habitat conservation is the key to the long-term health of species enjoyed by waterfowl hunters and wildlife watchers.”

Since the late 1960s, the DNR has worked with partners and local communities to create designated wildlife lakes.

Today, some of the best lakes for supporting waterfowl are designated as wildlife lakes.

The designation allows the DNR to manage water levels of shallow lakes – generally less than 15 feet deep – as well as regulate motorized watercraft and recreational vehicles.

This aids aquatic plant growth, which boosts the number of waterfowl that congregate in the area. And that equates to more ducks overhead for waterfowl hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.

Start to finish, it takes community support and often years of planning to designate a wildlife lake.

There must be a public review process that includes a public hearing, and the DNR seeks the support of community members, landowners and conservation groups.

“The DNR appreciates the individuals, communities and organizations that have supported wildlife lake designations over the decades,” Landwehr said. “We would not be celebrating the designation of the 50th wildlife lake without their strong support.”

The pace of designating wildlife lakes could quicken in the future thanks to the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by Minnesota citizens in 2008.

The DNR is using this new source of habitat conservation revenue to step up its shallow lake management efforts.

Partner groups have increasingly been putting forth the funding and legwork, from local groups to large organizations.

Looking back, the statute that created wildlife lake designation was passed in 1969 with great support from the Southern Minnesota Waterfowl Lake Improvement Association, now the Minnesota Waterfowl Association (MWA).

The original push to create the MWA in the 1960s involved a group of waterfowl hunters wanting to do more to attract migrating waterfowl and provide nesting opportunities, said Brad Nylin, MWA executive director.

“They had a plan to work with the DNR to create these shallow lakes, referred to at the time as game lakes,” he said. “The original battle cry of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association was ‘Save the Game Lakes’ and the MWA was launched because of this battle cry. The MWA has been, and is to this day, a strong proponent for lake designation, and we are hoping that this is just the beginning and we can get 50 more lakes designated in the near future.”

Among numerous other groups that have joined the effort to designate wildlife lakes is Ducks Unlimited, which has partnered with the DNR to enhance shallow lakes and restore and protect shoreland around them, said Jon Schneider, manager of conservation programs for Ducks Unlimited.

“Our partnership with the Minnesota DNR is at the core of our Living Lakes conservation initiative that strives to enhance shallow lakes from Iowa through northern Minnesota for both migrating and breeding ducks,” Schneider said.

Beginning with large water control structures on Swan Lake and other large wetland projects in the late 1980s, Ducks Unlimited has provided bio-engineering partnership assistance to the DNR to make shallow lakes as healthy and productive as possible.

“Designated wildlife lakes are critical to making this partnership work for ducks and hunters alike,” Schneider said. “We sincerely thank and congratulate the Minnesota DNR and Commissioner Landwehr for reaching this important milestone of Eagle Lake being the 50th shallow lake designated for wildlife management purposes.”

At Eagle Lake

The majority of designated wildlife lakes are in southern and central Minnesota.

Some of the most well-known waterfowl lakes in the state are designated wildlife lakes, including Swan, Heron and Christina. Eagle Lake is the second of likely six lakes that will be designated in 2014 and gets the unique honor of being the 50th.

Eagle Lake will be getting a new water control structure to allow drawdowns, which will improve waterfowl habitat and water quality.

As an example of how these projects often rely on public funding and private partnerships, the Eagle Lake structure is possible because of an easement from a private landowner, with help from local watershed district staff.

The structure was designed and will be constructed by Ducks Unlimited with Outdoor Heritage funding from sales tax dollars generated by the Legacy Amendment.

“Through active management of designated wildlife lakes and other shallow lakes, we are striving to provide better habitat for ducks and other wildlife,” said Nicole Hansel-Welch, DNR Shallow Lakes Program supervisor. “These management activities are generally supported by duck hunters and birders alike because they recognize the multiple benefits that clear water and abundant vegetation bring to many different species of wildlife.”

Not all shallow lakes need or are desired to be designated as wildlife lakes.

But having wildlife lakes designated helps ensure the protection of important waterfowl habitat for generations to come.

