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OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: DNR meets northwest walleye egg quota

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outdoors Grand Forks, 58203
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

Department of Natural Resources fisheries crews in northwest Minnesota were able to collect all of the walleye eggs they needed to meet stocking quotas this spring, officials say.

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Henry Drewes, regional fisheries supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji, said crews took roughly 1,900 quarts of eggs in four spawning runs across the region, including a record run in the Detroit Lakes, Minn., area.

Detroit Lakes produced 477 quarts, exceeding the quota of 417 quarts, Drewes said. The Fergus Falls quota was 499 quarts, the quota for the Boy River near Walker, Minn., was 173 quarts and Bemidji had a 374-quart quota.

That’s about 250 million walleye eggs, Drewes said. Traditionally, about 60 percent of those eggs will hatch into fry, which then are stocked or distributed to rearing pounds and raised into fingerlings.

Late springs traditionally produce stronger spawning runs, Drewes said.

“You’ve got the photoperiod right, they’re waiting and waiting and as soon as the water opens up and you get that water temperature up to 42, 43, 44 degrees, then they all come at once instead of being stretched out over longer periods of time,” Drewes said. “All those fish are ready to go, moving up and spawning. You get pretty explosive runs in those springs.”

Drewes said some of the surplus eggs were moved to other regions to help meet quotas elsewhere.

— Brad Dokken

Future of Hunting workshop postponed

The North Dakota Wildlife Federation has decided to postpone its spring “Future of Hunting in North Dakota 5” workshop until late summer or early fall.

Mike McEnroe of the federation said people are “meeting-ed out” after spring Game and Fish Advisory Board meetings, statewide deer management meetings and other events.

It’s not because of a lack of issues or problems, McEnroe said; plenty of threats to habitat and access exist, but people want to fish, garden, golf or participate in other outside activities after the long winter and late spring.

The big issues, McEnroe said, include habitat and access loss, the Farm Bill, energy development, another reduction in available deer gun licenses and a continued decline in sage grouse numbers.

Sportsmen also need to consider the Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks measure, McEnroe said.

— Herald staff report

Did you know?

  • The Minnesota DNR launched a new website this week that aims to make it easier to get answers to fishing questions. The new Fish Minnesota website (mndnr.gov/fishmn) offers simplified information about fishing regulations, lakes and more, so anglers can find what they need to know to go fishing for the first time or the thousandth.
  • The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is urging boat owners who haven’t renewed their registration for this year to use the agency’s online renewal system to speed up processing time. There’s been a high volume of registrations coming in as boat owners prepare for the new boating season, and the processing time currently is 10 to 14 days. To access the online renewal, go to gf.nd.gov, click the “Boating” tab and look for the watercraft registration section.
  • With the late spring, water temperatures are likely colder than normal, and anglers should exercise extra caution and wear life vests. Hypothermia occurs quickly in cold water and the shock of falling into icy water also can cause cardiac arrest, even for people in good health.
  • National Wild Turkey Federation chapters in Minnesota budgeted more than $107,750 to help fund the “Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt” initiative within the state this year. The federation’s Minnesota State Chapter board of directors reviewed and allocated funding, and partners will provide nearly $400,000 in matching funds. The initiative aims to conserve and enhance wildlife habitat by mobilizing science, fundraising and devoted volunteers.
  • The DNR is offering free training to people interested in becoming volunteers at public water accesses to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. The sessions include an introduction to AIS and the problems the invasive species cause, information about the laws and how to work with the public. Info: www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais_volunteer.html.
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