The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources expects duck hunting to be good when Minnesota's regular waterfowl season opens a half-hour before sunrise this Saturday. "The number of breeding ducks in Minnesota and North America has remained fairly high in recent years, so hopefully that will result in a good duck season," said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. "We also heard favorable reports on the number of duck broods over the summer." Wetland habitat conditions are variable across the state, with some dry conditions in the northern portion of the state.
The 2018 roadside survey for pheasants showed a 19 percent increase in the overall pheasant index from 2017. While the index is similar to the 10-year average, it is still 52 percent below the long-term average.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' area wildlife managers are hosting an open house in Glenwood at the Glenwood DNR Office Conference Room, 23070 N. Lakeshore Dr., on Sept. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a report of zebra mussels in Amelia Lake in Pope County. A group of swimmers contacted the DNR after finding a quarter-inch zebra mussel attached to a rock on the north end of the lake. DNR aquatic invasive species specialists found 36 juvenile and adult zebra mussels in three locations during a follow-up survey of Amelia Lake. Another lake user contacted the DNR after finding two additional zebra mussels at the same location as the original report.
A new statewide deer plan released July 24 by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sets new goals and priorities, increases formal opportunities for citizens to influence deer decisions, and aims for a disease-free deer population.
Population counts showed good results for several species of ducks that nest in Minnesota, according to the results of the annual Department of Natural Resources spring waterfowl surveys. "Mallard, blue-winged teal and Canada goose counts were all improved from last year," said Steve Cordts, DNR waterfowl specialist. "The survey is designed for mallards, and our breeding mallard population remains above its long-term average."
One question that may arise from anglers reading the northern pike zone regulations in effect when the season opens May 12: What about special regulations that apply to individual waters? The answer is simple: special regulations take precedence over statewide regulations, including the pike zone regulations. If the possession limit on a special regulation lake, river or stream is different than the zone limit, the special regulation limit applies.
Anyone interested in deer can comment on Minnesota's draft of the statewide deer management plan now through Wednesday, May 9. Comments can be submitted online at mndnr.gov/deerplan or in writing at the 35 public open houses being held around the state in April where people can talk to wildlife managers and ask questions. DNR area wildlife staff will host an open house on Thursday, April 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Glenwood Area Wildlife Office, 23070 N. Lakeshore Dr., Glenwood, Minn.
New northern pike regulations will be in place this upcoming fishing opener. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources called it the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state. "Anyone who wants to keep pike in Minnesota's inland waters needs to take a close look at these regulations and be prepared to measure the pike they want to keep starting on the Saturday, May 12, fishing opener," Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the DNR said in a release.
Results of the 2018 moose survey indicate the moose population in northeastern Minnesota remains stable but relatively low for the seventh year in a row, according to the Department of Natural Resources.