The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced temporary fishing and spearing closures on a number of designated spawning beds and fish preserves in northern St. Louis and western Lake Counties. The temporary closures are in accordance with Minnesota Statute 6264:0125 to protect fish when they are more susceptible to catch and overharvest as well as limit disruption in spawning areas.
Areas closed from April 26 through May 9 are posted for the following St. Louis County water bodies:
- Bear Island River: both sides of Highway 1 T.62, R.12, S.23,26.
- Beaver River: portion upstream of Bear Island Lake T.62, R.13, S.35
- Birch River: both sides of County Road 21 T.61, R.13, S.26,27
- Burntside River: both sides of County Road 88 at bridge T.63, R.13, S.26.
- Everett Creek: between Everett Lake and Twin Lakes T.64, R.12, S.31, T.64, R.13, S.36
- Shagawa River: both sides of road crossings at Winton T.63, R.11, S.19 and T.63, R.12, S.24
Area closed from May 1 through May 9 for Lake County:
- Fall Lake: below the hydropower facility T.63, R,11, Secs. 17, 20.
Additional area closures to protect spawning walleye are for the following dates:
April 14 – May 31, 2014
- Pike River (St. Louis Co.): from the mouth upstream to the dam T.61 R.16 S.3
May 10 – May 16, 2014
- Basswood Lake (Lake Co.): portion of Pipestone Bay south of a direct line from Kosulainen Point to Gary Island to Caribou Point T.64, R.11, Secs.11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23
“Pike River is an annual closure due to the large walleye spawning run where our egg take station is located. Basswood is being closed this year due to an anticipated late ice-out and the vulnerability of spawning walleye in that location,” explains Edie Evarts, Tower area fisheries supervisor.
Early season anglers and spearers are encouraged to check the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov for a complete list of temporary fishing closures.
Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several area lakes and streams during the next few months.
Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments (by week) include:
- June 2 – survey Sundling Creek, Pine Lake (near Kemo; splake special assessment), Tomash Lake
- June 9 – survey Sundling Creek, Rudy Lake, Ruby Lake, Logger Lake, Woodpecker Lake
- June 16 – Caribou Lake (near Lutsen; smallmouth bass assessment), Little Portage Lake, Pine Lake (near Kemo), Sled Lake
- June 23 – Greenwood Lake (smallmouth bass assessment), Clearwater Lake (smallmouth bass assessment), Pit Lake, Stony Lake
- June 30 – Woods Creek (habitat survey), Mark Creek (habitat survey), Swamp River (beaver dam inventory)
- July 7 – Otter Lake, Crescent Lake, Bouder Lake
- July 14 – Crescent Lake, Binagami Lake, Crooked Lake
- July 21 – Caribou Lake (near Lutsen), Clearwater Lake, Devil Track Lake (walleye reproduction check), Mud Creek
- July 28 – Clearwater Lake, Sundling Creek, Sawbill Creek, Swanson Creek
- August 4 – Sundling Creek, Irish creek, Junco Creek, Saganaga Lake, Flute Reed River, Kadunce Creek
- August 11 – Onion River, Cascade River, Kimball Creek, Devil Track River, Saganaga Lake
- August 18 – Saganaga Lake, Swan Lake
- August 25 – Saganaga Lake, Swamp River, Loft Lake (habitat survey)
- September 1 – Prune Lake, Echo Lake
- September 8 – Moose lake, Loft Lake (fish population assessment)
- September 15 – Kraut Lake, Trip Lake, Squash Lake
- September 22 – Chester Lake, Trout Lake (yellow perch assessment), Unnamed Lake
- September 29 – Thrush Lake (brook trout special assessment)
- October 6 – North Shady Lake
- October 13 – Greenwood Lake (lake trout special assessment)
- October 20 – Trout Lake (lake trout special assessment), Thrush Lake
In addition, several lakes may be added as time and funding allow. Those lakes include North Cone, Crocodile, Horseshoe, Hub, Long, Powell, Stump, Vernon, Fern, West Fern, North Fowl, South Fowl, Boys, Swamper, Gillis, and Tuscarora.
These survey plans are tentative. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped and timing may change. Questions about these surveys can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais Area Fisheries at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted
by calling 218-387-3056 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Final reports on 2014 surveys will be available in the spring of 2015, but preliminary results for many lakes should be available in the fall of 2014. Final lake survey results will be available online at www.mndnr.gov/lakefind or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office. Contact the Grand Marais area fisheries office for stream survey results or preliminary lake survey results.
Fisheries surveys and assessments are done on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey frequency varies on each lake and stream based on ongoing management evaluations and angler use. Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Lakes stocked regularly are also sampled more frequently to assess stocking success.
Survey data collected is reviewed and incorporated into individual fisheries lake and stream management plans. The plans identify goals for key species in the lake and outline specific management activities. They are typically revised every six to ten years. All current lake and stream management plans for the Grand Marais area are available at the area office, and copies can be provided upon request. Public comments and suggestions for management of these waters are welcomed at any time.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is preparing individual fisheries management plans for 9 lakes and one stream in northern St. Louis and Koochiching Counties. The public is invited to review and comment on those plans.
