Back to News Archive

Last updated: June 8, 2011

Bear hunt lottery to be rerun

Flooding at Casino landing forces changes to MWC Red Wing Tournament

Area Businessman is Honored as Minnesota’s Ethical Hunter

Waconia announced as the site of the 2012 Governor’s Fishing Opener

DNR continues catfish project, seeks angler help

Major Firearms Reform Bill fails to receive consideration in the Senate as session ends

Metro area offers walleye opportunities

DNR reminds anglers of new rules when netting and using smelt, cisco as bait

Comprehensive Firearms Reform Bills Need Your Help

Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris pitches in with tree planting at Afton State Park

Two Major Pro-Gun Bills Up for Committee Consideration and Need Your Support

Mille Lacs walleye slot unchanged, northern pike slot adjusted

Grand Marais area fisheries announces survey work

Upper Red Lake’s mid-season slot adjustment remains for 2011

Enjoy fishing and boating opportunities in the Metro Area

 

Bear hunt lottery to be rerun

Hunters who applied for a 2011 Minnesota bear hunting permit will have to wait a little longer to determine if they were successful in this year’s lottery.

That’s because the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is rerunning the bear lottery due to a computer-related error.

Though no bear hunting licenses have been issued, the DNR reports some hunters may be under the mistaken impression they have been selected as a winner because they viewed incorrect content on the agency’s website before the error was detected.

“The message to bear hunters is that we’ll get the word out when correct lottery results are available,” said Dennis Simon, DNR wildlife section chief. “We regret any inconvenience this misinformation has caused.”

Simon said older data from 2009 rather than the most current data from 2010 was used by the computer to determine hunter preference level. As a result, many bear hunting permit winners were erroneously selected based on incorrect preference information.

“Our job is to conduct a fair and accurate lottery and that’s what we will do,” said Simon.

New lottery results will be posted on the DNR website in early June and successful hunters will also be notified by mail later in June.

Back to Top

Flooding at Casino landing forces changes to MWC Red Wing Tournament

Minnetonka, Minn. - Due to flooding at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino landing, the Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit has received approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to move the Red Wing tournament to Lake City, Minnesota.

The DNR is allowing the Circuit to fish Pools 3 and 4 of the Mississippi River, but not the St. Croix River as originally planned. Still, with both pools in play, MWC anglers still have the chance for great fishing as they compete for thousands in cash and sponsor contingencies from Cabela’s Angler Cash, Ranger Boats, Lowrance, Berkley, Worldwide Marine Insurance and U2/The Oxygenator. Plus, the Big Fish Pot adds even more cash to the winnings, and presenting sponsor MotorGuide is awarding the winning team with a brand-new wireless trolling motor.

The Circuit has a long tradition of launching at Lake City, and while it is unfortunate to have to move an event, the new location will still offer MWCers a world-class venue.

Local site coordinators Ed Labrash and Spence Kuehl, from the Frontenac Sportsman’s Club, have secured McCahill Memorial Park in Lake City for the weigh-in festivities. The public is invited to the weigh-ins, which begin at 3 p.m. daily. The Cabela’s MWC and National Professional Anglers Association will present a Youth & Family Fishing Clinic following the Day One weigh-in. The first 50 youths will receive rods and reels courtesy of the NPAA, and tackle packages from Northland Fishing Tackle.

The tournament is scheduled for two full days of competition beginning Friday, June 3, and includes a built-in “bad-weather day” in case foul weather prevents teams from getting out either Friday or Saturday. For details or to register, visit: www.masterswalleyecircuit.com; email: events@masterswalleyecircuit.com; or call: (877) 893-7947. Be forewarned, registration closes at midnight May 29.

The MWC is open to all anglers. The Circuit’s popular team format—which lets you choose your partner and cut your costs—has stood the test of time for 26 tournament seasons. Teams enjoy testing their skills against the best walleye sticks on the planet in a professionally-run yet friendly competition that creates a unique camaraderie among anglers, and fosters friendships that last a lifetime.

Plus, walleyes and saugers are winners in the equation as well. Since 1984, the MWC Conservation Fund has donated more than $275,000 to fisheries-enhancement projects in states where our tournaments are held. At the Lake City event, a $15-per-boat donation from each team’s entry fee—made via our non-profit affiliate Wildlife Forever—will benefit the Frontenac Sportsman Club’s efforts to help the DNR protect local fisheries.

