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Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Grand Rapids area lakes

MN DNR - 4 hours 13 min ago

Recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee is anticipated to open on several Schedule I Lakes in the Grand Rapids fisheries work area beginning in late October, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website. Schedule II Lakes, will open Nov. 4.

Schedule I Lakes (48 hour notice)

Anticipated opening dates are as follows:

  • Oct. 29 through Dec.4, for Deer (near Deer River) and Turtle.
  • Nov. 4 through Dec. 11, for Side and South Sturgeon (1.75 inch mesh).
  • Nov. 11 through Dec. 11, for Big Balsam and Nashwauk (1.75 inch mesh).

Schedule II Lakes

Lakes open to whitefish-tullibee sport-netting Nov. 4 through Dec. 11:

  • Bass (north basin).
  • Ball Club.
  • Bowstring.*
  • Little Bowstring.
  • Cut Foot Sioux.*
  • Deer (near Effie).
  • Grave.
  • Jessie.
  • Maple.
  • Pokegama.
  • Round (near Squaw Lake –1.75 inch mesh).
  • Rush Island.
  • Sand (near Max).*
  • Swan. (1.75 inch mesh).
  • Twin Lakes (near Marble).
  • Winnibigoshish* and
  • Little Winnibigoshish* (1.75 inch mesh).

*Bowstring, Cut Foot Sioux, Sand, Winnibigoshish and Little Winnibigoshish are designated infested waters because of the presence of faucet snails or zebra mussels. Nets and equipment used in infested waters may not be used in any other waterbody unless they have been dried for 10 days or frozen for two days.

Fishing regulations require that:

  • A whitefish netting license is purchased.
  • A person may use only one gill net, not exceeding 100 feet in length and 3 feet in width.
  • One end of net must have a pole, stake, or buoy projecting at least 2 feet above the surface of the water or ice.
  • Nets must have an identification tag attached near the first float of the end that is projecting from the surface of the water or ice.
  • Identification tags must be a minimum of 2 ½ inches by 5/8 inch permanently bearing the name and address of the owner. Identification tags for marking nets are provided by the owner.
  • Nets may not be set after sunset or raised before sunrise.
  • All gill nets must be set and lifted by the licensee only.
  • Nets must be tended at least once every 24 hours.
  • A net may not be set in any water deeper than six feet.
  • A net may not be set within 50 feet of another net.
  • Minimum gill net mesh size shall be no less than 1-3/4 or 3-1/2 inch stretch measure depending on the lake (see attached schedules).
  • Nets used in designated infested waters must be dried for a minimum of 10 days or frozen for two days before using in a different water body. Nets should be dried for 10 days or frozen for two before moving from any lake to another.
  • Nets used in spiny water flea and/or zebra mussel infested waters should be not used in any other waterbody.
  • Nets should be transported in sealed container.
  • Whitefish and ciscoes taken by sport gill netting may not be bought or sold.
  • Whitefish and ciscoes taken by sport gill netting may not be used as bait.
  • The possession limit for whitefish taken by sport gill netting within the Leech Lake Reservation boundaries is 25.
  • Net placement should not inhibit use of the lake by other boaters.

About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish-tullibee each year. The DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures. As the water temperature cools, game fish head to deeper water and whitefish-tullibee come to shallow water for fall spawning. Netting is allowed when there is little chance that game fish populations would be negatively impacted by recreational netting in shallow water.

For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing/index.html, then click on whitefish and ciscoes sport gillnetting regulations, or contact the DNR’s Grand Rapids area office at 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids, or call 218-328-8836.

