DNR to stock muskellunge in Gull and Fairmont chains of lakes

Decision follows 2-year public input process

Muskellunge will be released this fall in the Gull Lake chain of lakes near Brainerd and the Fairmont chain of lakes in southern Minnesota as part of an effort to establish new muskie angling opportunities throughout the state.  Full Story

After strong winds and storm, state park campgrounds open

Tree down by Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center, Itasca State Park.

Tree down by Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center, Itasca State Park.

In the wake of a storm that hit northern Minnesota early Thursday, Department of Natural Resources’ crews are busy working to clean up the damage and reopen facilities.

The DNR recommends visitors check the closures webpage for current information on state parks, recreation areas and state forest campgrounds.

Conditions continue to change as power is restored and crews clean up areas that were damaged.

All visitors and staff are safe and no serious injuries were reported in the aftermath.

Most of the state’s 75 state parks and recreation areas, 25 state trails and state forest campgrounds and trails were not affected by the storm. For some of those that were, here are the latest updates:

Itasca State Park campgrounds are open and most lodging facilities will reopen at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 23. There are still some temporary closures of remote campsites, group camps and lodging facilities. Visitors affected by the closures are being contacted by the DNR.

An emergency crew of about 30 is on-site cutting downed trees, cleaning up debris and making trails passable. The park is gradually opening facilities as areas are being cleared of downed trees and debris.

Check the Itasca State Park page for the most current conditions. Douglas Lodge restaurant will reopen on Saturday. The Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center and Wilderness Drive continue to be closed and Itasca’s phone system is still down.

Savanna Portage State Park will provide rustic camping only, until power can be restored. Visitors will have hand pumps for water and the use of vault toilets. Shower buildings will be closed. The DNR is notifying campers of the rustic conditions.

Greer Lake Forest Recreation Area campground is temporarily closed.

Clint Converse Forest Recreation Area campground is partially closed.

Paul Bunyan State Trail from Lake Bemidji State Park through the city of Bemidji is open but has a lot of debris on it that will be cleaned up next week. The stretch of trail from Bemidji to Walker is not recommended for use at this time.

Heavy storms in northern Minnesota hit several state parks knocking out power and temporarily closing some overnight facilities

Itasca State Park received the most damage
Heavy storms and damaging winds in northern Minnesota downed trees and knocked out power in several state parks and recreation areas including Itasca State Park early Thursday.

No injuries have been reported. DNR staff are still assessing state parks, trails, water accesses, roads and facilities in the northern half of the state for potential damage. Full Story

DNR completes strategic acquisition for Mill Towns State Trail in Rice County

The Department of Natural Resources has acquired nearly 6 miles of railroad property for the Mill Towns State Trail between Faribault and Dundas in Rice County. Full Story

Groundwater sampling planned for Meeker County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect and analyze water samples from about 90 wells in Meeker County this fall. The data are being collected for the county’s geologic atlas, an effort involving the Minnesota Geological Survey and the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resources Division. Full Story

Youth can hunt with adult mentors during special deer hunts

Youth can apply to hunt deer in select state parks and other refuge areas during 17 special deer hunts in October and November.  Full Story

Kabetogama State Forest trails to be focus of Orr open house

Anyone interested in trail use and motorized recreation in Kabetogama State Forest in St. Louis County is encouraged to attend an open house Wednesday, Aug. 3, 5 to 8 p.m., at the American Legion, 4543 U.S. Highway 53 in Orr, the Department of Natural Resources said.   Full Story

Designs due Aug. 12 for Minnesota Trout and Salmon Stamp

Wildlife artists can submit entries for the 2017 Minnesota Trout and Salmon Stamp from Monday, Aug. 1, until 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12.  Full Story

Grant program aims to help increase number of hunters, anglers  

A dozen organizations are receiving funding to help increase how many people hunt or fish – or support those who already do – through a new Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant program.  Full Story

Conservation officer receives award for saving man from drowning

A conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been awarded a DNR lifesaving award as he and other emergency responders in central Minnesota saved a man from drowning after he went through the ice with his ATV on Platte Lake March 13. Full Story

Heavy rains flood some state campsites and trails; cause dangerous river conditions

