OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: DNR projects on tap along Red River

DNR projects on tap along Red River The Department of Natural Resources has launched a creel survey along the U.S. portion of the Red River and a couple of Minnesota tributaries. Jamison Wendel, Red River fisheries specialist for the DNR, said tw...

DNR projects on tap along Red River

The Department of Natural Resources has launched a creel survey along the U.S. portion of the Red River and a couple of Minnesota tributaries.

Jamison Wendel, Red River fisheries specialist for the DNR, said two college students have been hired to survey anglers along the Red from Breckenridge, Minn., to Pembina, N.D., and also have a site on the Otter Tail River and two sites on the Red Lake River in Crookston.

Creel surveys are designed to sample fishing pressure and harvest, along with angler demographics.

The DNR and North Dakota Game and Fish Department share management of the Red, each conducting creel surveys every five years. Game and Fish funded the last creel survey in 2010.


Wendel said the Minnesota creel, which began May 1, will continue through September.

The DNR also is planning its full Red River assessment, Wendel said, a study it conducts every five years. The goal is to sample prespawn catfish, Wendel said, and the survey, which includes a mix of trap nets and trotlines, likely will begin in late May or early June. The DNR also will be tagging about 2,000 catfish as partners in a study Manitoba is coordinating with the University of Nebraska. Manitoba has tagged catfish along the Canadian portion of the Red for the past three years.

Also in the works, Wendel said, is a sturgeon stocking effort in the Red River watershed. Working with tribal partners at White Earth and Red Lake, Wendel said a mix of fry and fingerlings will be stocked, including 80,000 fry in the Red Lake, Roseau and Wild Rice rivers. The Wild Rice also will receive sturgeon fingerlings, as will a handful of lakes, including Otter Tail, Big Detroit, Round and White Earth lakes, Wendel said.

Sturgeon are native to the Red River watershed, and efforts to restore the species through stocking have been underway for the past 15 years. The Rainy River First Nations Chippewa in Ontario provide eggs for the stocking project.

-- Brad Dokken

N.D. State Wildlife Action Plan open for comment

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has updated its initial State Wildlife Action Plan from 2005 and is seeking public comment on the document.

The primary focus of the current strategy is to address North Dakota's 100 Species of Conservation Priority, developed a decade ago as the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.


"We identified our state's species of conservation priority and implemented conservation measures to help keep them from becoming listed under the Endangered Species Act," said Steve Dyke, conservation supervisor for Game and Fish in Bismarck. "And in order to receive state wildlife grant funds, we are mandated to update the plan every 10 years."

The plan is a collaborative effort by Game and Fish staff, species experts, partner conservation groups and state, federal and local agencies from North Dakota. Public comments are being accepted through June 8. To comment, go to the Game and Fish website at

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

DNR, Minnesota Twins partner on hat campaign

Anyone with a 2015 Minnesota hunting or fishing license can receive a free camouflage Twins logo baseball cap by being among the first 500 to buy through a special Minnesota Twins ticket offer online

The offer is good for these Minnesota Twins home games:

• Friday, May 29, vs. Toronto.

• Sunday, June 7, vs. Milwaukee.


• Sunday, June 21, vs. the Chicago Cubs.

• Sunday, Aug. 30, against Houston.

• Saturday, Sept. 19, vs. the Los Angeles Angels.

• Saturday, Oct. 3, vs. Kansas City.

New this year, tickets are available in upper and lower decks with varying prices by location and game. Ticket buyers pick up their cap at the game. Tickets will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The offer is available only through the DNR Twins Web page at

-- Minnesota DNR

Did you know?

• The online site LiveSmarter has named Lake of the Woods and Devils Lake among the "11 Best Fishing Spots in North America." Others making the list were the Upper Madison River and Gallatin River in Montana; Islamorada on the Florida Keys; Lake Guntersville in Alabama; Beaverkill River in Roscoe, N.Y.; Midnight Lump on the Gulf of Mexico near Venice, La.; Kenai River in Alaska; Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire; Lake Okoboji in Iowa; and the Au Sable River in Michigan.


• Anyone who buys a ticket for the Lockport (Man.) Tagged Catfish Contest on the Manitoba side of the Red River could win as much as $5,000 (Canadian) for catching one of 10 tagged catfish being released into the river. The contest begins May 30 and continues through June 28. Five tags will be worth $500, one will be $1,000, one $1,500, one $2,000, one $2,500 and one $5,000 for a total tag value of $14,500 (Canadian). Tickets cost $20 each or $400 for a book of 20 and are available at a variety of retail outlets in Winnipeg, Lockport and Selkirk, Man. Info: Dan Sernyk, (204) 612-9379 (cell) or (204) 668-5831 (cell).

-- compiled by Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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