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Outdoors Notebook: Senators ask Fish and Wildlife Service not to restrict lead ammo, tackle on federal lands

“Policies or actions that reduce or limit sportsmen activities necessarily implicate wildlife conservation programs by affecting state agencies’ revenue,” the senators wrote in a letter to the

Washington DC 2018
U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.
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WASHINGTON – North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer were among the Republican U.S. senators urging U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Martha Williams not to restrict the use of lead ammo and tackle on U.S. public lands.

“Policies or actions that reduce or limit sportsmen activities necessarily implicate wildlife conservation programs by affecting state agencies’ revenue,” the senators wrote in a letter to the federal agency. “Such policies or actions also handcuff wildlife managers by removing a critical conservation tool while needlessly alienating one of our original conservationists, sportsmen. Phasing-out lead ammo and tackle on wildlife refuges would disproportionately affect lower-income households and those that depend on hunting and fishing for their subsistence as lead alternatives are often more expensive. The impact of such a policy would be devastating to the sportsmen heritage in our states.”

Also signing the letter were Sens. Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; John Boozman, R-Ark; Mike Braun, R-Ind.; Richard Burr, R-N.C.; Bill Cassidy, R-La; Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss; John Kennedy, R-La.; James Lankford, R-Okla.; Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.; Roger Marshall, R-Kan.; Jim Risch, R-Idaho; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; Rick Scott, R-Fla; Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska; John Thune, R-S.D.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; Pat Toomey, R-Pa.;, John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

– Herald staff report

READ MORE OUTDOORS ISSUES COVERAGE:

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NDGF reports trout stockings

GRAND FORKS – The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently stocked Ryan Park Pond in Grand Forks with 700 rainbow trout as part of a stocking effort covering 17 community fisheries across the state. The department decided to postpone stocking the Turtle River at Turtle River State Park near Arvilla, North Dakota, because of high water conditions, park naturalist Erika Kolbow said.

Other fisheries stocked were as follows, the Game and Fish Department reported on its Facebook page:

  • McDowell Dam: 700 rainbow trout.
  • Hankinson Legion Memorial Pond: 150 rainbow trout.
  • Mooreton Pond: 2,100 rainbow trout.
  • Watford City Park Pond: 700 rainbow trout.
  • Harmony Lake: 700 rainbow trout.
  • Hazen Creek: 200 rainbow trout.
  • Northgate Dam: 3,500 rainbow trout.
  • Glenburn Pond: 700 rainbow trout.
  • State Fair Pond: 350 rainbow trout.
  • Langdon City Pond: 350 rainbow trout
  • Lightning Lake: 700 rainbow trout.
  • Velva Sportsmen's Pond: 700 rainbow trout, 700 brown trout.
  • Stanley Pond: 700 rainbow trout.
  • Kettle Lake: 700 rainbow trout.
  • McGregor Dam: 1,400 rainbow trout.
  • Custer Mine: 700 rainbow trout.

– Herald staff report

How gloomy was April? Very gloomy

ST. PAUL – If April seemed like a dreary, gloomy month, there’s a reason.

It was. The gloomiest in 60 years, to be precise, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

In a Facebook post, the DNR said the Minnesota State Climatology Office measures solar energy via solar radiometer at the University of Minnesota climate observatory in St Paul. Besides being gloomy, April also was very rainy. Across the state, half or more of the month’s days had measurable precipitation, including 19 days at Duluth and 18 at International Falls. Also of note, International Falls demolished its previous April precipitation record, going from 4.53 inches set in 1925 to 7.61 inches this year.

– Minnesota DNR

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DNR offers MNTip app

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota DNR encourages cellphone users to download the mobile app MNTip ahead of Saturday's fishing opener. MNTip helps anglers, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts take an active role in protecting the state’s game and fish resources.

The app, which launched last fall, allows users to anonymously report potential game and fish violations from their cellphones. The free app is available for download via the Google Play or iTunes App stores. Links for both stores can be found on the TIP page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/Enforcement/TIP.html .

The app augments the highly successful Turn in Poachers hotline, which lets people report potential violations quickly and conveniently to DNR conservation officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The vast majority of people who recreate outdoors in Minnesota do things the right way, and they have that same expectation of other people,” Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “This app adds to the many ways all people can help ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the things we do today.”

Anyone who witnesses a potential game and fish violation has several options for making a report:

  • Call the TIP hotline at (800) 652-9093.
  • Text the information you wish to provide to #TIP.
  • Text the information you wish to provide to 847411, with the keyword “MNTIP.”
  • Send your tip via the MNTip app on your smartphone.
  • Use the online reporting form to provide information that isn’t time-sensitive.

