FROM THE DNR: Upper Red Lake regulations and over 4,400 acres added to WMA’s

Some good news for those looking for more public land or more importantly, more land that will be managed for wildlife in Minnesota.  Recent land acquisitions and WMA expansions have increased state managed Wildlife areas 4,405 acres.  Thanks to a number of partners who made it possible, read more below.



Upper Red Lake’s mid-season slot adjustment remains for 2013

Regulations that allow Upper Red Lake anglers to keep larger walleye after June 15 will be in effect again for the 2013 open water season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

From the walleye fishing opener, May 11, through Friday, June 14, anglers must release all walleye 17-to 26-inches long. Effective Saturday, June 15, anglers may keep walleye up to 20 inches and must immediately release all walleye 20-to 26-inches long. During both time periods, anglers can possess no more than four fish and only one of those fish can be longer than 26 inches.

“This will be the fifth open water season with the same mid-season slot adjustment and anglers have become accustomed to it,” said Gary Barnard, the DNR’s Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “Last winter was the first time we were able to extend the 20-to 26-inch protected slot through the winter ice fishing season, and we hope to be able to continue that as well.”

Total harvest from both winter and open water periods will determine regulations for next winter.

The more restrictive size limit remains necessary for the early open water season when angler catch rates are high and mature spawning walleye are extremely vulnerable. During the first month of the season, anglers must sort for smaller, keeper-sized males and immature walleye.

As the open water season progresses, catch rates and fishing pressure decline, reducing the impact of harvesting larger walleye.

“This regulation package, which has been very popular with anglers and local businesses, is effective at managing walleye harvest within established safe harvest levels,” Barnard said.




DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            June 10, 2013

DNR invites public input on Cuyuna Lakes
State Trail extension from Crosby to Deerwood

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites anyone interested in the future of the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail in Crow Wing and Aitkin counties to drop in during an open house on Thursday, June 20, to review and comment on a draft master plan amendment to the trail.

The open house will be from 5-7 p.m. in the meeting room at the Hallett Community Center, 470 Eighth St. NE, in Crosby.

DNR staff will be available to discuss the draft master plan amendment and answer questions about a proposed extension of the state trail. The purpose of the plan amendment is to reroute the primary state trail corridor from Crosby to Deerwood to create a safe, off-road, paved trail connection.

Almost 7 miles of the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail have been developed between Riverton and Crosby, primarily in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Ultimately, the trail will extend west to the Paul Bunyan State Trail in Brainerd and east to Aitkin. Trail uses include bicycling, walking/jogging, in-line skating, roller skiing, environmental education/interpretation, hunting, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The draft management plan amendment is available online at

Those unable to review and comment on the draft master plan amendment at the open house can submit comments via phone or email during the 30-day public review process that runs Monday, June 10, through Wednesday, July 10.

For more information, contact:


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      June 10, 2013

DNR designates new wildlife lands for public use

The expansion of 28 wildlife management areas (WMAs) and the addition of seven new ones has added 4,405 acres in 24 counties to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR)
1.4 million acre WMA system during the past year.

These newly designated lands now are open for public use. Not all lands may be posted now but should be by fall hunting season. WMAs are open to public hunting and trapping and other compatible uses such as hiking, bird watching and cross country skiing.

Pheasants Forever, the Martin County Conservation Club, the Swan Lake Wildlife Association, Pelican River Watershed District and Cass County were instrumental in helping DNR acquire more than 1,000 of these acres.

“Partners are very important to accomplishing our natural resource goals,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “We appreciate the help of these groups and our outdoors people for helping to acquire these critical lands for future generations of hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy.”

More than 1,800 acres were purchased with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, one of four funds created by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which receives one-third of the money from a state sales tax of three-eighths of one percent that Minnesota voters approved in 2008.

Other major funding sources were the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) critical habitat matching program and the $6.50 surcharge on the small game license that all small game hunters pay. Most of the RIM matching dollars came from the sale of the critical habitat license plates.

“The $30 per year charge for these colorful plates generates more than $3 million a year that can be used to equally match private donations to acquire or develop critical habitat in the state,” said Kim Hennings, wildlife land acquisition coordinator.

Most of the designated lands are additions to existing WMAs, complementing DNR’s previous investment in wildlife habitat. The seven new WMAs will expand opportunities for hunting and trapping.

Information about each of Minnesota’s 1,400 WMAs is available at Existing public hunting, fishing and trail opportunities are available by clicking the recreation compass feature at

In addition, DNR Public Recreation Information Maps (PRIM) can assist people in finding land open to public recreation. The set of 51 separate PRIM maps identify a wide variety of federal, state and county lands available for public recreation activities such as hunting, camping, hiking and boating.

PRIM maps, which cost $5.95, are available from the DNR gift shop, Minnesota’s Bookstore, and several sporting goods and map stores around the state. PRIM maps may also be purchased online at

The newly designated WMA lands soon will be added to the recreation compass and the PRIM maps.




DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                       June 10, 2013

DNR advises public to let wildlife remain wild

This is the time of year when young animals are scampering about lawns, roadsides and just about everywhere else in Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Birds are falling out of their nests and many types of wild baby animals can be mistaken as abandoned or lost. In reality, the mother is probably not too far away and will soon return.

People should always leave wild baby animals alone unless it can be verified that the mother is dead or the animal is seriously injured, said Carrol Henderson, DNR nongame wildlife program supervisor. The parent is almost always nearby.

Many small animals like rabbits attend to their young just a few minutes a day and intentionally stay away from their young to avoid drawing the attention of predators. If the animals are extremely young and have been removed from the nesting site, return them to the nest as soon as possible, Henderson said.

Birds should be handled the same way. Sometimes nests fill up as the birds grow, and young birds get crowded out before they are ready to leave. These birds will usually do fine because they will be fed by their parents on the ground. Only very young birds without feathers should be picked up and returned to the nest, Henderson said. People should not worry about getting human scent on young birds when placing them back in the nest because birds have a poor sense of smell.

Henderson also said people should contain their dogs and keep cats indoors during this time of year. Curious pets can disturb or harm young and nesting animals, adding to fatalities.

“Many people do not know what to do when they find an injured or orphaned animal,” Henderson said. “The process is very difficult and intense. Rehabbing wildlife can be difficult and complex. Many hand-raised animals are not good candidates for release back into the wild.”

The public should never attempt to raise wild birds or animals themselves, Henderson said. It is against the law for anyone to keep wild animals without proper training and DNR licensing. In captivity, most wild animals are very fragile, traumatize easily and have complex nutritional needs. They can die suddenly.

Natural processes are often difficult to witness, especially when an animal appears to be suffering, Henderson said. Some wildlife species have naturally high mortality rates even when cared for by their parents, but the populations continue to do well despite the losses.

Questions on injured or orphaned animals can be directed to the DNR website at
or to DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367.

 6613 - goslings


Q: I recently saw a couple of Canada geese with their goslings and wondered if they have more than one clutch a year?

A: Not usually. Once geese have successfully raised an entire brood, their reproductive system shuts down. If however the goose’s first clutch of eggs is unsuccessful or destroyed early during the incubation or nesting period, the birds may nest a second time.

-Lori Naumann, DNR nongame wildlife program information officer

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