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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: 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