Waterfowl experts from a variety of agencies and organizations will discuss waterfowl and waterfowl habitat with the public at the Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium, a one-day conference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in Bloomington.
“The public can talk about issues surrounding wetlands and waterfowl,” said Ricky Lien, DNR wetland habitat team supervisor. “The enthusiasm people bring to these topics makes for great back-and-forth, and that’s why we look at the conference as an annual celebration.”
The conference, now in its 19th year, is presented through a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Minnesota Waterfowl Association and the DNR. It takes place at the Mall of America Ramada, 2300 E. American Blvd., in Bloomington.
Attendees can get gun fitting and repair questions answered by a gunsmith, see the junior duck stamp display, learn about cooking and other uses for wild game, and more. They can also check out the Minnesota Decoy Collectors Association annual decoy show hosted across the hall at the same location.
Topics to be covered at the event include:
- Tom Will, a USFWS wildlife biologist, will discuss the 100-year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty that set the stage for waterfowl conservation in North America.
- Chris Jennelle, a DNR wildlife disease specialist, will cover surveillance efforts related to the outbreak of avian influenza last year.
- Christine Herwig, DNR biologist with the agency’s Nongame Wildlife Program, will present about the successful restoration of trumpeter swans.
- Mike Bourdaghs, with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, will present on the status of wetland quality in Minnesota.
- Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist, will cover results from the state’s waterfowl hunter survey.
- Joel Huener, DNR wildlife area supervisor in Thief River Falls, will provide hunters with an introduction to open water hunting in Minnesota.
- The day will conclude in a forum with the new director of the DNR’s Enforcement Division, Col. Rodmen Smith, and a question and answer session with DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.
Following the symposium, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association will convene its seventh annual Hall of Fame Banquet to recognize significant contributors to the state’s waterfowl legacy. For more information about the symposium or to register for the banquet, call the Minnesota Waterfowl Association at 763-767-0320 or visit www.mnwaterfowl.com.