Heavy rains in portions of north-central and east-central Minnesota have flooded campsites and other facilities at some state parks, prompted the closure of several off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails and state forest roads, and created dangerous river conditions, said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

Planning begins on Minnesota’s first off-road vehicle touring trail

The Department of Natural Resources has entered into a partnership that will significantly expand adventure touring opportunities for four-wheel drive enthusiasts with more than 400 miles of trail from the shores of Lake Superior to the North Dakota border. Full Story

Maplewood State Park hosts picnic and activities July 17

People can help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails with a summer picnic, old-time lawn games, and more at Maplewood State Park near Pelican Rapids on Sunday, July 17. Bring a lunch to the Josh Hanson Memorial Picnic Shelter and join the fun.   Full Story

DNR releases Minnesota buffer map; implementation begins

Landmark initiative reiterates state’s priority to protect clean water 

buffer_mapAs part of the state’s commitment to protecting clean water, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today released the map of public waters and public ditches requiring permanent vegetative buffers or alternative water quality practices.

The buffer map shows landowners and local governments where protective vegetative buffers of 16.5 feet or an average of 50 feet are required, as approved by the Minnesota Legislature in 2015 and revised in 2016. More than 90,000 miles of waters in Minnesota require buffers or alternative water quality practices.

The buffer map is available on the buffer webpage.

“Vegetative buffers help filter pollutants and sediment out of our waterways,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “Completing this map is a critical step toward the ultimate goal of protecting one of our most valuable natural resources – clean water.”

The project now turns to implementation with these deadlines: Full Story

Ruffed grouse counts up, sharp-tailed grouse down from last year

Minnesota’s ruffed grouse spring drumming counts were up 18 percent statewide this year compared to last year, according to a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

First state muskie catch-and-release record set; flathead mark bested

It may be called “the fish of 10,000 casts” but on June 25 it took five casts for an angler to set Minnesota’s first catch-and-release state record for muskellunge.  Full Story

First citizen advisory committee for St. Croix State Park management plan to meet

A citizen advisory committee, to help with the development of a new management plan for St. Croix State Park, will meet in the visitor center near the park’s campground Wednesday, July 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Full Story

Adding to ranks of hunters and anglers is topic for DNR summit

Gone are the days when the hunting masses wore red flannel for visibility, when youth wandered the countryside with .22 rifles hunting squirrels with little or no supervision and kids sold nightcrawlers along the side of the road like lemonade.     Full Story

Applications open for prairie chicken hunt lottery

Hunters can apply now to be included in a lottery for one of 126 permits available for the 2016 Minnesota prairie chicken season.  Full Story

Reminder: DNR partners with St. Paul Saints on special ticket offer

Anyone with a 2016 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can receive a special offer on tickets and a free Saints logo cap to select St. Paul Saints games by visiting the informational webpage, through a partnership between the Saints and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story

DNR seeks comments on Marsh Lake project EAW

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comments on an environmental assessment worksheet prepared for the Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, which would restore aquatic and riparian ecosystems.  Full Story

DNR offers advice for dealing with storm damaged trees

Cleanup following a storm can be an overwhelming task for homeowners. Knowing which trees to save and which to remove can impact safety and the survival of remaining trees, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story

Voters choose new parks and trails license plate

Following a week of online voting, during which more than 30,000 votes were cast, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith today announced the winner of the contest to design a Minnesota state parks and trails license plate.  Full Story

Clean In, Clean Out helps protect lakes this holiday weekend

The Independence Day weekend ahead is one of the busiest of the Minnesota boating and fishing season. The Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to plan a little extra time for making sure boats and equipment are clean going in and clean coming out of lakes and rivers to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Full Story

Mille Lacs bass anglers encouraged to submit fishing reports

Mille Lacs Lake bass anglers can help state fisheries managers learn even more about the lake’s top-notch bass fishery by submitting their fishing reports online, a service provided through a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota BASS Nation. Full Story

Apply by Aug. 19 for Camp Ripley archery hunts

Hunters can apply starting Friday, July 1, for the regular archery deer hunts at Camp Ripley near Little Falls. The application deadline is Friday, Aug. 19. Full Story

