Recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee is anticipated to open on several Schedule I Lakes in the Grand Rapids fisheries work area beginning in late October, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes 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. Schedule II Lakes, will open Nov. 4.
Schedule I Lakes (48 hour notice)
Anticipated opening dates are as follows:
- Oct. 29 through Dec.4, for Deer (near Deer River) and Turtle.
- Nov. 4 through Dec. 11, for Side and South Sturgeon (1.75 inch mesh).
- Nov. 11 through Dec. 11, for Big Balsam and Nashwauk (1.75 inch mesh).
Schedule II Lakes
Lakes open to whitefish-tullibee sport-netting Nov. 4 through Dec. 11:
- Bass (north basin).
- Ball Club.
- Little Bowstring.
- Cut Foot Sioux.*
- Deer (near Effie).
- Round (near Squaw Lake –1.75 inch mesh).
- Rush Island.
- Sand (near Max).*
- Swan. (1.75 inch mesh).
- Twin Lakes (near Marble).
- Winnibigoshish* and
- Little Winnibigoshish* (1.75 inch mesh).
*Bowstring, Cut Foot Sioux, Sand, Winnibigoshish and Little Winnibigoshish are designated infested waters because of the presence of faucet snails or zebra mussels. Nets and equipment used in infested waters may not be used in any other waterbody unless they have been dried for 10 days or frozen for two days.
Fishing regulations require that:
- A whitefish netting license is purchased.
- A person may use only one gill net, not exceeding 100 feet in length and 3 feet in width.
- One end of net must have a pole, stake, or buoy projecting at least 2 feet above the surface of the water or ice.
- Nets must have an identification tag attached near the first float of the end that is projecting from the surface of the water or ice.
- Identification tags must be a minimum of 2 ½ inches by 5/8 inch permanently bearing the name and address of the owner. Identification tags for marking nets are provided by the owner.
- Nets may not be set after sunset or raised before sunrise.
- All gill nets must be set and lifted by the licensee only.
- Nets must be tended at least once every 24 hours.
- A net may not be set in any water deeper than six feet.
- A net may not be set within 50 feet of another net.
- Minimum gill net mesh size shall be no less than 1-3/4 or 3-1/2 inch stretch measure depending on the lake (see attached schedules).
- Nets used in designated infested waters must be dried for a minimum of 10 days or frozen for two days before using in a different water body. Nets should be dried for 10 days or frozen for two before moving from any lake to another.
- Nets used in spiny water flea and/or zebra mussel infested waters should be not used in any other waterbody.
- Nets should be transported in sealed container.
- Whitefish and ciscoes taken by sport gill netting may not be bought or sold.
- Whitefish and ciscoes taken by sport gill netting may not be used as bait.
- The possession limit for whitefish taken by sport gill netting within the Leech Lake Reservation boundaries is 25.
- Net placement should not inhibit use of the lake by other boaters.
About 700 people obtain special 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.
For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing/index.html, then click on whitefish and ciscoes sport gillnetting regulations, or contact the DNR’s Grand Rapids area office at 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids, or call 218-328-8836.
Event Time: 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
501 Laurel Street
Brainerd, MN 56401
Public access closed during treatment
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the Greater Lake Sylvia Association on an aggressive new treatment method for the invasive algae starry stonewort in West Lake Sylvia in Wright County. This week’s treatment is the first time the diver-assisted suction harvest, or DASH, method has been used in Minnesota.
Earlier this month, DNR invasive species staff confirmed a half-acre of sparse to moderate growth of starry stonewort at the public access to West Lake Sylvia. The public access, which also provides access to adjoining East Lake Sylvia, will be closed for about a month during the treatment. An alternative public access site has been made available at Camp Chi-Rho, located on a peninsula directly east of the temporarily closed public access. The DNR is working with the Greater Lake Sylvia Association to provide signs and directions to the temporary access.
The lake association is sharing in the cost of the effort to remove the half-acre of starry stonewort from the lake.
Diver assisted suction harvest is a manual control method that combines hand pulling with machine suction to physically remove starry stonewort while sparing native vegetation, followed by application of a selective herbicide.
“We’re hoping for effective treatment of the relatively small area where starry stonewort is present,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “While no treatment method has eradicated starry stonewort from any lake in the United States, this aggressive treatment will at least remove enough of the algae to minimize the risk of spread to other parts of the lake and to other lakes.”
Starry stonewort are grass-like algae that may produce dense mats, which could interfere with use of the lake. The invasive algae also may choke out native plants.