That was part of the idea of Dick Lindell, one of four founders of the MWA who started the group under a unified mission to save the game lakes at a time in the ’60s when Lindell said conditions weren’t that good for ducks.

He said he’s very glad the program has continued.

“I’m very glad it kept going and it’s grown,” Lindell said.

For more information on the DNR’s shallow lakes program, including wildlife lake designations, see www.mndnr.gov/wildlife/shallowlakes.

For more information on the event at Eagle Lake, contact Nicole Hansel-Welch at 218-833-8626 or nicole.hanselwelch@state.mn.us.

Q&A: Five questions about designated wildlife lakes

Q: What is a designated wildlife lake?

A: These lakes are generally shallow lakes with abundant aquatic vegetation which provides food and habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife species. A designated wildlife lake is done through Minnesota Statute 97A.101, which gives the DNR the authority to manage water levels and surface use for the benefit of wildlife.

Q: How does designation work?

A: The DNR drafts a management plan and allows landowners and local units of government and other interested parties to review and comment on the plan and then holds a public hearing. If there is public support at the hearing, the commissioner can designate the lake via a Commissioner’s Order. Also during the process, engineers design water control structures that will allow water level management without flooding downstream properties. The entire process can take more than two years to complete but water level management is complex and many pieces of a plan have to come together for it to work.

Q: Does the DNR want to designate all shallow lakes as wildlife management lakes?

A: No, designation is considered a tool that is used when needed. Water level management is not feasible on all shallow lakes. The DNR’s priority for designation or some other form of management is on lakes that have publicly managed wild lands on parts of their shorelines. For example, the Ras-Lyn Wildlife Management Area on Eagle Lake makes it a priority for management for the DNR.

Q: Is designation the only thing needed in order for the DNR to manage water levels on a lake?

A: No, it is just one of many things needed. Also needed in some cases are easements from private landowners if the DNR does not own the outlet of the lake, agreements with counties or townships if the construction includes road culverts and several permits are also required, both at the state and federal level.

Q: What results are expected from water level management?

A: Improvements in water clarity aquatic vegetation are expected. Timing and extent of the drawdown will determine what types of vegetation will respond. Some drawdowns are timed to encourage the growth of both emergent (cattails and bulrush) and submerged vegetation (for example, sago pondweed) and some are timed to only encourage submerged vegetation to grow.

Enjoy fall, hunt grouse this year; season opens Sept. 13
From the DNR

Picture yourself walking on a trail through stands of young aspen trees with blazing yellow leaves overhead.

The fall air is crisp. Shotgun in hand, you’re enjoying a hike while hunting grouse – Minnesota’s most popular game bird.

Something akin to this scene will soon be reality for the nearly 100,000 grouse hunters in Minnesota.

The season for ruffed and spruce grouse runs from Saturday, Sept. 13, until Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015; and for sharp-tailed grouse from Sept. 13 to Sunday, Nov. 30.

“Grouse hunting in Minnesota is some of the best in the nation,” said Ted Dick, forest game bird coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Minnesota has 17 million acres of forest land, much of it public, and an extensive system of nonmotorized hunter walking trails open to grouse hunters. This fall is a great time to get out there and hunt grouse.”

Spring drumming counts were up 34 percent compared to 2013, possibly signaling the start of an upswing in the 10-year grouse cycle that since 2009 has been in the declining phase.

However, brood rearing success may have been affected by a cold, wet spring.

“When grouse hunting season starts we will get a better idea how successful grouse were at rearing broods,” Dick said. “So far, we’re hearing optimistic reports.”

Unlike some types of hunting, grouse hunting requires little investment.

Hunters need only a blaze-orange hat or vest, a shotgun, a sturdy pair of boots, a valid small-game license and a willingness to walk.

“In a 2011 survey, many hunters indicated that bagging a limit of birds was far less important than getting out in nature and spending time with family and friends,” Dick said. “Yet, grouse make great table fare. They fly fast, making them a challenge to hunt. Despite the challenge, because of their high numbers in this state and grouse hunters’ ability to hunt with friends, family and dogs, they can make for a good introduction to upland bird hunting.”

