Make safe boating top priority on Memorial Day weekend

Water remains dangerously cold, life jackets a necessity

Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer boating season, but boaters should keep in mind water temperatures remain spring-like. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges boaters to wear life jackets no matter the water temperature or season, but it’s especially important this time of year, when wearing a life jacket is the one action that significantly increases the chances of surviving a fall into cold water.  Full Story


Fort Snelling State Park remains closed due to spring flooding and damage

Due to persistent flooding and damage from the winter’s hefty snowpack and spring’s heavy rains, Fort Snelling State Park will remain closed to the public through Memorial Day weekend and the month of June. Full Story


14 candidates begin training to join state conservation officer ranks

The 19th class of candidates to take part in the Department of Natural Resources’ Conservation Officer Academy has begun training at Camp Ripley.  Full Story


Clean bird feeders to keep birds healthy

Moldy birdseed and unclean bird feeders can make birds sick. Homeowners who enjoy feeding birds can takes steps now to help birds stay healthy, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Dock regulations balance public water use and protection

Docks and dock platforms provide access to Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, and are regulated to help protect public safety as well as aquatic habitat. As summer approaches, the Department of Natural Resources encourages property owners and lake service provider businesses to review the regulations, to ensure the equipment they own, sell or install is in compliance.  Full Story


DNR continues aggressive starry stonewort management

Agency, partner organizations, anglers and boaters working together to limit spread

As the 2019 fishing and boating season gets underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is continuing and expanding a multi-faceted approach to combating the spread of starry stonewort, an aquatic invasive species.  Full Story


DNR Enforcement Division chief pilot calls it a career

Following a 15-year career with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division’s Aviation Unit, Capt. Tom Buker – the division’s chief pilot since 2015 – is flying off into retirement.  Full Story


Fire danger high despite wet weather

Despite this spring’s wet weather, much of Minnesota is still dry enough to fuel a dangerous wildfire, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Waterville area fisheries crew complete yearly northern pike egg take

Eggs produced at hatchery enhance fish populations in lakes statewide

By Dan Ruiter, DNR southern region information officer

As the sun came up over Le Sueur County’s Steele Lake, Peter Muggli and Sky Wigen slipped their boat into the frigid waters. Never mind that it was a Saturday, the Waterville area fisheries crew was on Mother Nature’s timeline – the ice was out and the northern pike spawn was imminent. They were just one of several teams fanning out across their work area. Full Story


ATV riders can explore Minnesota trails for free June 7-9

Minnesotans with an all-terrain vehicle registered for private or agricultural use won’t need to pay the additional registration fee ($53.50 for three years) to ride the state’s public ATV trails, Friday through Sunday, June 7-9. Out-of-state riders can explore Minnesota ATV trails that weekend as well, without the need for a nonresident trail pass ($21 annually). Full Story


St. Louis River estuary restoration project open house is May 21

Construction on wetland habitat restoration project expected to begin in June

Work on an extensive habitat restoration project will take place this summer in the St. Louis River estuary, where the river enters Lake Superior.

Staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host a public open house in May to share information and answer questions about the Kingsbury Bay/Grassy Point habitat restoration project. Full Story


DNR crews working hard to have boat ramps and docks ready by fishing opener

Crews with the Department of Natural Resources are confident they will have the majority of DNR public water accesses ready in time for the May 11 fishing opener. Full Story


Public invited to tour Waterville State Fish Hatchery

Open house scheduled for afternoon of May 9

The Department of Natural Resources invites the public to tour the Waterville State Fish Hatchery ahead of the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener.

The open house will take place Thursday, May 9 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the hatchery located at 50317 Fish Hatchery Road in Waterville.
Full Story


DNR to appeal court’s ruling about naming of Bde Maka Ska

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that it will appeal the Minnesota Court of Appeal’s recent decision regarding the naming of Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis. The DNR will submit its petition for review to the Minnesota Supreme Court by May 29.  Full Story


Drinking water restored at Blue Mounds State Park

Water that’s safe to drink, cook, and bathe with is now available for visitors at Blue Mounds State Park in southwestern Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Over the winter, contractors made the final connections to Rock County Rural Water System, ending a safe drinking water problem that spanned five camping seasons. Full Story


As sunfish bite heats up, anglers encouraged to eat small fish

Anglers can find nutritious, plentiful sunfish in all areas of the state  

Feeling that tug on the line, an angler sets the hook and reels in a small sunfish, then asks the perennial question: Should I keep it?  Full Story


Washington County Groundwater Atlas now available

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has published the Washington County Groundwater Atlas. This Part B atlas covers groundwater conditions and sensitivity to pollution. It expands on Part A, the geology atlas previously published by the Minnesota Geological Survey.  Full Story


Bear shot in North St. Paul

A bear in a residential area of North St. Paul was shot and killed today by a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer as authorities determined the animal posed an immediate safety threat.  Full Story


Spring burning restrictions begin in Minnesota

Warm temperatures and dry conditions mean increased wildfire risk, so the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict open burning in the following counties effective immediately: Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Douglas, Grant, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Washington, and Wright.  Full Story


Drop the drone during fire season

Flying a drone can be a lot of fun—but it can be downright dangerous during a wildfire, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Celebrations planned to mark 100 years at Sibley State Park

Popular destination in Kandiyohi County was designated on April 23, 1919

Celebration events are planned throughout the summer to honor 100 years of Sibley State Park, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The park, in west-central Minnesota, is named for the state’s first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, and was funded by the state Legislature and designated as a state park on April 23, 1919.   Full Story


DNR seeks comments on EAW for Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area Trail development

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments through May 22 on an environmental assessment worksheet to address proposed expansion of recreational trails at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Crow Wing County.  Full Story


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

Homeowners are reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears.   Full Story


DNR conservation officer dies in line of duty

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer has died in the line of duty following an incident Friday, April 19, on Cross Lake in Pine City.

