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.


New northern pike fishing regulations coming for fishing opener

New regulations for catching and keeping northern pike will be the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state.  Full Story


From tree to breakfast table: maple syrup making at Minnesota state parks

When we think of a food source in Minnesota, we often consider grain fields, gardens, poultry farms, orchards, and cows. How often do we think of a maple tree? State parks are home to thousands of maple trees from which pure maple syrup is made. Attend a free program at a state park and learn about tapping maple trees while using tools found in the kitchen.  Full Story


DNR increases 10-year sustainable timber harvest target

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced it has set a new 10-year sustainable timber harvest at 870,000 cords offered for sale annually from DNR-managed forest lands. This represents an 8.75 percent increase in the harvest target.  Full Story


DNR seeks comments on Finland area lake and stream management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Finland area fisheries staff are seeking comments through Friday, March 23 on management plans for a number of Lake and Cook county lakes. This annual process includes several waters located within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). Full Story


Ham Lake man is snowmobile safety instructor of the year

Marvin Buchholz, of Ham Lake, has been named the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Snowmobile Volunteer Instructor of the Year for 2017. Full Story


DNR announces new recreational skills classes for women and families

Women and families can learn outdoor recreational skills in a supportive atmosphere by registering for any of a wide range of hands-on learning opportunities in the newly released 2018 Becoming an Outdoors Woman and Becoming an Outdoors Family catalog.  Full Story


2017 fish, game and trapping licenses expire Feb. 28

Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2017 expire Wednesday, Feb. 28, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


DNR fisheries seeks comments on Sand, Tamarack lake management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Duluth area fisheries is seeking comments through Friday, March 16 on updated lake management plans for Sand and Tamarack lakes in Carlton County. Full Story


DNR seeks comments on Grand Rapids area lake and stream management plans

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Rapids area fisheries is seeking comments through Friday, March 16 on management plans for a number of area lakes. Full Story


A simple choice at tax time can warm spirit and help wildlife

Need something to lift the spirits in the midst of this winter’s recurring cold and snow? Looking for a way to make a big difference with a small investment?  Full Story


Spring light goose harvest begins Feb. 15

Enormous flocks of snow geese fill the skies each spring in the central United States, including in far western Minnesota, as they migrate toward the Arctic.  Full Story


Moose population remains low but stable for a seventh year

Population estimate statistically unchanged from last year’s estimate

Results of the 2018 moose survey indicate the moose population in northeastern Minnesota remains stable but relatively low for the seventh year in a row, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Southeast Minnesota landowner deer permits effective now through mid-March

Sampling results from special late-season hunt reveal no new cases of chronic wasting disease  

Landowner deer permits in portions of southeastern Minnesota’s chronic wasting disease management zone become effective this week as the Department of Natural Resources works with eligible landowners to reduce the possibility of disease spread.   Full Story


Phil George named Conservation Officer of the Year

George among honorees at annual Enforcement Division awards ceremony

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Phil George has been named the 2018 DNR Conservation Officer of the Year, an annual award given to an officer who’s recognized as a leader among natural resource enforcement peers. Enforcement Division Director Rodmen Smith presented the award to George in January at the division’s annual awards ceremony and training at Camp Ripley. Full Story


Reminder: Learn how to hunt turkeys this spring

Youth and adults can learn to hunt turkeys this April with experienced volunteers who will cover safe hunting techniques, how to call-in turkeys, hunting tactics and field dressing a bird.  Full Story


Aurora and Duluth meetings provide opportunities for public comment on recently released draft PolyMet permits

On Feb. 7 and 8, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will host public meetings in Aurora and Duluth, respectively, to provide information and comment opportunities regarding recently released draft permits for PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet mine.  Full Story


DNR hires new Mille Lacs Lake fisheries supervisor 

Tom Heinrich, who most recently was the large lake specialist covering Lake of the Woods for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, will now supervise Mille Lacs Lake fisheries management.  Full Story


Walk-In Access generates revenue for landowners, signups open now

Landowners can generate revenue by allowing public hunting on their private land in 46 Minnesota counties through the Department of Natural Resources Walk-In Access Program. Sign-ups are Monday, Jan. 22, to Friday, April 27.  Full Story


Warm up to winter with family activities at Fort Snelling State Park

Try cross-country skiing, fat biking and more
Winter may have gotten off to an especially cold start in 2018, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy what’s left of it. For an introduction to snow sports, stop by the annual Winter Trails Day extravaganza at Fort Snelling State Park on Saturday, Jan. 20, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Full Story


Outdoor events for families celebrate 10th anniversary of Legacy Amendment

A series of events celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will take place throughout Minnesota in 2018. The first of these events will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at Silverwood Regional Park, 2500 County Road E, St. Anthony.  Full Story


State of Minnesota approves Lake Calhoun name change to Bde Maka Ska

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today announced the State of Minnesota has approved changing the name of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis to Bde Maka Ska. The DNR’s decision follows a Hennepin County Board resolution requesting the change.  Full Story


Reminder: Apply through Jan. 26 for spring turkey A and B lottery permits

Spring turkey hunters hoping to bag a tom during the first two weeks of the season have until Friday, Jan. 26, to apply for a lottery permit.