 

This is the second stop on the MWC Central Division’s 2011 season. The remaining Central tournament is August 5-7 at Bays de Noc, Michigan, in conjunction with the Cabela’s National Team Championship. The MWC’s 2011 trail is comprised of nine qualifiers in three divisions. Anglers fishing at least three events (from any division) accumulate points toward a berth in the no-entry-fee, $100,000 Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship; teams fishing four events are in the running for overall MWC Team of the Year honors and a $13,000 cash prize. 

 

For more information on the Cabela’s MWC, visit: www.masterswalleyecircuit.com or call: (877) 893-7947.

Back to Top

Area Businessman is Honored as Minnesota’s Ethical Hunter

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA), and Turn In Poachers (TIP) have announced the winner of the 18th annual Deer Hunter Ethics Award. This year, the Hunter Ethics award was presented to a local outdoorsman and businessman from the Red River Valley.  Craig Baker of Xtreme Trophy Properties in Hawley, MN was honored on April 29th at a local MDHA Banquet.  The Smokey Hills Chapter of MDHA welcomed their area members to the Frazee Event Center for their annual banquet.  Joe Cannella , Development Director of MDHA and Doug Bermel, President of Turn In Poachers were in attendance to present the award to Craig.

The annual Deer Hunter Ethics Award honors deer hunters who have exhibited conduct during the 2010 season that can serve as an example of admirable hunting practices, according to MDHA.  The award is designed to bring the spotlight to those who positively represent the sport of deer hunting through their thoughtfulness, actions, and genuine concern for their fellow outdoorsmen.

Nominations were submitted from around Minnesota through letters or e-mails explaining the actions of the nominees and why those persons were worthy of this recognition. Both youth and adults were eligible for this annual award, but all nominees were required to be Minnesota residents. The ethical incidents for which hunters were nominated must have occurred during any of the 2010 Minnesota deer hunting seasons. (archery, firearm or muzzleloader)

Craig showed genuine concern for his neighbors and exemplified ethical hunting practices during the opening weekend of the Minnesota firearms season. As the recipient of the 2010 Ethical Hunter Award, Craig received a framed MDHA print, gift package, and a complimentary MDHA membership. Banquet organizers and sponsorship groups also thanked the dozens of people who took time to forward nominations for this award.

Craig can be reached for comment at the Xtreme Trophy Properties real estate office in Hawley, MN.  218-486-4900

Back to Top

Waconia announced as the site of the 2012 Governor’s Fishing Opener

http://www.mngovernorsopener.com

Waconia will host the next Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, an annual event that promotes fishing and tourism in Minnesota. The announcement was made by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon Saturday at the Governor’s Fishing Opener in Grand Rapids.  Explore Minnesota Tourism, the state’s tourism promotion office, organizes the event each year with a host community.

Next year’s Fishing Opener, May 11-12, 2012, will be held on Lake Waconia, popular for fishing, sailing and other water recreation. The town of Waconia sits right along the southern shore of Lake Waconia, the second largest lake in the Twin Cities area. This is the first time Waconia, a community of about 10,000 residents along the western edge of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, will host this event.

“The Governor’s Fishing Opener is a great opportunity to promote fishing and small towns throughout Minnesota.  Holding the Fishing Opener in Waconia is a great way to spread the word about Waconia and other charming towns in the state,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism.  “It’s also a great reminder of all the good fishing that can be found right in and around the metro area.”

It’s only the second time the Governor’s Fishing Opener will be held in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  (It was held in White Bear Lake in 2009.)

Waconia is enthusiastic about sharing their hometown hospitality with the media and other guests attending this major event. The 2012 Governor’s Fishing Opener will be hosted locally by the Waconia Chamber of Commerce, who will lead a team of community volunteers to plan the event.

“We are thrilled that Lake Waconia was selected for the 2012 Governor’s Fishing Opener,” said a statement released by event co-chairs Kellie Sites and Becky Larsen. “Showcasing our lake and the small town charm of Waconia is going to be a fantastic experience for our community as well as the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region. We truly look forward to working with Explore Minnesota and Governor Dayton and we believe everyone will be Hooked on Waconia!”

The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948.  The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as a kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season.

The Opener provides the host community with an opportunity to highlight local fishing and other recreational activities, attractions and other points of interest.  Media from throughout the region attend the event, resulting in significant publicity for the host community and Minnesota.

