October 23, 2018 - Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Shagawa, Bear Island, Ojibway lakes

Dates have been set for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on Shagawa, Bear Island and Ojibway lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, and are opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website.

Schedule I Lakes (48 hour notice)

  • Shagawa, open to netting Thursday, Nov. 1  through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018  (minimum 3.5 inch mesh size).
  • Bear Island & Ojibway lakes, open to netting Saturday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 (minimum 1.75 inch mesh size).

Shagawa Lake is designated as infested with spiny waterflea so netters are encouraged to review rules that help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. Fishing regulations require that netters purchase both a whitefish netting license and angling license. The DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures, fish abundance and vulnerability of game fish. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning.  Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water.

Find information about sport netting by lake, minimum mesh sizes, and fishing regulations at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/regulations/fishing/whitefish-tullibee.pdf or contact the DNR’s Tower area office at 650 Highway 169, Tower, MN 55790, or call 218-300-7802.

October 22, 2018 - DNR names Cynthia Osmundson to lead Nongame Wildlife Program

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that regional wildlife manager Cynthia Osmundson will become the supervisor of the agency’s Nongame Wildlife Program, effective next month. Osmundson will replace the recently retired Carrol Henderson. 

“Minnesotans have been strong supporters of the state’s nongame program, and it’s my desire to build on that success and continue to connect people with wildlife,” Osmundson said.

Cynthia Osmundson

The donor-supported DNR Nongame Wildlife Program works to help more than 700 species of Minnesota wildlife thrive. Nongame wildlife are species that are not legally hunted, with a focus on species that are rare, declining or vulnerable to decline.

Minnesota’s Wildlife Action Plan is an important guide for this work. This partnership-based, 10-year conservation plan is designed to ensure the long-term health and viability of Minnesota’s wildlife and to enhance opportunities for people to enjoy it.

“We are so fortunate to inherit the strong foundation Carrol Henderson and his team of wildlife professionals have built over the years,” Osmundson said.

Osmundson most recently served as regional wildlife manager in the DNR’s Central Region, where she and her team focused on key priorities affecting the 50,000 acres of wildlife habitat in 23 counties including the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, and outreach to diverse communities.

Before that, Osmundson was the statewide forest habitat coordinator in the DNR Wildlife Section. She has also worked as a planner for the Minnesota Forest Resources Council and as an assistant refuge manager in Montana and Wisconsin with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Osmundson earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Wyoming. While there, she had opportunities to trap and tag grizzly bears, as well as raft the Colorado River in search of endangered fish and peregrine falcons.

More information about the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program can be found at mndnr.gov/nongame.

October 22, 2018 - Angler sets first catch-and-release record for northern pike

A 43 1/2 inch pike caught by a member of the Women Anglers of Minnesota on Mille Lacs Lake sets the first northern pike state record in the Department of Natural Resources’ catch-and-release category. 

Angler Maddy Ogg caught and released the huge pike Oct. 6 during what she described as a cold and windy day of fishing. She and companions Mike Buckingham and Jenni Buckingham got an early start that morning, soon landing two fish at the same time.

“On the way to the lake that morning, we saw eight bald eagles and shortly after we started fishing, we landed a double – I knew it was going to be a good day of fishing,” Ogg said.

Five hours later, while trolling the edges of plants in 12 feet of water, Maddy had a strike that bent her rod hard. Even though most record-fish stories include a long dramatic battle between fish and angler, fortune was going their way.

“I had to reel fast because the fish swam towards the boat, causing nearly constant slack in the line,” Ogg said.

She landed the pike and now claims the first Minnesota catch-and-release state record for the species. While pike can often be lively once in a boat, in this case the cool temperatures and calm behavior of Maddy’s pike made for an outstanding catch-and-release scenario.

While the 43 1/2 inch pike may have set the record, it likely will not be the only trophy pike pulled from the big lake. Mille Lacs has a growing reputation as a trophy pike fishery, with some fish reaching the mid- to high -40 inch and range and exceeding 20 pounds.

There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: one for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, northern pike, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish.

The DNR announces new state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. Find current records and guidelines for each type of state record at mndnr.gov/recordfish.

October 22, 2018 - CWD tests mandatory in central, north-central and southeast

Hunters in central, north-central and southeast Minnesota need to bring their harvested deer to be tested for chronic wasting disease on opening weekend of firearms deer season Saturday, Nov. 3, and Sunday, Nov. 4. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is requiring the testing to determine whether CWD may have spread from captive deer to wild deer in central and north-central Minnesota.

The DNR also will require hunters to have their deer tested in much of southeastern Minnesota Nov. 3-4 as well as Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, because of its proximity to 18 known instances of CWD in wild deer centered around Preston, and to determine if the disease has spread from captive deer to wild deer in Winona County.

The mandatory sampling requirements mean that after field dressing their deer, all hunters in affected permit areas need to take them to a sampling station. DNR staff will remove lymph nodes, and the DNR will submit them for laboratory testing. Hunters should check mndnr.gov/cwd to find the permit areas where sampling is required.

“Hunters help combat CWD spread by submitting samples for our surveillance program,” said Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager. “Thank you to hunters as we work to help safeguard the health of Minnesota’s deer populations.”

Hunters must register their deer by phone, internet or in person. The DNR will not make harvest registration available at CWD sampling stations. The DNR website will have test results available at mndnr.gov/cwdcheck; hunters can enter the nine-digit MDNR number from the deer’s site tag into the search box. The page will then display the results of the test. If the result reads “Pending,” the final results are not yet available.

The DNR reminds hunters who harvest deer in area 603, the disease management zone, that carcass movement restrictions remain in place. Deer cannot be removed from the area until a not detected test result is received. Area 603 hunters must take their deer to one of three sampling stations: Forestville State Park, Strongwell in Chatfield, or Preston.

The DNR will provide space in a refrigerated trailer at its Preston forestry office for area 603 hunters who need to store their deer while waiting for test results. A quartering tent and hanging racks also are available to hunters who choose to properly quarter or de-bone the meat so it is free of brain and spinal column material, which allows the meat or quarters to be immediately moved out of the area.

Hunters not in a mandatory testing area can collect their own lymph node sample and submit it for testing to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Minnesota for a fee. The DNR has made a video showing how to collect a lymph node sample available at mndnr.gov/cwd/videos.html.

The DNR website at mndnr.gov/cwd contains complete information about mandatory CWD testing, a video explaining the process, an interactive map showing sampling station locations and a related precautionary feeding ban.

News & Events AUG 25th

Starry Stonewort in Pleasant Lake

Starry Stonewort has now infested Pleasant Lake (Annandale, MN).  See attached article from August 11, 2018:  startribune.com/Starry Stonewort Infests Wright County Lake

No Starry Stonewort found in Lake Augusta by LimnoPro Aquatic Science during recent inspection:  AISEDS Lake Augusta, 8-24-2018_1.pdf

Read More Read ALL

Local News OCT 23rd

Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Shagawa, Bear Island, Ojibway lakes

Dates have been set for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on Shagawa, Bear Island and Ojibway lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, ...

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