Wildlife Drive opening at Roseau River Wildlife Management Area

The 27-mile Wildlife Drive through the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located 20 miles northwest of Roseau, will be open to vehicle travel from Saturday, July 16, through Sunday, July 24. The drive traverses wetland, woodland, brushland and farmland habitats, providing visitors ample opportunity to view wildlife. Full Story

Reminder: Twins offer free hat through partnership with DNR

Anyone with a 2016 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Twins logo baseball cap through a special Minnesota Twins ticket offer online at www.mndnr.gov/twins. Full Story

DNR deems Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project environmental impact statement adequate

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has determined that the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Management Project meets the state’s standards for adequacy.  Full Story

Duck numbers up, Canada goose numbers down since last year

Population counts are up for several species of ducks that breed in Minnesota, according to the results of the annual Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spring waterfowl surveys.  Full Story

DNR urges people to use water wisely in summer months

The month of July is, on average, the warmest of the year and is a time when many lawn sprinkler systems are running regularly. During this warm summer season, the Department of Natural Resources reminds people to use water wisely.   Full Story

DNR promotes 4 conservation officers

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has promoted four conservation officers. Full Story

Karlstad Fire Department receives fire truck through DNR Rural Fire Program

The Karlstad Fire Department in northwestern Minnesota now has a significant upgrade to its fire fleet courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources’ Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program.  Full Story

Online voting for a new parks and trails license plate begins June 27

Three finalists in the contest to design a Minnesota state parks and trails license plate were revealed this morning, and online voting to select a winner has begun. Full Story

‘Operation Dry Water’ enhanced BWI enforcement in effect statewide, June 24-26

In an effort to curb alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents and deaths, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers and hundreds of other public safety officers are ramping up patrols for intoxicated boaters this weekend, June 24-26. Full Story

Southern Minnesota celebrates new state water trail this weekend

Paddling enthusiasts and others are invited to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Minnesota’s newest state water trail — Shell Rock River State Water Trail — on Saturday, June 25, at 12:30 p.m. in Frank Hall Park, Albert Lea.   Full Story

DNR decides not to rebuild Blue Mounds State Park dam

Agency seeks citizen involvement to reshape park’s future
The Department of Natural Resources has decided against rebuilding the dam and lake reservoir at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne in southwestern Minnesota, citing concerns about water quality, endangered species and other factors. Full Story

Same day, different rivers: Catfish and sturgeon are first records

Two anglers had a big day May 8 when they reeled in, measured, photographed and released huge fish – one caught a lake sturgeon, the other a flathead catfish – leading both to set the first catch-and-release records in an expanded Minnesota state record fish program. Full Story

Take advantage of great summer fishing – buy a license

Fishing has been excellent this season and snagging a fishing license opens the door to fishing opportunities throughout the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.   Full Story

Only approved firewood allowed on state lands

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to remind visitors that only approved firewood is allowed on lands managed by the DNR, such as state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas. Firewood restrictions will help prevent the introduction or spread of damaging forest pests, including emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt. Full Story

DNR schedules first advisory group meeting for Sand Dunes State Forest

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold the first in a series of monthly meetings to share information and gather feedback about management of the Sand Dunes State Forest, located in central Sherburne County, about 3 miles west of Zimmerman. Full Story

DNR extends Fort Ridgely State Park golf season to Sept. 5

DNR commits to park’s future by forming Citizen Advisory Committee as interest in golf wanes

The Department of Natural Resources has agreed to keep the golf course open at Fort Ridgely State Park in Fairfax through Labor Day weekend.  Full Story

Learn to mountain bike at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area

Experience the fun of mountain biking during introductory skill-building programs at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Ironton, about 140 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Full Story

Women can learn how to catch walleye from a pro

Women can learn how to fish for walleye from pro angler Mandy Uhrich and participate in a four-hour guided fishing trip on Leech Lake – a destination well-known for outstanding walleye fishing.
Full Story

License affirmation reinforces Minnesota’s aquatic invasive species laws

Minnesota boaters and nonresident anglers renewing their licenses will now need to sign a card affirming they know the state’s aquatic invasive species laws.   Full Story