More information is available at: www.mngovernorsopener.com

Back to Top

DNR continues catfish project, seeks angler help

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for the public’s help in gathering data on catfish angling and consumption as part of a project to enhance management of the fish.

The project includes DNR tagging catfish to get a better idea of their population and movement. It also will draw upon catfish anglers who are willing to answer a few survey questions and keep diaries of their angling efforts. The angler diaries will provide valuable information that is not typically obtained in standard creel surveys, because many catfish anglers fish at night.

Two surveys are currently online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish/catfish/index.html. One survey, which is a statewide survey, asks 10 questions about anglers’ catfish consumption. The other survey is a continuation of an earlier 12-question survey launched in 2009 and aimed at catfish anglers who fish in the Twin Cities metro region.

Anglers who have already taken the metro survey do not need to take it again. If a mailing address or email address has changed since taking that survey, changes can be emailed to MetroEast.Catfish@state.mn.us or call 651-259-5806. Paper copies of the surveys will be mailed upon request to those unable to fill out the surveys online.

Waterproof paper diaries will be mailed to anglers wishing to participate in keeping catfish angling diaries. Anglers simply need to supply a pencil and return diaries at the end of the year.

Anglers who catch and release a tagged catfish should record the species, length, tag number and location caught, and release the fish with the tag in place. Anglers who harvest a tagged fish should record the same information and report the fish as harvested. Anglers not participating in the catfish angler diary program can still report tagged fish locations using the DNR website www.dnr.state.mn.us/fisheries/tagged_fish_reporting/index.html or by contacting the phone number or email address listed above.

Catfish are becoming more and more popular with Minnesota anglers, and metro rivers are fertile waters for big cats. The state record flathead catfish, weighing 70 pounds, was caught on the St. Croix River in Washington County. The record channel cat was pulled from the Mississippi River in Hennepin County.

Back to Top

Major Firearms Reform Bill fails to receive consideration in the Senate as session ends

Despite overwhelming support from NRA members and over half of the Senate Republican Caucus, House File 1467 failed to receive Senate consideration prior to the conclusion of the legislative session this year.  As a result, obvious disappointment is being heard from NRA members and legislators alike.

However, with our ongoing discussions with supportive legislators and leadership in both chambers, the NRA is optimistic that HF 1467 will be a top priority for the 2012 legislative session. Along with HF 1467, the NRA and pro-gun legislators have already expressed the intent to a state constitutional amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

State Representative Tony Cornish (R-24B) and state Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-10) sponsored this important legislation and deserve recognition for their efforts.  In addition to their daily efforts in championing this legislation, they also managed to get a combined 47 bipartisan cosponsors.  Click here to see how your state Representative voted on the House passage of HF 1467.

State Representative Tony Cornish (R-24B)
rep.tony.cornish@house.mn
651-296-4240
State Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-10)
sen.gretchen.hoffman@senate.mn
651-296-5655


HF 1467 contained three important firearm policy improvements:

Stand Your Ground:
HF 1467 would remove a person’s “duty to retreat” from an attacker, allowing law-abiding citizens to stand their ground and protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present.  It would create a presumption that an individual who forcefully or stealthily enters or attempts to enter your home or vehicle is there to cause substantial or great bodily injury or death, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that individual.  It would also expressly allow an individual to use force, including deadly force, to prevent a forcible felony, and it provides protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used.

Universal Recognition:
Currently, Minnesotans’ carry permits are only valid in fifteen states.  Unfortunately, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety has not sought out any additional reciprocity agreements.  By adding the proposed language, Minnesota will recognize every state that offers a carry permit and drastically improve Minnesotans’ abilities to carry in other states.  The proposed language would also require Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety to enter in to reciprocity agreements.

Emergency Powers Reform:
The proposed language would prohibit any government agency from confiscating or regulating the lawful possession, carrying, transfer, transportation and defensive use of firearms or ammunition during a state of emergency, such as occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Major Firearms Reform Bill Needs Your Immediate Help in the Senate

Yesterday (May 17) , the state Senate replaced Senate File 1357 with its companion bill, House File 1467. It is vital that you urge your state Senator to bring this important comprehensive firearms reform bill to a vote in the Senate as soon as possible. Minnesota’s 2011 legislative session is nearly over and this bill must pass before Monday, May 23 in order to have a chance of becoming law this year. 

