N.D. free fishing weekend underway

North Dakota’s free fishing weekend is Saturday, June 5, and Sunday, June 6, and residents can fish any body of water in the state without a license.

“This is a great opportunity to give fishing a try or to invite someone new with you on the water for their first time,” said Cayla Bendel, North Dakota Game and Fish Department R3 coordinator.

Find out what you need to know to get started on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, including fishing regulations, fishing waters, fish recipes, and the department’s new Virtual Fishing Mentor Page for beginning anglers.

“With over 400 public fishing waters to choose from and some excellent shore-fishing opportunities, it doesn’t take much to get outside and enjoy the North Dakota outdoors,” Bendel said.

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– Herald staff report

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Minnesota muskie season begins

Muskie fishing starts Saturday, June 5, in Minnesota. There are great opportunities to fish for muskies across the state, including in the seven-county metro area. Want to learn more? Check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ learn to fish page for information and tips on how to catch the “fish of 10,000 casts.”

More details: mndnr.gov.

– Herald staff report

DNR: Try bass fishing

It’s a great time to fish for bass, the Minnesota DNR says. Largemouth and smallmouth bass can be easier to catch in spring and early summer when they spend more time in shallow water. Later, as water temperatures rise, bass move to deeper water in search of sunken points, rocky humps and aquatic plant edges that offer protection from larger fish and hiding places for prey.

More details: DNR learn to fish page.

– Herald staff report

Report fish die-offs

The DNR would like anglers’ help in reporting fish die-offs in Minnesota lakes and streams. Die-offs happen occasionally and usually result from natural causes. People should call the state duty officer at (651) 649‐5451 or (800) 422‐0798 if they encounter several dead fish in a lake or a stream. Doing so provides a single point of contact for the incident. The state duty officer is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If there is an immediate threat to life or property, call 911 first.

In mid-spring and summer, groupings of dead fish usually are the result of a common bacterial infection referred to as columnaris. Columnaris tends to affect fish as water temperatures warm and fish are stressed from the energy they spent on spawning.

More details: DNR fish die-off page.

– Herald staff report

DNR issues reminder on hydraulic jets

The DNR frequently receives questions about devices that generate water current to blast muck and plants away. Sold under various trade names, the DNR refers to these devices generically as hydraulic jets. Even though you can buy one, they cannot be used in any way that disturbs the bottom of the lake or uproots plants.

A person may legally operate a hydraulic jet if it is placed high enough off the lake bed so that it does not disturb the bottom or destroy rooted aquatic plants. It should be directed upward toward the water’s surface, which can prevent dead vegetation and duckweed from collecting around docks and boat lifts.

Aquatic plants are important to lakes. They help maintain water clarity, prevent erosion, stabilize the bottom and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. Specific regulations govern what situations require permits for aquatic plant removal.

More details: DNR aquatic plant regulations page.

– Herald staff report

Minnesota elk apps due June 11

Interested Minnesota hunters have through Friday, June 11, to apply for one of 30 elk licenses the DNR is offering this year in Kittson County of northwest Minnesota. Seasons will run from late August to mid-October. This year’s seasons are similar to last year’s, which provided hunters with more opportunities to harvest antlerless elk. Hunters can choose from three license options: a license for a bull elk; a license for an antlerless elk, which can be a female or a young male; or a license for either a bull or antlerless elk. It’s important that hunters review the elk season structure on the DNR website before entering the lottery to ensure they apply for the license they want.

– Herald staff report

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