Grouse tend to be drawn to young forests where trees are less than a few inches in diameter, and they often are found on the edges of younger woods or the edges of trails where they can feed on clover and broad-leafed plants.

There are 528 wildlife management areas in the ruffed grouse range that cover nearly 1 million acres, 43 designated ruffed grouse management areas and 600 miles of hunter walking trails.

Search for hunter walking trails online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/hwt.

State forests, two national forests and county forest lands also offer many additional acres of public land for grouse hunting.

Find public land on which to hunt by using the DNR’s Recreation Compass at www.mndnr.gov/maps/compass.html.

Grouse hunters usually use 12- or 20-gauge shotguns and No. 7-1/2 target or field loads.

The daily limit for ruffed and spruce grouse is five combined, with a possession limit of 10.

The daily limit for sharp-tailed grouse is three, with a possession limit of six.

For more information on grouse hunting, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/grouse.

DNR asks sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chicken hunters for wing samples
From the DNR

Sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chicken hunters can voluntarily submit one wing from each bird they harvest in Minnesota for a Department of Natural Resources study that aims to better understand how these birds move through the landscape.

“We want to better understand how areas of habitat are connected or not connected to each other and identify factors that limit movements of prairie grouse,” said Charlotte Roy, DNR grouse project leader. “With this information, we can prioritize conservation actions and target areas that are likely to produce the most benefit.”

In addition to the wings, the DNR is asking hunters to send the GPS coordinates of where each bird was harvested.

Coordinates can be found using a variety of devices such as hand-held GPS devices and smartphone applications.

Mapping websites such as Google Maps on a desktop computer also can be used.

If GPS coordinates are not available, township, range, section and quarter-section information is useful but GPS coordinates are preferred.

“We will use this location information along with a genetic sample from the wing to examine how genetic variability occurs over the landscape,” Roy said. “By knowing this we can use this information to better adapt our habitat management strategies.”

Wings should be sent in paper envelopes.

For specific directions on how to submit the wing and for more information, see www.mndnr.gov/hunting/grouse; call Eric Nelson at 218-833-8630; or call an area DNR wildlife office.

DNR announces process to revisit deer population goals in 2015
From the DNR

Preliminary details of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ upcoming 2015 deer population goal-setting process now are available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

“Working with citizens to achieve conservation and management goals is integral to the mission of the DNR,” said Leslie McInenly, DNR big game program leader. “To make sure that goals are based on the broad range of public interest in deer, we use a public process to help determine how many deer to manage for in a given area.”

Deer population goals will be set for 40 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas during the upcoming process, which formally kicks off in October when nominations open for advisory team members and concludes in May 2015 with the announcement of final goals.

Large portions of northeastern, north-central and east-central Minnesota will be affected.

Areas selected for goal setting in 2015 are:

Area 1 - Superior Uplands Arrowhead, which include permit areas 117, 122, 126, 127, 180.
Area 2 - North Central Plains Moraines, which include permit areas 169, 172, 184, 197, 210, 298.
Area 3 - Pine Moraines, which include permit areas 241, 242, 246, 248, 251, 258, 259, 287.
Area 4 - East Central Uplands, which include permit areas 152, 155, 156, 157, 159, 183, 221, 222, 225, 247, 259.
Area 5 - Sand Plain-Big Woods, which include permit areas 223, 224, 227, 229, 235, 236, 249, 285, 338, 339.

There will be opportunities for broad public input through public meetings as well as online and written questionnaires prior to convening a citizen advisory team for each area.

The DNR also is collecting representative data on public desires using hunter and landowner mail surveys administered by the University of Minnesota.

“The public participation process has been designed to include input from anyone who has an interest in deer management,” McInenly said. “Citizen team members also will be selected to represent the range of public interests, including hunting, wildlife viewing, natural resource management and local business interests.”

This is the third year the DNR has worked with citizens to reassess and re-establish deer population goals in Minnesota.

Goals for southwestern and a portion of northern Minnesota were set in 2012.