The anti-gun forces are using every means possible to keep HF 1467 from passing and becoming law, so it is imperative that you contact your state Senator TODAY and urge him or her to bring HF 1467 to the Senate floor for a vote. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.

HF 1467 contains three important firearm policy improvements:

Stand Your Ground:
HF 1467 would remove a person’s “duty to retreat” from an attacker, allowing law-abiding citizens to stand their ground and protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present.  It would create a presumption that an individual who forcefully or stealthily enters or attempts to enter your home or vehicle is there to cause substantial or great bodily injury or death, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that individual.  It would also expressly allow an individual to use force, including deadly force, to prevent a forcible felony, and it provides protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used.

Universal Recognition:
Currently, Minnesotans’ carry permits are only valid in fifteen states.  Unfortunately, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety has not sought out any additional reciprocity agreements.  By adding the proposed language, Minnesota will recognize every state that offers a carry permit and drastically improve Minnesotans’ abilities to carry in other states.  The proposed language would also require Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety to enter in to reciprocity agreements.

Emergency Powers Reform:
The proposed language would prohibit any government agency from confiscating or regulating the lawful possession, carrying, transfer, transportation and defensive use of firearms or ammunition during a state of emergency, such as occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Also, please contact the Senate leadership and urge them to act quickly on this important reform bill. They know HF 1467 is facing a May 23 deadline and it’s important we continue to remind them how important this legislation is.

State Senator Amy Koch (R-19), Majority Leader
(651) 296-5981       
sen.amy.koch@senate.mn
State Senator Chris Gerlach (R-37), Majority Whip
(651) 296-4120       
sen.chris.gerlach@senate.mn
State Senator Michelle Fischbach (R-14), President of the Senate
(651) 296-2084       
sen.michelle.fischbach@senate.mn
State Senator Gen Olson (R-33), President Pro Tem
(651) 296-1282       
sen.gen.olson@senate.mn

Back to Top

Metro area offers walleye opportunities

If heading north isn't an option, Twin Cities-based anglers may want to cast their hopes on waters closer to home when walleye season opens Saturday, May 14.

With more than 250 lakes managed for fisheries and nearly 300 miles of good-sized streams and rivers, anglers are unlikely to find another major urban area with such a wealth of opportunity.

Take the Mississippi River, for instance. Flowing through the heart of the region, its northern reaches are well-known as a top-notch bass fishery. Then there’s Pool 2, the area between the dams at St. Paul and Hastings.

“A few decades ago, it was so polluted that bullheads could barely survive,” said Brad Parsons, DNR central region fisheries manager. “Now it’s recognized as a world-class catch-and-release fishery for walleye and sauger – thanks in large part to the federal Clean Water Act and state and local efforts to clean up the river.”

Another metro river, the St. Croix from Stillwater to Prescott, is one of the most popular fishing and recreational destinations in the region, with good catch rates for walleye and sauger (15-inch minimum size regulation on walleye). Later in May, the lower St. Croix also produces good- sized muskies and bass. And come September, it’s one of the few places in the state where an angler can harvest Minnesota’s largest and longest-lived fish, the lake sturgeon.

But anglers don’t need to be a river rat to enjoy metro fishing. The region’s many lakes offer a wide variety of experiences, from the big waters of Minnetonka or White Bear to smaller but productive gems. Clear Lake in Washington County, for instance, holds walleye in above average numbers and weights, as well as northern pike and hybrid muskies. West of the Mississippi, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes provides good walleye fishing, especially on Cedar and Harriet, both of which are regularly stocked. Both lakes lend themselves to shorefishing.

Numerous other shorefishing opportunities are provided throughout the metro region thanks to DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program. FiN works with local parks departments and others to maintain a network of more than 60 public shore and pier fishing opportunities strategically scattered around the St. Paul-Minneapolis area. 

“The FiN program provides fishing opportunities in the metro area by stocking bluegill, walleye, pike, bass and channel cats in ponds and small bodies of water,” said Parsons. “It complements and coordinates with our MinnAqua program. Together, these efforts help kids learn how to fish and understand the nature around them.”

So no matter where you live in the Twin Cities, there’s good fishing nearby. All an angler need is a license and some tackle. If you’re under 16, you don’t even need a license, and if you go to one of the growing number of area parks that offer free loaner tackle, all you need is some bait. And a desire to enjoy some of the best fun in town.