No School - MEA

Onamia Schools event feed - 13 hours 29 min ago
No School - MEA 2016-10-21

City Council Special Meeting

Brainerd city calendar - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 5:26pm
Event date: October 25, 2016
Event Time: 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
501 Laurel Street
Brainerd, MN 56401

City Council Special Meeting (PDF)

Brainerd Agendas - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 5:25pm
City Council Special Meeting (PDF)

DNR coordinating new starry stonewort treatment method in West Lake Sylvia

MN DNR - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:52pm

Public access closed during treatment

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the Greater Lake Sylvia Association on an aggressive new treatment method for the invasive algae starry stonewort in West Lake Sylvia in Wright County. This week’s treatment is the first time the diver-assisted suction harvest, or DASH, method has been used in Minnesota.  

Earlier this month, DNR invasive species staff confirmed a half-acre of sparse to moderate growth of starry stonewort at the public access to West Lake Sylvia. The public access, which also provides access to adjoining East Lake Sylvia, will be closed for about a month during the treatment. An alternative public access site has been made available at Camp Chi-Rho, located on a peninsula directly east of the temporarily closed public access. The DNR is working with the Greater Lake Sylvia Association to provide signs and directions to the temporary access.

The lake association is sharing in the cost of the effort to remove the half-acre of starry stonewort from the lake.

Diver assisted suction harvest is a manual control method that combines hand pulling with machine suction to physically remove starry stonewort while sparing native vegetation, followed by application of a selective herbicide.

“We’re hoping for effective treatment of the relatively small area where starry stonewort is present,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “While no treatment method has eradicated starry stonewort from any lake in the United States, this aggressive treatment will at least remove enough of the algae to minimize the risk of spread to other parts of the lake and to other lakes.”

Starry stonewort are grass-like algae that may produce dense mats, which could interfere with use of the lake. The invasive algae also may choke out native plants.

The algae is typically spread by lake users who transport fragments of the plant from an infested body of water. Lake users must follow Minnesota laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, whether or not a lake has invasive species:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To prevent their spread, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another body  of water, especially after leaving infested waters:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees F for at least two minutes or 140 degrees F for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

More information about aquatic invasive species and how to report them is available on the aquatic invasive species page.

DNR updates Wildlife Action Plan to address emerging conservation concerns

MN DNR - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:47pm

The Department of Natural Resources and numerous partners have updated the Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan to better reflect conservation of the state’s native wildlife species in a changing climate.  

“The plan addresses the primary causes of species population declines in Minnesota,” said the plan’s coordinator, Faith Balch. “Those causes include habitat loss and degradation, low reproduction and other biological issues, and the impacts of climate change. Along with the agencies and organizations that will implement the plan, we encourage anyone concerned about our state’s wildlife to review it and get involved.”

The plan outlines three goals:

  • Ensure that Minnesota’s wildlife remains healthy and viable, with a focus on Species in Greatest Conservation Need. About 16 percent of Minnesota’s known native wildlife species are identified as Species in Greatest Conservation Need because they are rare, declining or vulnerable to decline.
  • Enhance opportunities for people to watch wildlife and participate in conservation.
  • Acquire the resources necessary to successfully implement the plan.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved the revised Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan earlier this year.
The 2005 plan goals were updated to better reflect wildlife conservation needs and approaches in a changing climate. The updated plan identifies 346 Species in Greatest Conservation Need, compared to 292 in the previous plan. Among the changes are the addition of the monarch butterfly and five native species of bees.

The plan, a list of Species in Greatest Conservation Need, and related resources are available on the action plan page.

In developing the plan, the DNR collaborated with more than 40 conservation partners representing a diverse group of agencies, organizations and individuals. Partners include the DNR’s divisions of Fish and Wildlife, Forestry, Parks and Trails, and Ecological and Water Resources, as well as representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Minnesota, Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Zoo, The Nature Conservancy, The Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and Audubon Minnesota. More than seventy agencies and organizations including

Minnesota state parks and trails specialty license plates to go on sale

MN DNR - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:44pm

A specialty license plate benefitting Minnesota state parks and trails will be available starting Thursday, Dec. 1, at Driver and Vehicle Services offices statewide.  

The plates provide their owners with unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for the year, replacing the need for a vehicle permit (a $25 value). Proceeds from license plate sales will benefit Minnesota state parks and trails.

