A meeting to discuss walleye regulations on Lake Vermilion will be held Oct. 25 in Tower by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries officials.
“We’re looking at having a less-restrictive (walleye) regulation to allow more harvest because the fishery is in good shape,” said Edie Evarts, DNR area fisheries supervisor at Tower.
Another meeting will be held by the DNR on Sept. 28 near Squaw Lake to discuss regulations on Bowstring, Sand, Little Sand, Portage, Birds Eye, Round and Alice lakes.
Here are the meeting details:
- Review of existing walleye regulation on Lake Vermilion, 7-9 p.m. Oct. 25, Tower Civic Center, Tower.
- Review of existing northern pike regulations on Bowstring, Sand, Little Sand, Portage, Birds Eye, Round and Alice lakes and connected waters, 7-9 p.m. Sept. 28, Sand Lake Community Center, County Road 4 near Squaw Lake. These lakes are now managed with a special regulation that allows a possession limit of nine northern pike and requires all pike from 22-36 inches to be immediately released.
“This regulation has been in place on these waters since 2007 and the data show general improvement in the northern pike size structures on these waters,” said David Weitzel, area fisheries supervisor. “The proposal is to keep the current regulations in place for the time being.”
Apply now for Minnesota mentored pheasant hunts
Families and youth can apply now for an opportunity to take part in a Minnesota mentored hunt with experienced pheasant hunters. The mentored hunts are being offered through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Pheasants Forever. The application deadline is Sept. 19.
In the youth hunt, participants must be 12 to 17 years old as of the date of the hunt, have earned a firearms safety certificate and possess a small game license if required. Youth must have a parent, guardian or adult authorized by a parent or guardian accompany them as a mentor, without a firearm. The adult also must go with the youth during the pre-hunt orientation.
In the family hunt, all participants may hunt, but each member needs to be 12 or older, have little to no pheasant hunting experience and have the appropriate safety certificate, stamp and license.
“This mentored hunt sends rookie bird hunters down the right path on understanding habitat, skills and safety so they can appreciate and participate in this lifelong outdoor sport,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator.
Applications and more details about the hunt are available online at mndnr.gov/discover or by contacting Kurre at (651) 259-5193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful applicants will be notified by mail or email by the end of September.
Deer hunt lottery deadline Sept. 8
Firearms and muzzleloader hunters who want to take an antlerless deer in a deer permit area designated as lottery this hunting season are reminded they must purchase their license and apply for an antlerless permit by Thursday.
This fall, antlerless deer permits will be issued by lottery in 67 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas. All hunters who purchase a firearms or muzzleloader license and declare a lottery permit area by Sept. 8 will be automatically entered into the lottery for an either-sex permit. Hunters who want to participate in special firearm deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued by lottery, and the application deadline is also Thursday.
2015 pheasant harvest up significantly
Last fall’s Minnesota pheasant harvest was up nearly 60 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Hunters took an estimated 243,176 pheasants, according to the DNR’s annual survey of small-game hunters.
About 63,000 pheasant hunters went afield, up 10 percent from 2014.
Other small-game survey results showed:
An estimated 76,243 people hunted ducks, about the same as in 2014. They took an estimated 663,811 ducks, down about 5 percent from the previous year.
An estimated 79,000 people hunted ruffed grouse, down 5 percent from 2014. They took an estimated 268,000 grouse, down 11 percent from the previous year.
Results of this fall’s pheasant roadside counts should be available on Tuesday.
Deer plan under way
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has begun work on a new statewide deer management plan — a multi-phase project that will emphasize opportunities for citizen input and involvement.
Overall goals of the deer plan include setting a statewide harvest objective, describing the DNR’s responsibilities and activities related to deer management, addressing regional variations in deer habitat and populations, and guiding the agency’s management of deer into the future, said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader.
The DNR already has had early conversations about the plan with interested groups. A statewide deer plan advisory committee will be formed this fall, and opportunities for citizen input will be announced. The DNR aims to complete the plan by the spring of 2018.