For detailed information about Minnesota lakes, go to the DNR lake finder application at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html.

Back to Top

DNR reminds anglers of new rules when netting and using smelt, cisco as bait

Smelt netted for bait in any Minnesota water must be preserved and labeled by an authorized bait dealer.

Smelt netting, particularly in inland waters in the northeast and Lake Superior, is a popular springtime activity. In the past, anglers could freeze the fish and use it later for bait. The discovery of Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia (VHS) in Lake Superior now makes that illegal.

A rule enacted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2010 allows rainbow smelt and cisco (tulibee) netted by individuals to be used for bait only if they are preserved and labeled by an authorized bait dealer.

Both species are known carriers of VHS. Because it would be impossible to verify the origin of bait netted by individual anglers, all rainbow smelt and cisco used for bait, regardless of its origin, must be preserved by one of the authorized dealers listed at mndnr.gov/bait.

"We recognize this new rule is a big change to what anglers have done in the past and it may pose an inconvenience," said Dirk Peterson, DNR fisheries section chief. "The alternative of potentially spreading VHS to new waters and the impact it could have on fish populations would be devastating."

VHS is a virus known to cause large-scale fish kills in many popular game species such as bluegill, black crappie, smallmouth bass, muskellunge and walleye.  VHS does not have any impact on humans through direct contact or via fish consumption.

Although Lake Superior is the only Minnesota water known to harbor this disease, the rule was enacted to be proactive and hopefully prevent the spread to inland waters.

It is legal to harvest cisco and rainbow smelt for personal consumption in Lake Superior and Minnesota’s inland waters.  Anglers who harvested and froze cisco and smelt for use as bait must have it preserved and labeled by an authorized dealer because simply freezing the fish does not kill the virus.

When fishing using preserved cisco or rainbow smelt as bait, anglers must have in their possession the label from the batch of bait being used. The label must contain the bait processor’s DNR permit number, the lot number and the date of processing.

Back to Top

Comprehensive Firearms Reform Bills Need Your Help

Last week the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee passed Senate File 1357 by a 8 to 3 vote.  Despite heavy opposition from anti-gun forces inundating legislators with “gun-grabbing” rhetoric, SF 1357 and its House companion bill, House File 1467, are now on the floor calendars and awaiting a floor vote. It is vital that you make your voice heard and urge the leadership in the state House and state Senate to schedule votes on these important bills. 

SF 1357/HF 1467 contain three important firearm policy improvements:

Stand Your Ground:
SF 1357/HF 1467 would remove a person’s “duty to retreat” from an attacker, allowing law-abiding citizens to stand their ground and protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present.  It would create a presumption that an individual who forcefully or stealthily enters or attempts to enter your home or vehicle is there to cause substantial or great bodily injury or death, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that individual.  It would also expressly allow an individual to use force, including deadly force, to prevent a forcible felony, and it provides protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used.

Universal Recognition:
Currently, Minnesotans’ carry permits are only valid in fifteen states.  Unfortunately, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety has not sought out any additional reciprocity agreements.  By adding the proposed language, Minnesota will recognize every state that offers a carry permit and drastically improve Minnesotans’ abilities to carry in other states.  The proposed language would also require Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety to enter in to reciprocity agreements.

Emergency Powers Reform:
The proposed language would prohibit any government agency from confiscating or regulating the lawful possession, carrying, transfer, transportation and defensive use of firearms or ammunition during a state of emergency, such as occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

As mentioned, SF 1357 and HF 1467 both are on the calendar in their respective legislative bodies. As the end of Minnesota’s legislative session nears, these bills must pass by the deadline of Monday, May 23 in order to have of chance of becoming law this year. Please contact leadership in both the Senate and the House and urge them to bring these important pro-gun bills to their respective floors for consideration.

