DNR adds 2 metro area open-house meetings about deer plan

Two additional open-house meetings are scheduled in the Twin Cities metro area to help people understand and ask questions about Minnesota’s draft statewide deer management plan. Full Story

DNR advises people to keep aquarium pets and plants out of Minnesota waters

To help protect Minnesota waters, the Department of Natural Resources is reminding people to properly dispose of prohibited or unwanted aquarium plants and animals. Full Story

New estimate shows healthy Mille Lacs smallmouth bass population

Since the late 1990s, Mille Lacs Lake has become an increasingly popular destination for anglers who want to catch trophy-sized smallmouth bass. Until now, it wasn’t known how many of these fish – prized more for their fight than their fillets – called the lake home. A population estimate completed in 2018 shows there are some 67,000 smallmouth bass in the 128,000-acre lake. Full Story

New underwater-themed geocaching challenge begins on Earth Day

A new geocaching challenge called the Aquatic Quest, which focuses on plants and animals that live in Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and ponds, is being offered by the Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

Popular expanded hours and interpreters make DNR info just a call away

Have a question for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in the evening or on a Saturday?  Need an interpreter?  No problem. Full Story

Cook County fishing closures will protect spawning fish

Anglers in Cook County will notice fishing closure signs at several area lakes this spring. These temporary closures are regularly enacted to protect concentrations of spawning walleye. Closures on Minnesota-Ontario waters are made in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and affect both sides of the border. Full Story

If it’s predictable, it’s preventable: Wildfire Prevention Week 2018

This Wildfire Prevention Week (April 15-21), the Department of Natural Resources encourages people to look past the late-season snow and start getting ready for wildfire season.  Full Story

DNR crews see productive winter of prairie habitat restoration

With the buzzing of chain saws and constant drone of heavy machines, the landscape on the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area in west-central Minnesota is changing. Contractors are busy removing trees from the prairie as part of a wildlife habitat restoration project.  Full Story

DNR announces temporary, seasonal fishing closures

To protect spawning fish, the Department of Natural Resources has begun to close certain portions of some Minnesota waters. The closings are routine and based on local conditions.  Full Story

Northern pike added to state’s catch-and-release record program

Anglers who catch and release northern pike can earn state records through an expansion of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources record fish program that previously included only lake sturgeon, muskellunge and flathead catfish in the catch-and-release category.   Full Story

Despite snow, spring turkey season begins Wednesday

Licenses are available for seasons that run from May 2 to May 31

In 1978, Minnesota held its first turkey hunt in modern history. During that season, a lucky 420 hunters drew permits. Since then, interest in pursuing these big game birds has expanded along with their population and range. Last spring some 50,000 turkey permits were issued, and hunters registered nearly 12,000 birds.  Full Story

Volunteers add $7.4 million in value to DNR

Nearly 23,000 citizens donated services valued at $7.4 million during 2017 to assist the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in accomplishing its conservation mission through a variety of projects and programs, according to the new 2017 Annual DNR Volunteer Report released today. That’s the equivalent of an extra 135 full-time staff. Full Story

Glendalough State Park hosts annual walk April 21

The 22nd annual Walk for Glendalough will be Saturday, April 21, at Glendalough State Park.  Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the historic Glendalough lodge, which will be open for tours. There is no fee to enter the park on this day, but because the walk is intended as a fundraiser, donations will be encouraged.  Full Story

DNR’s main trout hatchery in disrepair, jeopardizing statewide stocking efforts

Conducting repairs at the state’s 15 hatcheries is part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s $130 million request of Legislature for DNR’s natural resources asset preservation

Minnesota’s flagship state-owned trout hatchery in Lanesboro needs $5 million in improvements so anglers can continue to enjoy a regular supply of stocked trout in streams and lakes throughout the state.  Full Story

New plan fosters better understanding of deer management, more citizen input

Comments accepted through May 9; informational meetings begin statewide later this month

Minnesota’s new deer plan sets a new statewide harvest target, increases citizen participation in deer management, and outlines ways to keep the population and habitat healthy.  Full Story

DNR, REI team up to provide trip-planning assistance at new Adventure Station

Wondering where to break in those new hiking boots? Looking for tips on where to pitch that new tent? Stop by the new Adventure Station at REI’s flagship store in Bloomington for some advice from the pros.  Full Story

Get fishing questions answered or a license on the go at Fish Minnesota

What species can I fish for? What kind of bait is legal? What kind of fish can I keep? Don’t have a fishing regulations book handy? No problem. You can find the answer at Fish Minnesota, the fishing information webpage at mndnr.gov/fishmnFull Story