The season runs from April 18 to May 31 and is divided into six hunt periods, A through F (see table below). Hunt A and B licenses for firearms hunters age 18 and older are limited in availability and assigned via lottery drawing. Full Story


DNR offers opportunities to learn how to hunt turkeys this spring

Youth and adults can learn to hunt turkeys this April with experienced volunteers who will cover safe hunting techniques, how to call-in turkeys, hunting tactics and field dressing a bird. Full Story


Snowmobile safety awareness week set for Jan. 20-28

Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed Jan. 20-28 as Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week in Minnesota.

This an opportunity for the Department of Natural Resources, volunteer safety instructors, the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MNUSA) and its 250 member snowmobile clubs to join together to recognize the importance of safe, responsible snowmobiling. Full Story


Minnesotans age 16 or older fish free with kids Jan. 13-15

Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is this Saturday, Jan. 13, through Monday, Jan. 15.

During the weekend, Minnesota residents age 16 or older can fish or dark-house spear without an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing or spearing. Full Story


Notice of Draft Permit to Mine for PolyMet NorthMet Project

Public Comment Period Open Through March 6, DNR to hold 2 Public Meetings in February

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has opened a public comment and objection period on a draft permit to mine for the proposed Poly Met Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) NorthMet mining project. Following review of PolyMet’s permit to mine application, the DNR has prepared draft special conditions for the NorthMet project. Together, the application and the draft special conditions are considered the draft permit to mine. The draft permit to mine and several related fact sheets are posted on the DNR’s permit to mine webpage for the NorthMet project: www.dnr.state.mn.us/polymet/permitting/ptm.htmlFull Story


St. Charles resident wins turkey stamp contest

St. Charles artist Micah Hanson won the 2019 turkey stamp contest. The painting was selected by judges from among 12 submissions for the annual contest sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


2017 was a great year for hunting, fishing and getting outdoors in Minnesota

The year 2017 saw an increase in the number of Minnesotans getting outdoors and enjoying the state’s abundant natural resources, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Nongame wildlife: 40 years, 40 reasons, $40

By Kristi Coughlon, DNR information officer

Minnesotans are a generous lot. For the past 40 years, they’ve made it possible for the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program to help thousands of native species survive and thrive – including animals that are threatened, endangered and rare.  Full Story


DNR announces new special angling regulations

Special fishing regulations will change March 1 on a number of Minnesota waters following an annual public input and review process, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Precautionary test results show no new outbreaks of CWD in wild deer

No chronic wasting disease was detected in more than 11,000 precautionary samples from deer that hunters harvested this fall in north-central, central and southeastern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


Applications open for spring wild turkey A and B season permits

The deadline for firearms wild turkey hunters to apply for early season spring hunting permits is Friday, Jan. 26, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Full Story


11 citizens appointed to Game and Fish Fund oversight committees

The commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has appointed 11 Minnesotans to three-year terms on citizen oversight committees that monitor the agency’s fish and wildlife spending.  Full Story


Sherburne County Geologic Atlas, Part B hydrogeology available

The Sherburne County Geologic Atlas-Part B was recently published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Part B covers groundwater conditions and sensitivity to pollution. It expands on Part A, the geology atlas previously published by the Minnesota Geological Survey. The atlases are a valuable resource for groundwater management and land-use planning. Full Story


New northern pike fishing regulations coming in spring 2018

Anglers and spearers pursuing northern pike this winter can prepare for new pike regulations that will be in effect for the spring fishing opener on Minnesota’s inland waters.  Full Story


DNR opens public comment period on draft sustainable timber harvest analysis

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments by Dec. 30 on a draft sustainable timber harvest analysis that will be used to help determine the statewide timber harvest level on DNR-administered forest land.  Full Story


Hunters register 161,057 deer through third weekend of season

Harvest climbs 16 percent from 2016

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 161,057 deer through the third weekend of deer season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story


DNR announces new operational plan for Sand Dunes State Forest

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today released a new plan guiding management of the Sand Dunes State Forest near Zimmerman for the next five years. The revised operational plan arose from a series of meetings with local landowners, conservationists and others.  Full Story


Fish houses and wheelhouses require license purchase for ice fishing

New definition of portable shelter expands types of structures needing to be licensed      

Beginning this ice fishing season, anglers using a wheelhouse type of ice or dark-house shelter are required to purchase a license to place the shelter on the ice, even when occupying it.  Full Story


DNR releases draft Little Rock Creek Area plan for public review

Comments accepted through Dec. 22

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released a public review draft of a five-year action plan for the sustainable use of groundwater in the Little Rock Creek Area, in central Minnesota, south of Little Falls.  Full Story


7 deer test presumptive positive in southeast’s CWD management zone

Final results for area 603 expected this week

Preliminary tests show that seven deer harvested in southeastern Minnesota’s disease management zone during the first firearms deer season may be infected with chronic wasting disease.  Full Story


Hunters register 145,054 deer through second weekend of season

Harvest up 10 percent

Minnesota firearms hunters registered 145,054 deer through the second weekend of deer season, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Full Story