 

Senate Leadership:

Amy Koch (R-19), Majority Leader

(651) 296-5981

sen.amy.koch@senate.mn

 

Geoff Michel (R-41), Deputy Majority Leader

(651) 296-6238

sen.geoff.michel@senate.mn

 

David Hann (R-42), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-1749

Click here for email

 

Doug Magnus (R-22), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-5650

sen.doug.magnus@senate.mn

 

David Senjem (R-29), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-3903

sen.david.senjem@senate.mn

 

Dave Thompson (R-36), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-5252

sen.dave.thompson@senate.mn

 

Chris Gerlach (R-37), Majority Whip

(651) 296-4120

sen.chris.gerlach@senate.mn

 

Michelle Fischbach (R-14), President of the Senate

(651) 296-2084

sen.michelle.fischbach@senate.mn

 

Gen Olson (R-33), President Pro Tem

(651) 296-1282

sen.gen.olson@senate.mn

 

 

House Leadership:

Kurt Zellers (R-32B), Speaker of the House

(651) 296-5502

rep.kurt.zellers@house.mn

 

Matt Dean (R-52B), Majority Leader

(651) 296-3018

rep.matt.dean@house.mn

 

Rod Hamilton (R-22B), Majority Whip

(651) 296-5373

rep.rod.hamilton@house.mn

 

Kurt Daudt (R-17A), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-5364

rep.kurt.daudt@house.mn

 

Bob Gunther (R-24A), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-3240

rep.bob.gunther@house.mn

 

Joe Hoppe (R-34B), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-5066

rep.joe.hoppe@house.mn

 

Tim Kelly (R-28A), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-8635

rep.tim.kelly@house.mn

 

Jenifer Loon (R-42B), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-7449

rep.jenifer.loon@house.mn

 

Paul Torkelson (R-21B), Assistant Majority Leader

(651) 296-9303

rep.paul.torkelson@house.mn

 

Greg Davids (R-31B), Speaker Pro Tempore

(651) 296-9278

rep.greg.davids@house.mn

 

Mary Liz Holberg (R-36A), Speaker Pro Tempore

(651) 296-6926

rep.maryliz.holberg@house.mn

 

Morrie Lanning (R-9A), Speaker Pro Tempore

(651) 296-5515

rep.morrie.lanning@house.mn

 

Torrey Westrom (R-11A), Speaker Pro Tempore

(651) 296-4929

rep.torrey.westrom@house.mn

Back to Top

Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris pitches in with tree planting at Afton State Park

Afton State Park got 25 new bur oak trees today, courtesy of the Minnesota Twins bullpen. The trees were the last of the 18,000 trees planted as a result of the Break a Bat, Plant a Tree partnership between the Twins and the Division of Parks and Trails at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

This is the second year of the partnership. Every time a Minnesota Twins pitcher breaks the bat of an opposing player, the DNR Division of Parks and Trails will plant 100 trees. During the 2010 regular season, Twins pitchers broke a total of 180 bats, which scored 18,000 trees for Minnesota state parks and trails.

Former Twins pitcher Jack Morris joined DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr for the tree-planting ceremony. Also on hand to help with the planting were Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails; Olin Phillips, section manager for the DNR’s Division of Forestry; Patrick Klinger, vice president of marketing for the Twins; elementary students from Academia Cesar Chavez in St. Paul; U.S. Forest Service mascot Smokey Bear and Twins mascot T.C. Bear.

“The Break a Bat, Plant a Tree partnership has been a big hit, and we’re grateful to the Twins for coming up with the idea,” said Nelson. “It adds an element of excitement to every at-bat, and our parks and trails benefit greatly.”

The bur oak trees being planted at Afton State Park were grown at the General Andrews State Forest Nursery. Bur oak trees, which are native to the area where they will be planted, can live for 200-300 years and may get to be 80 feet tall with trunks up to four feet wide.

In addition to Afton State Park, recipients of “Break a Bat” trees from the 2010 season included:

“The partnership is a natural fit,” said Klinger. “The DNR wants to get people outdoors, and now that we have a new outdoor ballpark, so do we. The state parks and trails contribute significantly to the quality of life we enjoy here in Minnesota, and we’re glad we can help draw some attention to that during the Twins season.”

So far this season, Twins pitchers have broken 21 bats, which means Minnesota state parks and trails are already up 2,100 trees in 2011. The Twins also donated to Minnesota state parks 10 of the 14 black spruce trees that were formerly behind the center field wall at Target Field. Those trees will be planted in early June, as soon as conditions permit.

Back to Top

Two Major Pro-Gun Bills Up for Committee Consideration and Need Your Support!

Two important pro-gun bills need your immediate attention. House File 1467 passed in the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee by a 10 to 7 vote. HB 1467, which is sponsored by state Representative Tony Cornish (R-24B), is now before the House Judiciary Committee and will be voted on during its hearing at 8:15 a.m. this Wednesday, May 4. The Senate companion bill sponsored by state Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-10), Senate File 1357 Senate File 1357, is expected to be considered by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee as early as this Thursday, May 5.