The cost of the new plates will start at $60, plus tax. This total includes a one-time $10 fee for the plate itself and a minimum $50 contribution (renewable annually).

“Purchasing the new license plates will be a great way to show everyone on the road that you ‘go the extra mile’ to support Minnesota state parks and trails,” said DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers.

The plate features an image of a canoe on the water, surrounded by Minnesota’s four seasons. Designed by Michelle Vesaas of Coon Rapids, it was chosen from among 80 entries as the winning entry in a contest that took place earlier this year in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails. Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and the DNR unveiled the winning design on July 6.

This plate is one of several specialty license plates available from the DNR. There are also nine critical habitat license plates that Minnesotans can purchase – including a loon, moose, deer, and more – to support conservation.

For more information, visit the specialty plates page or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

DNR designates Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area

MN DNR - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:43pm

The Department of Natural Resources this week designated the state’s second groundwater management area. Designation of the central Minnesota Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area allows a more comprehensive and focused approach to ensuring that groundwater supplies will be adequate to meet human needs while protecting lakes, streams and wetlands. 

The DNR also approved a management plan for the area, designed to ensure adequate supplies of groundwater. The designated area includes parts of Stearns, Pope, and Kandiyohi counties along with smaller parts of Douglas, Meeker, Swift and Todd counties.

The Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area Plan lays out five broad objectives and describes specific actions the DNR will take. The plan was developed over two years by DNR staff and an advisory team of nearly two dozen representatives of local government, industry, and other agencies.

“Here in the land of 10,000 lakes and hundreds of streams and rivers, it’s easy to take water for granted,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “But in some parts of Minnesota, such as the Bonanza Valley, growing demands on groundwater could place our aquifers and other resources at risk if we’re not careful. This plan explains how the DNR will work to make sure our use of groundwater remains sustainable.”

The plan provides a framework within which the DNR will work with major water users, including municipalities and farmers. This cooperative effort will promote conservation, protect surface waters and water quality, improve the groundwater appropriations permitting process, and resolve any conflicts that might arise among users.

The Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area is one of three groundwater management areas under development around Minnesota. The North and East Twin Cities Metropolitan Area was designated in November 2015 and the Straight River near Park Rapids in north-central Minnesota is yet to be designated.

More information, including plans and maps for the Bonanza Valley Groundwater Management Area, can be found on the project webpage.

DNR launches updated performance and accountability webpage

MN DNR - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:38pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources launched a new version of its performance and accountability reporting webpage. The webpage on the DNR’s website tracks the DNR’s progress toward achieving conservation results through 88 performance measures and targets. 

The DNR has been setting targets and tracking progress toward most of these measures for over a decade. Measurements on the website span all aspects of the agency’s work, from river and stream restoration projects and moose abundance to parks and trails management and facility energy use. The 2016 update includes many new performance measures to track progress in areas critical for better natural resources conservation, customer service, and related priorities.

Some examples of significant results over the last five years of data collected include:

  • An average of 8.77 million visitors and overnights guests visited state parks and recreation areas each year.
  • The number of watercraft users contacted about invasive species increased 353 percent, from 76,000 to 344,000. Much of this increase is a result of state funding provided to counties beginning in 2014 for aquatic invasive species prevention.
  • Approximately 34,000 additional acres have been acquired for wildlife management areas since 2010, one of many DNR programs to protect wildlife habitat and provide public access for outdoor recreation.
  • The number of long-term groundwater level monitoring wells in Minnesota increased 59 percent as part of an effort to expand and overhaul Minnesota’s groundwater level monitoring network.
  • Maintained an average of over 4.96 million acres of state-administered lands approved for forest certification.
  • Income from state mineral leases generated an average of $50.2 million dollars per year primarily benefiting public education.

The DNR will update the performance and accountability webpage annually and will work with stakeholders, the public, and elected officials to provide context for these measures as well as strategic advice on how to best achieve Minnesota’s conservation goals and targets.