Goals for southeastern Minnesota were set last year.

Goals for the deer permit areas not part of the 2015 process will be set in 2016.

A timeline showing opportunities for public input is available online at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

The DNR will seek advisory team nominations for each of the five affected areas in October and select members in January 2015.

Each team will review relevant biological and social data as well as public input.

Teams will recommend population goals for each deer permit area in their assigned areas.

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the advisory teams’ recommendations before the DNR makes its final decision about goals.

White-tailed deer are an important resource to the state of Minnesota.

Nearly 500,000 individuals hunt deer and countless other people enjoy viewing deer in the state.

Nationally, deer managers look at deer density goals as a societal issue more so than a biological issue.

Deer are capable of achieving high densities so are generally managed at a level of social tolerance rather than managed for the maximum number that can be supported by the habitat.

This involves balancing desires of hunters, wildlife watchers and others who may support higher deer densities with those of farmers, foresters or others who experience conflicts with deer who may favor lower deer densities.

People interested in learning more about deer management and public input opportunities during the goal-setting process should subscribe to the DNR’s Deer Notes email newsletter at www.mndnr.gov/deer.

DNR seedlings sales are in full swing
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources State Forest Nursery is accepting seedling orders for April and May pickup or delivery in 2015.

Millions of seedlings will be available for the 2015 planting season, including 21 species of native bareroot trees and shrubs grown from seeds collected in Minnesota.

“This year we’ve included some old favorites such as Tamarack and Black Spruce, and again will have our popular specialty packets available,” said Craig VanSickle, nurseries supervisor.

Visit the DNR’s website at www.mndnr.gov/nurseries for a list of available species and to download the tree seedling order form. Contact the nurseries at 800-657-3767 to order seedlings.

A minimum of 500 seedlings must be ordered, which is enough seedlings to cover an acre of land.

Seedlings vary in size from 6 to 18 inches in height, and prices start as low as $125 for 500 seedlings.

These seedlings can be used for reforestation, improving wildlife habitat, creating shelterbelts, developing green buffers to protect water quality and cleaning the air by removing carbon dioxide.

Minnesota landowners with forest stewardship plans should contact their plan writer for cost-share program information that cover costs to purchase and plant seedlings.

Contact your local Forestry office or visit www.mndnr.gov/foreststewardship to learn about the forest stewardship program.

By law, seedlings purchased from Minnesota state forest may not be planted for ornamental purposes, resold, given away or removed with roots attached for a period of 10 years from the date of purchase. Seedlings also must be planted in Minnesota.

Hunting and fishing equipment auction set
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will auction confiscated hunting equipment on Saturday, Sept. 20, beginning at 10 a.m.

The auction’s items are from people who forfeited their equipment after committing serious game violations.

The auction is open to the public. It will be held at Hiller Auction Service, 10785 261st Ave., Zimmerman.

Sale items include confiscated firearms and bows. A list of firearms and bows for sale is on the auction website at: www.hillerauction.com/apr28.html.

Inspection of items is Friday, Sept. 19, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and at 8 a.m. the day of the auction. Once the auction begins, there will not be any access to the firearms.

All equipment is sold as is, including all defects or faults, known or unknown.

Items cannot be returned once they have been purchased.

Buyers may bring their own cases or there will be cases available for purchase to transport firearms.

Anyone buying a firearm must pass a background check.

Proceeds from the auction will be deposited in the state’s Game and Fish Fund, the fiscal foundation for much of Minnesota’s core fish and wildlife management functions.

Baby turtles are hatching and adults are getting ready for winter
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking people to share the road with hatchling and adult turtles this fall.

Turtles crossing roads in late-August and September are often moving to familiar overwintering locations.

Unfortunately, many hatchling and adult turtles’ have to cross roads to get to wintering areas.

“Roadway mortality is believed to be a major factor in turtle population declines throughout the United States,” said Christopher Smith, DNR nongame wildlife specialist.

In Minnesota, where all turtles are mainly aquatic, overland journeys usually occur: in connection with seasonal movements between different wetland habitats; during the annual early summer nesting migration of egg laden females; or when newly hatched youngsters seek out the backwaters and ponds that will serve as their permanent home.