“Fisheries managers use the plans to describe the past, present, and desired future conditions of the water body,” said Kevin Peterson, International Falls area fisheries supervisor. “The plans identify goals and objectives for the fish community and identify specific management activities planned for the next 10 to 20 years.”
Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake and stream management plans for several waters in each management area. In the International Falls area, plans for the following lakes and one stream will be reviewed:
- Pelican (near Orr).
- Billy Creek (near Big Falls).
Copies of the draft plans are available at the International Falls Area Fisheries office located at 392 Highway 11 E., International Falls, MN 56649. You can also call the office at 218-286-5220 to request a copy or email email@example.com.
Those wishing to comment on any of the plans may do so by contacting the DNR Area Fisheries Office by any of the methods outlined above. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Public comments on lake management plans will be taken through Friday, May 2, 2014.
Comments, questions and suggestions for management of any of the other lakes and streams in the International Falls area are welcome at any time.
The DNR’s lake management activities are largely funded through the sale of fishing licenses and the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Act.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites public comment from April 21 to May 5on the lake vegetation management plan for Park Lake in Carlton County.
The vegetation management plan, prepared by the DNR in cooperation with the Park Lake Association, is designed to control aquatic plants in high use areas by mechanical harvest. Lake vegetation management plans describe current and historical conditions of the lake and identify specific management activities planned for that lake in the next five years.
A copy of the management plan can be viewed at the DNR area office in Duluth, 5351 North Shore Drive, Duluth MN 55804, or an electronic copy can be emailed by request. Written comments can be sent until May 5 to Anna Varian, Duluth area assistant fisheries supervisor, 5351 North Shore Drive, Duluth MN 55804, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department of Natural Resources will begin reforesting 10,000 acres of land within the St. Croix State Forest where trees were blown down by a powerful windstorm on July 1, 2011. The Arbor Day Foundation has awarded the DNR a grant to buy seedlings for this spring’s planting, though reforestation efforts will take several years to complete.
“The DNR Forestry Division will reforest some of the most heavily damaged areas by planting red and white pine seedlings from the Minnesota State Forest Nursery,” said Doug Hecker, DNR Sandstone area program forester. “These newly planted seedlings will benefit several wildlife species and provide valuable timber resources when mature.”
Local Cub Scout Pack 187 from Sandstone will celebrate Arbor Day, Fri., April 25, by planting seedlings in St. Croix State Forest. The last two years they have celebrated Arbor Day by planting seedlings in St. Croix State Park.
Since the 2011 blowdown, the DNR has worked to restore areas damaged in St. Croix State Forest through forest inventory and planning, removing downed and damaged trees, aerial seeding and natural regeneration.
St. Croix State Forest is in Pine County along the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. It serves as an access point to the St. Croix State Canoe Route. Camping opportunities include the Boulder Campground, with 20 drive-in sites, and the Tamarack Horse Campground, with 55 pull-through sites and areas to tie horses and dispose manure. Campsites in state forests are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Vehicle permits are not required to visit or camp in state forests. To find a state forest near you, go to www.mndnr.gov/stateforests.
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees and has over 1 million members, supporters and partners. Visit www.arborday.org for more information.
A public hearing will be conducted by the Department of Natural Resources to receive public comments about access by watercraft, swimming, dogs on leash, and berry-picking at the Minnesota Point Pine Forest SNA Scientific and Natural Area (SNA). The hearing will be held May 6, 2014, 6-7 pm, or until all testimony is taken, at the Lafayette Community Center, 3026 Minnesota Ave, Duluth, MN 55802.
This public hearing regards potentially changing the designation order establishing the current 18 acre SNA to allow swimming and access by watercraft (with the provision that specific locations may be closed if necessary to protect natural features), dogs on leash, berry-picking and to recognize the existence of the Park Point Nature Trail that traversed the site prior to SNA designation.
At the hearing, a hearing official will record all testimony regarding the uses being proposed at this SNA. DNR staff will be present to answer questions on these matters. Written statements on this subject will also be accepted until May 13th, 2014. Testimony may be emailed to email@example.com (please put the name of the SNA in the subject line) or sent by U.S. mail to SNA Hearing Officer 1201 East Hwy 2 Grand Rapids, MN 55744 (please specify name of SNA).
Scientific and Natural Areas are state lands established to preserve natural features and rare resources of exceptional scientific and educational value. Minnesota Point Pine Forest SNA protects unique native pine forest on beach dunes, dune grasses and associated wildlife habitat on the longest freshwater bay-mouth bar in the world, along with its natural shorelines on Lake Superior and the bay. Minnesota Point Pine Forest SNA is open to the public for activities such as hiking, bird-watching, nature photography, and snowshoeing.
Information on resources and location of Minnesota Point Pine Forest SNA can be found at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/list.html by choosing it from an alphabetical listing of all SNAs.