– Herald staff report

DNR offers pike zone reminder

ST. PAUL – Minnesota anglers planning to keep northern pike should familiarize themselves with the regulations and be prepared to measure the fish they catch, the DNR said in a reminder. Minnesota has three northern pike zones that apply to inland waters and reflect the differing characteristics of pike populations across the state. A closer look:

  • North-central: Limit of 10 northern pike; anglers must release all fish 22 to 26 inches, with only two fish longer than 26 inches allowed in possession.
  • Northeast: Limit of two northern pike; anglers must release all fish 30 to 40 inches, with only one fish over 40 inches allowed in possession.
  • South: Limit of two northern pike; minimum size 24 inches.

Throughout the state, special regulations that cover individual lakes, rivers and streams remain in effect and take precedence over the zone regulations. The northern pike zone regulations do not apply to border waters.
For more information, check out the Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet .

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– Herald staff report

DNR fishing page offers angler info

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota DNR has a fishing page (mndnr.gov/Fishing) to help answer angler questions, such as: What species can I fish for? What kind of bait is legal? What kind of fish can I keep?

The page also is a mobile-friendly destination for information on when, where and how to fish. Users will find links to LakeFinder, which provides maps and detailed information on lakes throughout the state, and the new StreamFinder tool that provides a description, species list, regulations and access information for trout streams throughout Minnesota. The DNR fishing page also includes an online version of Minnesota fishing regulations, plus an online version of the 2022 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet , which is also available in print anywhere DNR licenses are sold.

– Herald staff report

DNR: Leave fawns alone

ST. PAUL – As it does every year about this time, the Minnesota DNR asks that people avoid disturbing or touching deer fawns.

Most fawns are born in mid-May to mid-June, and fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks of life. Instead, they remain still to avoid being seen. During these times, fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers but are often left on their own while their mothers forage watchfully nearby.

Fawn.jpg
Fawn deer.
Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Be assured deer fawns are likely fine, even if they look abandoned or fragile. Even if the fawn is known to be wounded or abandoned due to car strike or animal attack, do not transport it until you talk to a wildlife rehabilitator. For more information about what to do if you find fawns or other species of baby wild animals, visit the DNR website at mndnr.gov/Eco/Nongame/Rehabilitation/Orphaned-Wildlife.html.

– Herald staff report

Think safety when boating

ORLANDO, Fla. – With the summer boating season about to hit full swing, the Florida-based Water Sports Foundation offers these tips for keeping boaters safe while on the water.

  • Take a boating safety class or refresher.
  • Buckle up! Wear a life jacket.
  • Designate a sober skipper    
  • Take the time to conduct pre-season boating safety vessel and equipment checks.
  • Be smart: File a float plan and let friends, family or others know where you’re going and who’s with you.
  • Watch the weather. Stay off the water if weather or forecasts are unfavorable.
  • Slow down.
  • Focus and pay attention to where you’re going.
  • Pick your playgrounds with care and avoid busy or popular destinations if you’re a novice boater.

– Herald staff report

DNR expands burning restrictions

ST. PAUL – Wildfire risk might seem like a distant concern, given the flooding issues across the region, but the DNR on Tuesday added several northwest Minnesota counties to its listing of spring burning restrictions.

Additional counties in which burning restrictions apply, in alphabetical order, are Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Otter Tail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Stevens and Wadena.

Elsewhere in the state, restrictions remain in place for Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Washington and Wright counties.

The DNR will not issue permits for open burning of brush or yard waste in these counties until restrictions are lifted.

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The Minnesota DNR has expanded spring burning restrictions to northwest Minnesota, the department said Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
File photo / Forum News Service

“Warm and dry conditions elevate the risk of wildfires, and restricting open burning prevents a burn pile from escaping and becoming a wildfire during times of high risk,” Allissa Reynolds, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor, said in a statement. “These restrictions really do work – they’ve helped reduce wildfires by more than 30% over the past decade.”

Reynolds encourages residents to use alternatives to burning to dispose of yard waste, such as composting, chipping or taking brush to a collection site. For more information, visit the wildfire prevention page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/Wildfire/Prevention.

People cause 90% of the wildfires in Minnesota. If a debris fire rekindles or escapes, the person who set it is liable for any damage caused, as well as for wildfire suppression costs.

The DNR will adjust burning restrictions as conditions change. For more information and daily updates on current fire risk and open burning restrictions, visit the statewide fire danger and burning restrictions page of the DNR website at mndnr.gov/BurnRestrictions.

– Herald staff report

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