Anti-gun forces have already been inundating legislators with “gun-grabbing” rhetoric against these important bills.  Accordingly, it is critical that you continue to make your voices heard now. Please continue contacting members of the House Judiciary Committee and begin contacting the members of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.  To find contact information for each committee, please see below.

HF 1467 and SF 1357 contain four important firearm policy improvements:

Stand Your Ground:

HF 1467 and SF 1357 would remove a person’s “duty to retreat” from an attacker, allowing law-abiding citizens to stand their ground and protect themselves or their family anywhere they are lawfully present.  It would create a presumption that an individual who forcefully or stealthily enters or attempts to enter your home or vehicle is there to cause substantial or great bodily injury or death, so the occupant may use force, including deadly force, against that individual.  It would also expressly allow an individual to use force, including deadly force, to prevent a forcible felony, and it provides protections against criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits when justifiable force is used.

Universal Recognition:

Currently, Minnesotans’ carry permits are only valid in 15 states.  Unfortunately, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety has not sought out any additional reciprocity agreements.  By adding the proposed language, Minnesota will recognize every state that offers a carry permit and drastically improve Minnesotans’ abilities to carry in other states.  The proposed language would also require Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety to enter in to reciprocity agreements.

Emergency Powers Reform:

The proposed language would prohibit any government agency from confiscating or regulating the lawful possession, carrying, transfer, transportation and defensive use of firearms or ammunition during a state of emergency, such as occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Permit-to-Purchase Reform:

HF 1467 and SF 1357 would increase the statewide validity of the permit from 1-year to 5-years.  Additionally, it would provide an improved process for Minnesotan’s to appeal denials.

To find the contact information for members of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee click the following link: www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/committees/committee_bio.php?cmte_id=3053&ls=

To find the contact information for members of the  House Judiciary Committee click the following link: www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/committee.asp?comm=87014

This alert is posted at: www.nraila.org/Legislation/Read.aspx?ID=6716

Back to Top

Mille Lacs walleye slot unchanged, northern pike slot adjusted

Lake Mille Lacs anglers are reminded that walleye regulations won't change from 2010 when the season opens Saturday, May 14, but the slot limit for northern pike will be different this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Anglers may keep up to four walleyes shorter than 18 inches, one of which may be longer than 28 inches. All walleyes 18-to 28-inches in length must be immediately released.

Up to three northern pike shorter than 27 inches may be kept, one of which may be longer than 40 inches. All northern pike 27-to 40-inches in length must be immediately released. The change from the 24- to 36-inch protected slot implemented in 2002 creates a slightly more liberal slot limit that provides additional angler opportunity.

Starting July 15, if angler harvest is low enough to allow it, anglers may be allowed to keep walleyes up to 20 inches with one trophy more than 28 inches in the four-fish limit. All walleyes from 20-to 28-inches would need to be immediately released. Then, on Thursday, Dec. 1, the slot would revert to four walleyes up to 18 inches, with one more than 28 inches in the four-fish limit.

If the DNR implements walleye regulation changes for Mille Lacs in July, the new limit will be posted at public accesses and the DNR website at mndnr.gov/fishing.

Smallmouth bass season opens Saturday, May 28. Anglers can keep only one fish and all smallmouth must be at least 21 inches long.

A night fishing closure is in place on Mille Lacs from 10 p.m. Monday, May 16, through midnight Monday, June 13. During this period, no one may fish for any species between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Back to Top

Grand Marais area fisheries announces survey work

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several area lakes and streams during the next few months.

Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments (by week) include:

Fisheries surveys and assessments are done on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. The survey frequency varies on each lake and stream based on ongoing management evaluations and angler use.

Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Lakes stocked regularly are also sampled more frequently to assess stocking success and monitor growth rates.

Data collected is reviewed and incorporated into individual fisheries lake management plans.  The plans identify goals for key species in the lake and outlines specific management activities.

As a result of the Clean Water Legacy Act, many lakes being sampled this summer will also include near-shore small fish sampling using seining and backpack electro-fishing techniques. Combined with standard survey assessments, this data will allow the DNR to gauge the overall health of the fish community in these lakes.