Turtles can travel many miles during a single year, and may even be found far from water; this is no need for concern.

Giving turtles a hand

Here are some tips to help turtles across roads:

• Avoid danger. Simply pulling off the road and turning on hazard lights may alert other drivers to slow down. Be aware of surroundings and traffic.

• Avoid excessive handling. While wanting to inspect turtles closely is understandable, excessive handling can disrupt normal behavior. Prolonged examination of turtles should therefore be limited to only one or two individuals of each species.

• Allow unassisted road crossings. When turtles can safely cross roads unaided due to a lack of oncoming traffic allow them to do so. Observe from a distance and avoid rapid movements, as doing otherwise will often cause turtles to change direction, stop, or seek shelter within their shells.

• Handle turtles gently. If necessary to pick them up, all turtles except Snappers and Softshells should be grasped gently along the shell edge near the mid-point of the body. Many turtles empty their bladder when lifted off the ground, so be careful not to drop them if they should suddenly expel water.

• Maintain direction of travel. Always move turtles in the same direction they were traveling in when encountered. Turtles should always be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible.

Find more information at www.dnr.state.mn.us/reptiles_amphibians/helping-turtles-roads.html.

Check out the DNR’s turtle poster:http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/nongame/turtle_poster.pdf.

Bison being reintroduced to Minneopa State Park by fall 2015
From the DNR

Bison will once again roam the prairie at Minneopa State Park near Mankato starting next year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The new herd will come from Blue Mounds State Park in southwestern Minnesota and the Minnesota Zoo in late summer or early fall 2015, following the annual bison roundup at that park. During the roundup, calves are weaned from cows, health issues are addressed and genetic testing is done.

“We had hoped to bring bison to Minneopa State Park this fall,” said DNR Regional Operations Manager Kathy Dummer.

“But as we looked at everything that needed to be done, the earliest we could move bison to the park would be late November. That just wasn’t enough time for them to acclimate to their new surroundings in the event of a severe winter.”

Dummer said an important consideration for choosing Minneopa State Park as the second site for bison reintroduction was that it is located within the historic range of bison in Minnesota.

More information about the bison reintroduction project is available in the park’s management plan, which can be viewed online at http://go.usa.gov/yBS5.

Preparations for fencing of the approximately 350-acre bison range begin this fall, as will creating a year-round water source for the herd.

The extra time will also allow for design of handling facilities for bison care and interpretive signage for visitors, and additional prescribed burns in the range.

Hiking and skiing trails will also be rerouted and extended around the bison range.

Bison have been managed by the DNR Parks and Trails Division since 1961 when three animals were reintroduced to Blue Mounds State Park.

As the herd grew to a sustainable group of about 90 animals, the division began evaluating its long-term direction for bison management.

Genetic testing of the herd from 2011-2013 found the herd was largely free of any genetic material that would have come from cross-breeding with cattle.

This makes them very unique. Of the more than 500,000 bison in North America, less than 30,000 fit into this category.

DNR entered into an agreement with the Minnesota Zoo in 2012 to help preserve North American Plains Bison.

A target of 500 animals is recommended to maintain the long-term health of the herd. Since no single state park has enough acreage to sustain a 500-bison herd, smaller herds will be established at several locations. Minneopa State Park will be the first of these.

The park was selected for several reasons:

Has a large potential audience with more than 200,000 people within 50 miles of the park.

Numerous nearby educational institutions are potential research partners.

Contains sufficient prairie to accommodate a bison herd.

The reintroduction of bison will help naturally manage the prairie landscape.

The park is located off U.S. Highway 169 and state Highway 68, five miles west of Mankato.

For more information on the park, including a virtual tour, visit www.mndnr.gov/minneopa.

For more information on bison visit www.mnzoo.org/blog/animals/american-bison/.

Speeding up government: DNR achieves 99 percent permit efficiency
From the DNR

The Department of Natural Resources reports it has met targets for expediting environmental permit decisions for industry and other entities 99 percent of the time.