The algae is typically spread by lake users who transport fragments of the plant from an infested body of water. Lake users must follow Minnesota laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, whether or not a lake has invasive species:
- Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
- Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.
Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To prevent their spread, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another body of water, especially after leaving infested waters:
- Spray with high-pressure water.
- Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees F for at least two minutes or 140 degrees F for at least 10 seconds).
- Dry for at least five days.
More information about aquatic invasive species and how to report them is available on the aquatic invasive species page.
The Department of Natural Resources and numerous partners have updated the Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan to better reflect conservation of the state’s native wildlife species in a changing climate.
“The plan addresses the primary causes of species population declines in Minnesota,” said the plan’s coordinator, Faith Balch. “Those causes include habitat loss and degradation, low reproduction and other biological issues, and the impacts of climate change. Along with the agencies and organizations that will implement the plan, we encourage anyone concerned about our state’s wildlife to review it and get involved.”
The plan outlines three goals:
- Ensure that Minnesota’s wildlife remains healthy and viable, with a focus on Species in Greatest Conservation Need. About 16 percent of Minnesota’s known native wildlife species are identified as Species in Greatest Conservation Need because they are rare, declining or vulnerable to decline.
- Enhance opportunities for people to watch wildlife and participate in conservation.
- Acquire the resources necessary to successfully implement the plan.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the revised Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan earlier this year.
The 2005 plan goals were updated to better reflect wildlife conservation needs and approaches in a changing climate. The updated plan identifies 346 Species in Greatest Conservation Need, compared to 292 in the previous plan. Among the changes are the addition of the monarch butterfly and five native species of bees.
The plan, a list of Species in Greatest Conservation Need, and related resources are available on the action plan page.
In developing the plan, the DNR collaborated with more than 40 conservation partners representing a diverse group of agencies, organizations and individuals. Partners include the DNR’s divisions of Fish and Wildlife, Forestry, Parks and Trails, and Ecological and Water Resources, as well as representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Minnesota, Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Zoo, The Nature Conservancy, The Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and Audubon Minnesota. More than seventy agencies and organizations including
A specialty license plate benefitting Minnesota state parks and trails will be available starting Thursday, Dec. 1, at Driver and Vehicle Services offices statewide.
The plates provide their owners with unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for the year, replacing the need for a vehicle permit (a $25 value). Proceeds from license plate sales will benefit Minnesota state parks and trails.
The cost of the new plates will start at $60, plus tax. This total includes a one-time $10 fee for the plate itself and a minimum $50 contribution (renewable annually).
“Purchasing the new license plates will be a great way to show everyone on the road that you ‘go the extra mile’ to support Minnesota state parks and trails,” said DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers.
The plate features an image of a canoe on the water, surrounded by Minnesota’s four seasons. Designed by Michelle Vesaas of Coon Rapids, it was chosen from among 80 entries as the winning entry in a contest that took place earlier this year in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and the DNR unveiled the winning design on July 6.
This plate is one of several specialty license plates available from the DNR. There are also nine critical habitat license plates that Minnesotans can purchase – including a loon, moose, deer, and more – to support conservation.
The Department of Natural Resources this week designated the state’s second groundwater management area. Designation of the central Minnesota Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area allows a more comprehensive and focused approach to ensuring that groundwater supplies will be adequate to meet human needs while protecting lakes, streams and wetlands.
The DNR also approved a management plan for the area, designed to ensure adequate supplies of groundwater. The designated area includes parts of Stearns, Pope, and Kandiyohi counties along with smaller parts of Douglas, Meeker, Swift and Todd counties.
The Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area Plan lays out five broad objectives and describes specific actions the DNR will take. The plan was developed over two years by DNR staff and an advisory team of nearly two dozen representatives of local government, industry, and other agencies.
“Here in the land of 10,000 lakes and hundreds of streams and rivers, it’s easy to take water for granted,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “But in some parts of Minnesota, such as the Bonanza Valley, growing demands on groundwater could place our aquifers and other resources at risk if we’re not careful. This plan explains how the DNR will work to make sure our use of groundwater remains sustainable.”
The plan provides a framework within which the DNR will work with major water users, including municipalities and farmers. This cooperative effort will promote conservation, protect surface waters and water quality, improve the groundwater appropriations permitting process, and resolve any conflicts that might arise among users.
The Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area is one of three groundwater management areas under development around Minnesota. The North and East Twin Cities Metropolitan Area was designated in November 2015 and the Straight River near Park Rapids in north-central Minnesota is yet to be designated.
More information, including plans and maps for the Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area, can be found on the project webpage.