Management plans for many of the above lakes and streams will be reviewed and revised during the next year or two. Public comments and suggestions for future management of these waters are welcome at any time. All current lake and stream management plans for the Grand Marais area are available for review at the area office.

Survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and the timing may change. Questions about these surveys can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais Area Fisheries at 1356 Highway 61 East, Grand Marais, MN 55604, or by calling 218-387-3056 or emailing steve.persons@state.mn.us.

Information collected this year will be available as a lake survey report in the spring of 2012. Lake surveys are available online at www.mndnr.gov/lakefind or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office.

Back to Top

Upper Red Lake’s mid-season slot adjustment remains for 2011

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that regulations allowing Upper Red Lake anglers to keep larger walleye after June 15 will be in effect again for the 2011 open water season.

From Saturday, May 14, through Tuesday, June 14, anglers must release all walleye 17-to 26-inches long. Effective Wednesday, June 15, anglers may keep walleye up to 20 inches and must immediately release all walleye 20-to 26-inches long. During both time periods, anglers can possess no more than four fish and only one of those fish can be longer than 26 inches.

The walleye size limit is programmed to revert back to the 17- to 26-inch protected range on Dec. 1 for the winter angling season. The possession limit will remain at four fish.

“This will be the third open water season with the same mid-season slot adjustment and anglers are becoming accustomed to it,” said Gary Barnard, DNR Bemidji Area Fisheries supervisor.

“That factored heavily into the Upper Red Lake Citizens Advisory Committee recommendation for this option.”

The more restrictive size limit remains necessary for the early season when angler catch rates are high and mature spawning walleye are extremely vulnerable. During the first month of the season, anglers must sort for smaller “keeper” size males and immature walleye.

As the open water season progresses, catch rates and fishing pressure decline, reducing the impact of harvesting larger walleye. The adjustment back to a more restrictive size limit in winter is necessary due to consistently higher ice fishing pressure than open water periods.

“This regulation package, which has been very popular with anglers and local businesses, has been effective in managing walleye harvest within established safe harvest levels,” Barnard said.

Back to Top

Enjoy fishing and boating opportunities in the Metro Area

Can’t make it up north for the opener?  Gas prices keeping you home?  No cabin?  No problem – Three Rivers Park District has some of the best fishing and boating opportunities right here in the Metro Area.  The Park District offers shore fishing and fishing piers at several area lakes, and provides boat access to numerous lakes including Lake Minnetonka, Lake Independence and Medicine Lake.

Fees: Parking is free in Three Rivers Park District.  However, a $5 daily or $35 season permit is required for boat trailer parking.  Permits will be available at pay boxes near the boat launches and at park visitor and nature centers.  Permits may also be ordered by phone at 763-559-9000.  Minnesota fishing licenses are required for anglers 16 and older.

The Park District reminds boaters of its public-access procedures specifying that once the boat launch parking lot is full, a motorized watercraft cannot be launched until a motorized watercraft leaves the lake.  This policy includes personal watercraft.  Vehicles hauling motorized watercraft without a trailer must comply with the procedures and will be required to park in the boat launch parking area.  The public-access parking limits are in effect at Baker Park Reserve and at Bryant Lake, Fish Lake, French and Lake Minnetonka Regional Parks.  Boat owners are reminded to check for Eurasian water milfoil before launching and when removing boats from the water. 

Boating and Fishing Locations:

Baker Park Reserve, Maple Plain
Lake Independence            

Spurzem Lake                                               

Half Moon Lake       

Bryant Lake Regional Park, Eden Prairie

Bryant Lake                    

 

Carver Park Reserve, Victoria

Lake Zumbra                  

Lake Auburn                                   

Steiger Lake                   

Parley Lake                     

Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake

Cleary Lake            

Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, on Mississippi River, Brooklyn Park

Mississippi River            

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve, Hassan Township

Crow River

Eagle Lake Regional Park, Plymouth

Eagle Lake       

Fish Lake Regional Park, Maple Grove

Fish Lake                          

French Regional Park, Plymouth

Medicine Lake

Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista
Whaletail Lake

Hyland Lake Park Reserve, Bloomington

Hyland Lake                    

Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, Minnetrista

Lake Minnetonka          

Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Rockford

Lake Rebecca                 

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, Savage

Murphy Lake

North Mississippi Regional Park, Minneapolis/Brooklyn Center

Mississippi River            

Back to Top

© 2011 Outdoors Weekly