The findings are part of the agency’s latest report on permitting efficiency.

An executive order signed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2011 directs the DNR and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to issue decisions on permit requests within 150 days. The permit decision goal is now law.

Using the 150-day benchmark, each year the agencies report their performance to the Minnesota Legislature.

The DNR reports on the efficiency of permitting in water appropriations, public waters work, aquatic plant management, endangered species takings, and mining.

In fiscal year 2014, the DNR approved or denied 6,862 permits, or 99 percent, within 150 days of receiving a complete application.

In many cases, DNR staff was able to issue decisions on permits in a few weeks or less.

“I think this demonstrates that the DNR is responsive to stakeholders that require speedy review of their permit requests, while still protecting the state’s natural resources,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

For the 69 applications that took longer than the benchmark, lack of staff was the most often cited reason.

When the DNR fails to meet the 150-day goal, the agency is required to report the reasons, steps it will take to complete action on the application and the expected timeline.

St. Cloud to host MN’s first Water Trails Tourism Summit Sept. 29-30
From the DNR

Community representatives and paddling enthusiasts from across the state will gather in St. Cloud on Sept. 29-30 to attend the first Minnesota State Water Trails Tourism Summit.

This event will focus on how paddle sports can increase outdoor recreation tourism, foster economic development, build a sense of community and provide a better quality of life.

“This summit is an opportunity to help people connect to the outdoors through paddling, which can boost local economies at the same time,” said Luke Skinner, deputy director of the Parks and Trails Division at the Department of Natural Resources.

The Outdoor Industry Association reports that outdoor recreation in Minnesota – an often overlooked economic giant – accounts for $11.6 billion a year in consumer spending.

The theme of the summit is “Promoting Paddling in your Community,” and attendees have the chance to experience the revitalization of the Mississippi River firsthand.

“This is a chance for paddle sports businesses, tourism professionals, local community leaders and water trail friends groups to get together and learn how make their communities paddle-friendly,” said Erik Wrede, water trails coordinator for the DNR.

Planning partners for the summit include the DNR, Explore Minnesota Tourism, the Minnesota Canoe Association, Clear Waters Outfitting Company, Conservation Corps Minnesota, the National Park Service, St. Cloud State University and the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Minnesota state water trails www.mndnr.gov/watertrails system began in 1963, and is the first and largest in the nation.

Water trails are recreational routes on waterways that are managed for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping.

The DNR and its local partners manage more than 4,500 miles of mapped routes statewide, with more than 1,500 facilities (public water accesses, campsites, rest areas and portages).

For more information and to register for the summit, visit granitecountry.com/wtsummit, call the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-264-2940 or email registration@granitecountry.com. Early-bird registration is $100 through Sept. 12.

CO weekly reports
From the DNR

• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week.
CO Mies worked boat and water crews.
The Officer also worked with AIS staff.

• CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked B/W patrol on a number of district lakes.
He took enforcement action for no life jackets, no throw cushion, wake violations, no boat registration, failure to display registration, no operating sticker on PWC, angling without a fishing licenses, angling with extra lines and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He attended a firearm qualification at Camp Ripley.
He followed up on a possible falconry violation.

• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked a TIP call on poachers shooting ducks south of Belle Plaine.
Boaters and anglers were checked for safety equipment, fish limits, slot size and AIS violations.
Several injured and nuisance animal calls were responded to.
Many telephone calls were returned on hunting questions.

• CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fishermen and monitoring boating activity.
CO Grewe responded to complaints, spoke at a firearms safety class and did some equipment maintenance.
Violations included license issues.

• CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers, boaters and PWC operators during the holiday weekend.
AIS and ATV regulations were enforced.
She followed up on a TIP report on angling with extra lines and a report of a Canada goose in a dog kennel.
She discussed regulations and hunter ethics at a firearms safety class in Dassel.
Mueller assisted at Marshal and Camp Ripley with district qualifications and training.

• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) instructed at firearms qualifications in Marshall and Camp Ripley.
Oberg also continued focusing on boating and AIS enforcement.
Time was also spent working ATV activity.