Explore the performance and accountability reporting webpage and view the Conservation Agenda: DNR’s 10-year Strategic Plan.

For first-time deer hunter, big buck is only the beginning

MN DNR - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 1:36pm

Teresa Head always has loved hiking and being outside, even doing organized trail work when she lived in Alaska. The one-time vegetarian never had hunted or even held a gun until a few weeks ago. 

Teresa Head (right) with her mentor Naomi Walker and the buck Head shot at a Becoming an Outdoors Woman hunt.

So the Duluth-area resident was in for several surprises the first time she went deer hunting Saturday, Oct. 15.

Chief among them was her harvest of a 17-point buck in the waning daylight of that first day hunting. Many would consider her harvest the deer of a lifetime – it weighed 235 pounds field dressed and its antlers sprouted a 20-inch spread.

“I’ve never experienced being outside like we were that Saturday, where it’s so different than hiking,” Head said. “I’ve never sat still and quiet in the outdoors for eight hours. It was kind of an amazing experience.”

The Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources organized the hunt as part of its four-part program about how to hunt deer. Participants learn about deer biology, hunting safety, ethics and outdoor skills. They practice at a rifle range and meet with a DNR conservation officer, who answers questions and shares personal insights. The program culminates with an actual hunt in which participants are paired with a trained mentor.

“The program was just amazing and perfect,” Head said.

Head and her mentor sat in a ground blind for the whole day at Itasca State Park, located halfway between Park Rapids to the south and Bemidji to the north. She watched a mouse and saw individual leaves fall as finches and chickadees flitted from branch to branch.

“I saw all the little things that I’ve never in my whole life taken the time to look at. I thought, hunters – they’ve really got it figured out. They really know what they’re doing here,” Head said.

With daylight fading, mentor Naomi Walker was the first to spot the wiggling ears of a deer. The deer seemed to sense them but kept moving forward, finally stopping to browse. When it did, Head squeezed off a perfect shot from 40 yards, and the deer died quickly.

“I honestly felt like the way that animal went down was more humane than the way you buy beef and chicken in the grocery store,” Head said.

Head used a copper bullet, which prevented eagles or other wildlife from eating lead bullet fragments that can remain in the environment.

Walker, the leader of the learn-to-deer-hunt sessions, was honored to be a part of the hunt with Head. Walker herself learned to hunt through the BOW program.

“She definitely took her time to set up the shot,” Walker said. “She definitely paid attention to her firearms safety training and did everything by the book.”

Eight women participated in the weekend hunt in controlled areas of the state park and nearby La Salle Lake State Recreation Area. Only Head fired a shot. The state park also hosted a controlled deer hunt this fall for 75 youth.

Linda Bylander, BOW coordinator, said the stories generated by participants in the learn-to-deer-hunt program often inspire others to give hunting a try or become a mentor themselves.

“Female participation in hunting is on the rise in Minnesota,” Bylander said. “Many women, like Teresa, are going afield to harvest their own food, enjoy nature in a new way or spend time with their family.”

Bylander said BOW provides a valuable role in the process of becoming a hunter.

“Ongoing social support is at the heart of becoming and continuing to be a hunter,” she said. “We offer a friendly, safe and supportive environment, and that’s valuable because hunting isn’t an activity you normally adopt based on a single experience.”

For Head, other unexpected experiences from the hunt include a trip to the taxidermist and finding wall space for a mount. And she is excited about the new connections she formed during the program.

“I never in a million years imagined I’d have a mount in my house,” she said, adding that she appreciates the beauty of the animal and what she saw that day. “For me, it was just about feeding my family.”

For more information about BOW and its outdoor skills classes visit the BOW page.

ShowPlace ICON at The West End with ICON X

Twin Cities Movies - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 12:55pm

Reserve W. 16th Street & Park Place Blvd. 1625 Park Place Blvd. Saint Louis Park, MN 55416

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Walker Art Center

Twin Cities Movies - Thu, 10/20/2016 - 12:55pm


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