September 18, 2017 - Good waterfowl opener expected this weekend

Duck hunting is expected to be good when Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 23.

“The number of breeding ducks in Minnesota and North America has been good in recent years, so we’re optimistic that will result in a good duck season,” said Steve Cordts, waterfowl specialist with the Department of Natural Resources. “Wetland habitat conditions and wild rice lakes are in pretty good shape.  Canada goose populations remain high as well, so there’s lots of opportunity to hunt geese this fall.”

Duck seasons and limits
The duck season structure is similar to recent years. The waterfowl seasons are based on a federal framework that applies to all states in the Mississippi Flyway. Waterfowl hunting regulations are available wherever DNR licenses are sold and online at mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

Duck season will be open for 60 days in each of the three waterfowl zones:

  • In the north zone, duck season is Sept. 23 through Tuesday, Nov. 21.
  • In the central zone, duck season is Sept. 23 through Sunday, Oct. 1, closes for five days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 7, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 26.
  • In the south zone, duck season is Sept. 23 through Oct. 1, closes for 12 days, then reopens Saturday, Oct. 14, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 3.

The daily duck bag limit remains six per day. The mallard bag limit remains four per day, including no more than two hen mallards. The daily bag limits are three for wood duck and scaup; and two for redheads, canvasbacks and black ducks and one for pintails.

The DNR will post a weekly waterfowl migration report each week during the duck season. The reports are typically posted on Thursday afternoon at mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl.

Goose and sandhill crane seasons
Minnesota’s goose season will reopen in conjunction with the duck season statewide on Sept. 23, with a bag limit of three dark geese per day the entire season. “Dark” geese include Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant. The daily bag limit for light geese is 20. “Light geese” include snow, blue and Ross’s geese.  Goose season will be closed in the central and south duck zones when duck season is closed.

The season for sandhill cranes remains open through Sunday, Oct. 22 in the northwest goose and sandhill crane zone only. The daily bag limit will be one sandhill crane per day. A $3 sandhill crane permit is required in addition to a small game hunting license.

More information on duck, goose, sandhill crane and other migratory bird hunting is available in the 2017 Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations booklet from license vendors and online at mndnr.gov/hunting/waterfowl.



September 18, 2017 - Citizens can apply to serve on Lake of the Woods input group

Citizens interested in volunteering to discuss Lake of the Woods fish and habitat can apply to participate in the Lake of the Woods fisheries input group, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Applications must be completed by Monday, Oct. 10, and are available online at mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods.

“Input provided by this group will be used to update the Lake of the Woods Fisheries Management Plan for 2018 to 2023,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette area fisheries supervisor.

“Volunteers will give valuable stakeholder perspectives regarding important fisheries and habitat protection strategies for Lake of the Woods and the surrounding watershed,” Talmage said.

Group members will meet five or six times between December and May to cover topics including walleye and sauger management, sportfish population objectives, habitat priorities and invasive species.

Talmage said protecting the high quality resources within Lake of the Woods is important.

“While walleye in Lake of the Woods are a big focus of the DNR’s management efforts, the lake also offers a wide range of fishing and other recreational opportunities that are vital to local communities, important to northern Minnesota and of significant value statewide,” Talmage said.

For additional information on the Lake of the Woods fisheries input group and the self-nomination process, contact the DNR Baudette area fisheries office, 218-634-2522.



September 18, 2017 - Teach a kid to hunt small game during Take a Kid Hunting Weekend

Frozen mid-step in the woods, trying to remain undetected in pursuit of squirrels or rabbits – while the pose may seem like yoga, it’s often part of hunting small game.

Yet those careful and deliberate movements of yoga do have some parallels with how a hunter learns to move through the woods, and teaching the basics through small game hunting is the focus of Take a Kid Hunting Weekend this Saturday, Sept. 23, and Sunday, Sept. 24.

During the weekend, adult Minnesota residents accompanied by a youth younger than age 16 can hunt small game without a license, but must comply with open seasons, limits and other regulations, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Small game hunting is an excellent way to introduce youth to hunting,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “Starting out pursuing squirrels or rabbits builds essential skills used later on for hunting big game like deer. And for someone new to hunting, it can be a lot of fun.”

Adults can help youth have a good experience by listening to what youth need, and together they can learn the lessons of the forests and fields, added Kurre.

“We encourage adults to keep on mentoring young hunters after this weekend concludes, because often that’s what will keep them going back year after year,” Kurre said.

For more information on small game hunting and hunting regulations, visit mndnr.gov/hunting/smallgame.



September 18, 2017 - Whitefish-tullibee sport-netting to open on northern lakes

Recreational netting for whitefish-tullibee opens on Friday, Oct. 13, on designated lakes that are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperature, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. A $10 license is needed to sport gillnet tullibee or whitefish. The season is open to Minnesota residents only.

These lakes, known as Schedule II lakes, offer recreational netting on the following schedule:

  • Schedule II A lakes open Friday, Oct. 13, and close Sunday, Dec. 3.
  • Schedule II B lakes open Friday, Nov. 3, and close Sunday, Dec. 10.
  • Schedule II C lakes open Friday, Nov. 10, and close Sunday, Dec. 10.

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

The DNR recommends drying nets for 10 days or freezing for two days before moving a net to a new lake, or netting only one lake in a season. Netting in infested waters may be restricted or closed to sport netting of whitefish and tullibee. See the fishing regulations for list of infested waters or online at mndnr.gov/invasives/ais/infested.html.

A complete list of all Schedule I and II lakes, status of the seasonal openings and closures, as well as detailed netting regulations are available online at mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 in the Twin Cities or 888-646-6367 in greater Minnesota.

About 700 people obtain permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. The DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures. 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.

Minnesota law restricts the size of the net and its openings; requires that netting be done in water not deeper than 6 feet unless specifically authorized; stipulates that netted fish cannot be sold; and requires that any game fish caught must be immediately returned to the lake. State law also limits net size to 100 feet long and 3 feet deep; allows one person to use no more than one net; and forbids recreational netters from possessing angling equipment when netting whitefish-tullibee. Whitefish and tullibee harvested during the sport gillnetting season cannot be used for bait.



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Good waterfowl opener expected this weekend

Duck hunting is expected to be good when Minnesota’s regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise on Saturday, Sept. 23. “The number of breeding ducks in Minnesota and North America has been good in recent years, so we’re optimisti...

Read More