Ice Shelter Removal Dates, beginner fly fishing and more…

MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #13                                                                                 Feb. 20, 2014
Media contact: Julie Forster, DNR information officer,
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at
Follow the DNR on Twitter @mndnr.

Ice fishing shelter removal dates approaching
DNR names Motley’s Dave Bartylla 2013 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year
Register now for DNR beginners fly-fishing weekend for youth-adult pairs, May 2-4
DNR offers aquatic invasive species training to businesses


Media contact: Rich Sprouse, information officer, Enforcement Division, Little Falls,
800-366-8917, ext. 2511;

Ice fishing shelter removal dates approaching

Snow, cold and a slow bite has some ice anglers removing permanent fish houses from Minnesota waterways earlier than normal, report conservation officers (CO) with the Department of Natural Resources.

Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice of inland waters no later than 11:59 p.m. on March 3 in the southern two-thirds of the state and 11:59 p.m. on March 17 in the northern third. Conservation officers in Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Evansville and Wadena are reporting that ice shacks are being removed from the ice now in preparation for the removal deadlines.

“Some anglers are using the slow fishing and ease of getting around on the lakes to remove their houses,” said CO Chris Vinton of Detroit Lakes.

“Ice anglers are out, but many anglers are removing permanent houses because of difficult conditions and a slow bite,” said CO Randy Posner of Brainerd.

There are other reasons ice anglers are pulling their sheds off the ice.

“A cold winter has cemented some houses into the ice, requiring hours of prying, chiseling and pulling necessary to remove them,” said Maj. Roger Tietz, DNR Enforcement operations support manager, and an avid ice angler. “Some ice anglers are trying to get ahead of that by removing permanent shelters now.”

The March 3 removal deadline applies to waters south of a line starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border near Moorhead along U.S. Highway 10, then east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border near Duluth. The March 17 deadline applies to waters north of that line.

Conservation officers patrolling the Detroit Lakes area advise fish shelter owners along Highway 10 to pay special attention to the deadlines.

“A line runs down Highway 10 from Fargo/Moorhead to Detroit Lakes; then it’s Highway 34 from Detroit Lakes,” said Vinton. Fish shelters located north of that line have to be off the ice no later than midnight, March 17.

For border waters, the shelter removal deadlines are: Minnesota – Iowa, Feb. 20; Minnesota – Wisconsin, March 1; Minnesota – North Dakota and South Dakota, March 5; Minnesota – Canada, March 31.

Those not removing shelters will be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or destroy it. It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access.

After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.

It is unlawful to improperly dispose of ice fishing shacks anywhere in the state. Anglers should check with local refuse providers or landfills for disposal.



DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     Feb. 20, 2014
Media contact: Capt. Mike Hammer, education program coordinator, DNR Enforcement Division,
Little Falls, 800-366-8917, ext. 2504;

DNR names Motley’s Dave Bartylla 2013 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources named Dave Bartylla of Motley its 2013 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year. The award is given annually to a volunteer who significantly advances the cause of safe snowmobiling through extraordinary service in training and education.

“I’m truly honored to be named the 2013 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year,” said Bartylla, a retired lumberyard worker. “It blows my mind when I think about all the great snowmobile safety instructors that are out there.”

Since 1978, Bartylla has volunteered teaching the state’s snowmobile safety course – required of anyone born after Dec. 31, 1976 – who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota.

“Simply, I like to teach snowmobile safety,” Bartylla said, “and I like to help kids.”

As the lead instructor in the Staples-Motley area, he has assisted his team of instructors in teaching 63 snowmobile safety classes to about 1,500 students over the years.

Bartylla’s outreach efforts teaching snowmobile safety in nearby Bertha and Verndale has helped train new instructors and snowmobile operators in those communities.

Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement education program coordinator, said instructors like Bartylla are crucial to safe snowmobile operations.

“Volunteers like Dave are the backbone of our program,” Hammer said. “His dedication and the numbers of snowmobilers he has touched in a positive way are just incredible.”

Motley received the honor at the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association Winter Rendezvous banquet in Mahnomen on Feb. 8

More than 1,000 volunteer instructors teach DNR snowmobile safety courses across the state.

For more information on the dates and locations of these courses, visit the DNR website: or call 1-800-366-8917.

For a copy of DNR’s 2013-2014 Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules, and Regulations handbook, call888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157 or visit the DNR’s website at


NOTE TO MEDIA: Image available at in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “02-20-14 snowmobile instructor.”

Cutline: L-R: CO Jeff Halverson of Staples, Dave Bartylla, Erika Rivers, DNR assistant commissioner.


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Feb. 20, 2014
Media contacts: Deb Groebner, DNR regional MinnAqua specialist, 507-359-6049; Scott Roemhildt, DNR information officer, 507-359-6014

Register now for DNR beginners fly-fishing weekend for youth-adult pairs, May 2-4

An opportunity to learn the basics of fly fishing from experienced mentors is being offered to adult and youth pairs during a special fly-fishing weekend at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center near Lanesboro, May 2-4, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Participants will also try their hand at tying flies and learn how anglers catch more fish when they understand fish habits and habitat. There will be time for fish tales and a campfire.

To qualify, the youth/adult pair must have little or no fly-fishing experience. Both should have a sincere interest in learning. Eligible youth include Minnesota boys and girls who will be between the ages of 11 and 17 on May 2.

The cost is $120 per youth/adult pair and includes meals, lodging, guiding services, equipment and additional materials. Each youth and adult will set up and fish with a new fly rod that is theirs to keep. Sponsorships to offset registration fees may be available from angling and conservation organizations.

The event is sponsored by MinnAqua, a statewide educational program through the DNR, designed to connect youth and families to Minnesota’s waters through fishing.

Activities begin after check-in Friday night and wrap up by 2 p.m. Sunday.

This event is limited to 20 youth/adult pairs. Application form and program information are available online (on events calendar, click on MinnAqua Fly-Fishing Weekend) or by contacting Deb Groebner, DNR regional MinnAqua specialist,


NOTE TO MEDIA: Images available at in folder named “news release resources,” then in folder named “02-20-14 fly fishing.”


DNR NEWS — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                 Feb. 20, 2014
Media contacts: April Rust, DNR aquatic invasive species training coordinator, 651-259-5706; Marjorie Casey, DNR aquatic invasive species communications,

DNR offers aquatic invasive species training to businesses

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering aquatic invasive species (AIS) training to owners of lake service provider businesses so they can legally work in lakes and rivers throughout the state.

Businesses such as resorts and outfitters that rent, lease or decontaminate boats and other water-related equipment are now required to attend AIS training and acquire a permit under a state law change that took effect last July. These businesses are considered lake service providers, which means that every three years they must attend training session, apply for a permit, and pay a $50 application fee to comply with Minnesota law.

“Before this change, the law applied only to businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, lawn irrigators and others who install or remove equipment from state waters for hire,” said April Rust, DNR AIS training coordinator. “The law change means many more businesses will need to attend training to learn about the threat of zebra mussels and other invasive species, and how to prevent their spread.”

Employees of lake service provider businesses – which now include boat rental businesses –
also need to complete a short online training course before providing services. However, employees of businesses, such as some resorts, who only work with boats, equipment or structures that remain on their property in the same body of water are exempt from the employee training and certification.

Seventeen AIS training sessions are planned around the state. Registering for the winter and early spring sessions will give businesses time to attend training and get a permit before ice-out. Registration deadlines are one week prior to each training. To register for training, find out if the business needs a permit, or for more information, visit the DNR website

A list of all 2014 training sessions and locations is available at

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