Upper Red Lake walleye regulations announced for 2018 open water season

Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this spring will again be able to keep four walleye of which only one may be longer than 17 inches, continuing the same regulation that was in place this past winter and the previous 2017 open water season.   Full Story

Bear hunt applications available; May 4 deadline

Applications for bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through Friday, May 4, wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing license are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236.  Full Story

DNR reminder: Return of cold weather doesn’t mean ice is safe

With cold weather returning across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds ice anglers and other recreationists not to be fooled by any remaining ice on lakes and streams.  Full Story

Be aware of bears this spring; DNR lists tips for avoiding conflicts

Anyone living near bear habitat is reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears.  Full Story

Minnesota fishing facts

Anglers and waters

  • There are about 1.4 million licensed anglers in Minnesota.
  • About 500,000 people are expected to fish on Minnesota’s opening day of the walleye and northern pike season, Saturday, May 12.
  • Minnesota has 11,842 lakes, 4,500 of which are considered fishing lakes. There are over 18,000 miles of fishable rivers and streams, including 3,800 miles of trout streams.
  • Average annual expenditure per angler in Minnesota is about $1,500.*
  • Although not every kind of fish lives everywhere, 162 species of fish can be found in Minnesota waters.

Full Story

License sales support diverse angling opportunities

Walleye might be Minnesota’s most popular fish, but the state’s waters also are renowned for trophy catfish, muskellunge and smallmouth bass. All of the state’s large rivers are home to lake sturgeon, which can weigh as much as 100 pounds. In southeastern Minnesota, trout rise to flies in the region’s cold, clear spring creeks. Along the North Shore, large migratory rainbow trout known as steelhead provide thrills.   Full Story

DNR statement regarding White Bear Lake ruling

Today, Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr issued this statement about a recent Ramsey County District Court ruling: Full Story

DNR seeks comment on International Falls area lake management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources International Falls area fisheries is seeking comments through Monday, April 16 on management plans for a number of area lakes. Full Story

Many Minnesota outdoor recreational facilities, buildings in disrepair

Gov. Mark Dayton asks Legislature for $130 million in natural resources asset preservation support for DNR

Visitors to Jay Cooke State Park are awed by the scenic views of the St. Louis River and the historic swinging bridge. But one thing they won’t find at this iconic park is water for drinking or flushing toilets.

That is because the park’s main water line failed this winter, forcing the park to shut down the water supply and close all of its bathrooms with flush toilets. Full Story

Becker County groundwater sampling planned

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect and analyze water samples from about 90 wells in Becker County this spring. The data are being collected for the Becker County Geologic Atlas, Part B (hydrogeology). The results build on the Part A (geology) information, which was produced by the Minnesota Geological Survey in 2016. Full Story

Netland named Pheasants Forever Wildlife Professional of the Year

As supervisor at the New London area wildlife office, Cory Netland oversees a number of projects including 10 over the last two years that added more than 1,300 acres to Minnesota’s 5.6 million acre network of public land.  Full Story

Deep snow and cold winters increase instances of fish kills

Cold winters with abundant snowfall can lead to fish die-offs and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has already taken reports of this process, known as winterkill, occurring in lakes near Brainerd, Hinckley and the Twin Cities area.  Full Story

DNR seeks comments on EAW for Blue Mounds State Park restoration project

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments through April 25 on an environmental assessment worksheet to address conditions left by flooding in Blue Mounds State Park.  Full Story

DNR offers programs to learn to camp, paddle, mountain bike and fish

Registration for the 2018 I Can! programs that teach camping, paddling, mountain biking and fishing skills at Minnesota state parks and trails begins Tuesday, March 27, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

Elk survey shows slight population increase

Minnesota’s elk range in northwestern Minnesota has three herds with a total of 97 elk, according to the annual aerial elk population survey completed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Kittson, Marshall and Roseau counties.  Full Story

Don’t wait to sign up for a Firearms Safety Hunter Education Class

Safety classes and field days fill quickly

Minnesota’s volunteer firearms safety instructors have scheduled classes throughout the state, and now’s the time for people who want to attend to make plans to do so, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

DNR encourages homeowners to compost, not burn

Annual burning restrictions coming soon

In an effort to prevent wildfires, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges woodland property owners to compost their yard waste rather than burn it.  Full Story

Landowners sought for 2018 Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener

