FROM THE DNR: Boat ramp conditions vary, lake closure, and timber sale info.


41113 - RR mallards ducks

Due to the late ice-out, repair crews may not able to get to all Department of Natural Resources (DNR) boat launches in time for the May 11 fishing opener, particularly in northern Minnesota where many of the large lakes still have ice.

Each spring, Parks and Trails Division crews inspect and repair launch ramps and install docks.

“This work cannot be done until the ice is off the lake, and it can take a couple of weeks to get to every site in each work area,” said Nancy Stewart, public water access program coordinator. “It may be wise for boaters to call ahead for the latest report on the water body and access they plan to use.”

Meanwhile, most public water accesses at lakes in the metro area and south will be ready for boaters.

Stewart offers these suggestions for the opener:

  • Be patient at the boat ramp and use extra care while launching and loading boats.
  • Have hip boots or waders and a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket available to wear when entering the water to help guide boat and trailer, especially where docks are not yet available.
  • If a person’s traditional fishing opener lake is not ready, they should have a back-up plan.
  • Operate boats carefully, because there could be free-floating ice sheets and debris on some lakes, creating unsafe boating conditions.
  • Do not go on top of ice.

Visit the DNR website for ice-out status information ( and public water access maps ( To report problems or to get ice-out updates or request maps by phone, call the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free
888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or use the online office to find contact information for the nearest DNR office.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    May 2, 2013

DNR closes Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake to protect walleye

An area near the egg collection operation on Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake in Itasca County will be closed May 11-17, because of high concentrations of walleye, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

The closure, due to late ice cover and early walleye opener, includes the area extending from Williams Narrows upstream through the First River Flowage up to Egg Lake.

No fishing will be allowed during this period in the specified area. Signs will be posted at the narrows and other access points within the closed area.

“The closure is necessary to protect adult walleye that have concentrated around the spawning site where the DNR’s egg collection operation is located,” said Chris Kavanaugh, Grand Rapids area fisheries manager. “It’s always a difficult decision to close the area and restrict recreational opportunities, but our first responsibility is to the long-term health of the fishery. We considered the safeguard offered with the protected slot limit, but felt the risk of overharvest was too high.”

This is the first time since 2008 that the area has been closed, Kavanaugh said. Prior to that, the lake was closed in 1996 and 1997. There are likely to be concentrations of spawning fish in other areas and anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release.

The walleye run at lake has been a major part of the statewide walleye stocking program since the 1920’s. Each year, adult walleye are trapped, spawned, the eggs fertilized and then transported to state hatcheries for incubating, hatching. They are then distributed to lakes and ponds according to individual lake management plans. A portion of the fry produced is always returned to Big and Little Cut Foot Sioux lakes.

Although this area is closed to fishing through the first week of the season, there are no restrictions on boat travel through the area. If the net and dock is still in place on May 11, provisions will be made to allow boat travel along the north side of the channel. All campgrounds, resorts and public accesses in the area are open. Shore anglers may want to consider alternative opportunities at the Winnie Dam.

For more information, contact the Grand Rapids area fisheries office at 218-327-4430 or by
email at
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 May 2, 2013

Aquatic plant removal may require permits

Lakeshore property owners are reminded that removal of aquatic plants from Minnesota lakes may require a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

DNR staff who issue permits for aquatic plant removal can help lakeshore owners avoid harming the lake or river near their home, said Steve Enger, supervisor of the DNR’s aquatic plant management program.

“Aquatic plants serve many important functions in lakes,” he said. “They prevent shoreline erosion, stabilize bottom sediments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise grow algae. We encourage shoreline property owners to keep the disturbance of near shore vegetation as small as possible. Removing too many aquatic plants can impair their ability to perform these important functions.”

Lakeshore property owners can control a modest area of aquatic plants for swimming or boat docking without a permit from the DNR. Cutting, pulling, raking, or harvesting submersed vegetation, like pondweeds, watermilfoil, or coontail, in an area for recreation is allowed under the following conditions:

  •  The cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet in size.
  •  The cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along the shore, or more than
    one-half of frontage width, whichever is less.
  •  If cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to open water
    may be added.
  •  The cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from water.

If floating leaf vegetation, like white or yellow water-lilies, interfere with boat access, a lake shore property owner can mechanically maintain (cutting or pulling) a channel no more than
15 feet wide, extending to open water without a permit, under the following conditions:

  • The cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year.
  • And the vegetation that is cut or pulled must be removed from the water.

A DNR aquatic plant management permit (the permit fee is $35) is required if plans include the following:

  • Using herbicides or algicides.
  • Removing emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice.
  • Installing or operating an automated plant control device (such as the Crary
    WeedRoller, Beachgroomer or Lake Sweeper).
  • Removing floating leaf vegetation, in an area larger than a 15-foot wide channel.
  • Controlling submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider
    than 50 feet.
  • Removing or relocating a bog of any size.

The DNR aquatic plant management regulations do not allow the following activities:

  • Excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control.
  • Use of hydraulic jets.
  • Using lake-bottom barriers to destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants.
  • Removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas.
  • Removing aquatic plants from undeveloped shoreline.

For more information on the aquatic plant management program contact nearest regional fisheries office, phone numbers are available at the following web pages, or by calling the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.


Annual forest stand examination list available for review

The annual stand examination list for potential timber sales on state-administered forest land in the upcoming fiscal year is now available for public review, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

The list is for fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2014. Comments will be accepted during a 30-day public comment period that ends May 31.

The public has two options for reviewing harvest plans, said Forrest Boe, DNR Forestry Division director.

Proposed stand examination locations, preliminary management prescriptions and forest inventory information can be viewed on the DNR website at Comments on a proposed stand examination site can be submitted to the DNR using this website.

People without Internet access or those who prefer to review and discuss annual stand examination list information directly with a forester, may contact or visit a DNR area forestry office. Individuals should contact the area forestry office prior to a visit to ensure that the appropriate forestry staff will be available.

For statewide information, contact Jon Nelson, DNR Forestry, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155-4044;

The DNR administers 5 million acres of forest lands that have been certified as being well-managed under two separate third-party auditing systems. Annual stand examination lists are derived from multi-year forest management plans developed for these DNR lands by interdisciplinary DNR planning teams with public input, and are based on long-term forest resource management goals.

DNR staff will complete field evaluations on nearly 2,700 stands encompassing 57,000 acres identified on the fiscal year 2014 list to determine appropriate treatments, including timber harvest. It is estimated that between 35,000 and 40,000 of these acres will be suitable for timber sales. The timber will be appraised and offered for sale in the upcoming fiscal year.

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