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


Commercial fisher captures invasive silver carp in St. Croix River

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the capture of a silver carp on the St. Croix River. The invasive carp was caught by a commercial fisher near Prescott, Wisconsin, during routine spring netting.  Full Story


Pelicans begin yearly migration north

The America white pelican is making a comeback in Minnesota, not only for the season, but also in terms of its population. While pelicans winter in the Gulf of Mexico region, more than 20 percent of the continent’s white pelican population takes up summer residence in Minnesota. Marsh Lake, located in Big Stone, Lac qui Parle and Swift counties, hosts the largest portion of the population.  Full Story


DNR: Variable ice and water conditions highlight need for caution

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges people to exercise extreme caution around bodies of water in the state, as conditions vary widely.  Full Story


Groundwater sampling planned for Groundwater Atlas of Hennepin County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect water samples from about 90 wells in Hennepin County this summer to help create a county groundwater atlas.   Full Story


Well sampling planned for Groundwater Atlas of Hubbard County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect water samples from about 90 wells in Hubbard County this summer to help create a county groundwater atlas. Full Story


Conservation officer posthumously named TIP officer of the year

Minnesota Conservation Officer Ed Picht, who died last October, has been named the Turn in Poachers 2018 Joe Alexander Conservation Officer of the Year.  Full Story


DNR announces comment period for off-highway vehicle access to Clint Converse and Greer Lake Forest campgrounds

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on a proposal to allow off-highway vehicle access to certain areas of the Clint Converse Forest Campground in the Land O’ Lakes State Forest and the Greer Lake Forest Campground in the Crow Wing State Forest.  Full Story


Bear hunt applications available; deadline is May 3

Applications for bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through Friday, May 3, wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, and by telephone at 888-665-4236.  Full Story


Stream trout fishing opens statewide on April 13

Minnesota’s popular warm weather stream trout season opens Saturday, April 13, with quality fishing opportunities in every region of the state. Brook trout and splake fishing also opens on Lake Superior and its tributary streams that have no posted boundaries.  Full Story


Volunteers add $7.8 million in value to DNR

Last year over 20,000 Minnesotans volunteered their services to assist the Department of Natural Resources in accomplishing its conservation mission. According to the new 2018 Annual DNR Volunteer Report released today, these volunteer services in 2018 were valued at $7.8 million. In hours that equates to 136 full-time staff. Full Story


DNR seeks comment on International Falls area lake management plans

Anglers and others interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources strategies for managing International Falls area lakes and streams are invited to ask questions and submit comments on lake management plans through Friday, April 12. Full Story


Lanesboro hatchery project helps to ensure trout fishing opportunities

A $5 million construction project now underway at Minnesota’s flagship state-owned trout hatchery in Lanesboro will ensure a regular supply of trout can be stocked each year in streams and lakes throughout the state.  Full Story


Upper Red Lake walleye regulation changes announced for open water season

Bag limit remains but anglers can put larger walleye in the frying pan 

While anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this spring will again be able to keep four walleye, a change in the size regulation will allow them to take one fish over 20 inches – making potential keepers out of considerably more of the lake’s walleye population.  Full Story


Landowners sought for 2019 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener

Minnesota landowners with grassland or wetlands within 20 miles of Austin are being sought to participate in the 2019 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener (GPHO) in October.  Full Story


DNR commissioner announces School’s Out-Campout Challenge

Goal is to fill all state park campsites June 8 to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen has big plans for the first weekend of summer break: Fill as many Minnesota state parks’ campsites with school-aged kids and their families as possible.  Full Story


Bat population decline continues as expected

Annual Minnesota bat count shows continued effects of white-nose syndrome 

Following the pattern observed in neighboring states, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reporting a substantial but expected decline in the number of bats in Minnesota. The decline is due to the effects of white-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that is harmful and usually fatal to hibernating bats.  Full Story


Updated media contacts for flood information

As media interest in flood-related stories remains high, here are some updated, time-saving contacts for key functions and staff at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, along with flood forecast contacts at the National Weather Service.  Full Story


Spring thaw affecting state recreational facilities

Fort Snelling State Park expected to close today due to flooding

As the heavy snowpack across Minnesota melts under warming temperatures, some state parks, trails and other outdoor recreational facilities may be closed to protect public safety and infrastructure. Users should check current conditions before visiting, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


For Fosston woman, firearms safety is a way of life

Ask Bridget Landsverk, of Fosston, when she started volunteering as a firearms safety instructor and there’s a brief pause. She starts to count the years, then remembers: Last year she received a plaque for 10 years of service, which means 2019 marks the beginning of her second decade of instruction.  Full Story


Take an overnight canoe camping trip with new ‘I Can!’ program

Registration open for 2019 outdoor skills classes 

A new “I Can!”program offers participants the chance to learn the outdoor skills necessary to take an overnight canoe camping trip. The overnight adventure trip is one of many summer programs Minnesota state parks and trails has available for beginners of all ages who want to learn to camp, paddle, mountain bike and fish.  Full Story