Minnesota landowners with grassland or wetlands within 20 miles of Luverne are being sought to participate in the 2018 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener (GPHO) in October.  Full Story

Groundwater sampling planned for Wadena County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect and analyze water samples from about 90 wells in Wadena County this spring. The data are being collected for the Wadena County Geologic Atlas, Part B (hydrogeology). The results build on the Part A (geology) information, which was produced by the Minnesota Geological Survey in 2016. Full Story

DNR seeks comments on Kingsbury-Grassy Point habitat restoration project

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments through April 18 on an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW) for the Kingsbury–Grassy Point Habitat Restoration Project, located in Highland Township in St. Louis County. Full Story

Catch-and-release summer walleye season announced for Lake Mille Lacs

Walleye fishing expected to be open all year; bait restrictions only apply to night walleye closure

2018 season regulations part of strategic effort to protect Mille Lacs’ walleye population

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today announced plans for the 2018 walleye fishing season on Lake Mille Lacs that seek to maximize fishing opportunities for anglers while protecting the health and sustainability of Mille Lacs’ improving walleye population.   Full Story

DNR to change trout stocking in Lake Superior

Genetically screened steelhead will replace Kamloops to bolster fishing opportunities and protect steelhead  Full Story

Turn in Poachers names Duncan its conservation officer of the year

Turn in Poachers has named Kipp Duncan, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer who patrols the Duluth area, as its 2017 Joe Alexander Conservation Officer of the Year. Duncan also won the award in 2010.  Full Story

DNR seeks comment on Tower area lake management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Tower area fisheries is seeking comments through Friday, March 30 on management plans for a number of area lakes.  Full Story

Deer feeding bans continue in 16 Minnesota counties

A deer feeding ban remains in effect for 16 counties located in central, north-central and southeastern Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

Deer movement study begins in southeastern Minnesota’s CWD zone

A Department of Natural Resources research project that will examine how deer move across the landscape in southeastern Minnesota’s chronic wasting disease management area is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 12.  Full Story

DNR fisheries seeks comments on Brainerd area lake management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Brainerd area fisheries is seeking comments through Friday, March 30 on management plans for a number of Crow Wing County lakes.

Management plans describe the past, present and desired future conditions of the fishery and identify specific management activities planned for that lake or stream in the next five to 20 years. This is an opportunity for anglers and others interested to provide input on how these lakes are managed.

Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake management plans for several waters in each management area. In the Brainerd area, plans for the following lakes in Crow Wing County will be reviewed:

  • Bass (18-256).
  • Black (18-59).
  • Clinker (18-131).
  • Erskine (18-9).
  • Little Black Hoof (18-118).
  • Little Rabbit (18-139).
  • Mahnomen (18-440).
  • Pennington (18-439).
  • Sagamore (18-523).

Current plans for lakes and streams in the area, as well as recent fish population assessment information are available for review at the DNR’s Brainerd area fisheries office, located at 1601 Minnesota Drive, Brainerd, between 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Individuals also may call 218-203-4301, or email Sue.Loss@state.mn.us to request a copy of a plan or submit written comments on a plan.

Public comments on this management plan are due by Friday, March 30. Comments and suggestions on other streams and lakes in the area are welcomed at any time, and will be considered when those plans are due for review

DNR fisheries to discuss changes in the Lake Winnibigoshish ecosystem

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Rapids area fisheries office, will hold an open house to discuss historic and recent changes in Lake Winnibigoshish.

The meeting will be Tuesday, March 20, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, 402 SE 11th St., Grand Rapids. The meeting will begin with a short presentation of data and include time for questions.

Lake Winnibigoshish (Winnie) is a destination fishery for walleye and yellow perch. Fisheries biologists will share data about changes in fish populations, and the impacts of exotic species and regulations.

“Like many walleye populations, walleye numbers on Winnie have gone through periods of ups and downs over time. Presently, the fishery is going through one of the down periods,” said Gerry Albert, DNR large lake specialist. “We’re investigating whether recent changes are a normal part of walleye biology on Winnie, or if something has changed in the system.”

The meeting is not a regulation review meeting and no special fishing regulation changes are currently being proposed. Interested parties are invited to attend the meeting, review current biological data, and provide input regarding Lake Winnibigoshish management.

More information is available by contacting the Grand Rapids Area Fisheries office at 218-328-8836, or Lake Winnibigoshish large lake specialist, Gerry Albert at gerry.albert@state.mn.us.