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DNR News Release


Minnesota DNR News

For Immediate Release June 6, 2022

In This Issue


Fish and Wildlife Almanac

A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.

DNR webinars cover Cuyuna recreation area,
aquatic invasive species

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites Minnesotans interested in fishing, wildlife and outdoor skills to tune into upcoming webinars that will discuss the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area and aquatic invasive species.

The first webinar on the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area will be at noon Wednesday, June 8. Learn about the state’s first recreation area, which is centrally located in Minnesota and offers premier mountain biking, scuba diving, fishing, boating and much more.

The second webinar on aquatic invasive species will be at noon on Wednesday, June 15. Join April Rust, DNR aquatic invasive species training coordinator, to learn about the challenges presented by invasive species, why it’s important to prevent their spread and ways to help protect Minnesota waters.

The webinars are part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series, which aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, as well as skills to enjoy these opportunities. The webinars are free, but registration is required. More information, including registration information for webinars, is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/Discover).

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DNR works with partners to add critical shoreline habitat to Miller’s Bay AMA on Leech Lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Northern Waters Land Trust, Leech Lake Association, and the Hugh C. Becker Foundation recently partnered to purchase 5.25 acres with 1,300 feet of undeveloped shoreline as an addition to the existing Miller’s Bay Aquatic Management Area in Miller Bay on Leech Lake.

The acquisition consists of two separate but concurrent purchases by the DNR and NWLT of four continuous parcels that protect important fish and wildlife habitats.

“The undeveloped shoreline includes riparian and submerged vegetation and wild rice that support critical muskellunge spawning and nursery habitat,” said Doug Schultz, DNR Walker area fisheries supervisor. “The purchase includes an upland portion comprised of an old growth hardwood forest important for its ecological, scientific, educational and aesthetic values.”

The DNR finalized the purchase of two of the four parcels in April 2022 with $125,000 in funding from Reinvest in Minnesota Critical Habitat Match Program. This program is funded by the Critical Habitat Conservation License Plate Program, which matches cash or land donation values. NWLT received a $283,520 Conservation Partners Legacy grant from the Outdoor Heritage Fund in 2020 to pursue the additional two parcels and transferred ownership to the DNR for management.

The Outdoor Heritage Fund was created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008, increasing the state sales tax by three-eighths of 1 percent. The fund receives one-third of the sales tax dollars, which may only be spent to restore, protect and enhance wetlands, prairies, forest and habitat for game fish and wildlife.

“Protecting habitat on Leech Lake and in Miller’s Bay has been a priority for our organization since 2012,” NWLT Board Chair Bob Karls said. “We are privileged to work with landowners and partners who value the importance of preserving land to protect the habitat and water quality of Leech Lake.”

The Leech Lake Association strongly supported this acquisition and contributed $10,000 toward its completion. NWLT also received an additional $3,500 in private donations, and $18,000 in grants from the Hugh C. Becker Foundation awarded by the Twin Cities Chapter of Muskies, Inc. specifically for this project. The project was also supported by the Cass County Board of Commissioners and the Pine Lake Township Board.

“It’s exciting and gratifying to see critical habitat like this protected,” said Jennifer O’Neil with the Leech Lake Association. “We are pleased to partner with the DNR and NWLT on such a significant conservation project.”

AMAs may be established to protect, develop, and manage lakes, rivers, streams, and adjacent wetlands and lands that are critical for fish and other aquatic life, for water quality, and for their intrinsic biological value, public fishing, or other compatible outdoor recreational uses. The newly acquired AMA parcels added to Miller’s Bay AMA will be designated “restricted use,” meaning hunting and trapping are prohibited activities due to the proximity of the parcels to occupied year-round homes.

Background about Miller Bay and its role as an important muskie habitat area is available in a past Minnesota Conservation Volunteer story (mndnr.gov/mcvmagazine/issues/2014/may-jun/muskie.html). For more information on AMAs, visit the DNR’s AMA finder (mndnr.gov/AMAs).

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Local grants help communities manage ash trees for emerald ash borer

In 2021, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources awarded a combined $2.6 million in grants to 43 communities across Minnesota to combat damage caused by emerald ash borer. The grants provide funding for tree inventories, management plans, ash removal, and tree planting.

“These funds will help communities manage for EAB,” said Valerie McClannahan, urban and community forestry program coordinator. “From taking the first steps in understanding the health and location of ash trees, to developing plans for managing ash trees or continuing to diversify and increase climate resiliency of urban forests, these grants are designed to meet community needs.”

In the city of Eagle Lake, the community is beginning to prioritize public tree management.

“Following a recent tree inventory in our community, we’ve identified approximately 100 ash trees on city property,” said City Administrator Jennifer Bromeland. “Learning of the EAB grant through the DNR was the impetus for starting the process of incrementally removing ash trees on city property and replacing them with a more diverse mix of trees.”

In Moorhead, where ash trees comprise 26% of public trees, the city will manage for EAB before it arrives. Removing and replacing vulnerable ash trees will help protect both public safety and the environment. Ash trees infested with EAB become brittle, making them more dangerous and difficult to remove, and more likely to drop large branches.

“We are able to prioritize removal of ash trees with significant structural defects that pose an increased risk to public safety. Removing these trees results in a safer urban forest,” City Forester Trent Wise said.

In western Minnesota, where ash can comprise up to 50% of the trees in a community, the city of Marshall will use grant funds to plant a mixture of birch, oak, honey-locust, hackberry, ironwood, and disease-resistant elm trees. A diverse urban tree canopy is more resilient to pests, disease, and the effects of climate change.

“In addition to planting new species, we always mix up our varieties and cultivars so we don’t have all the same trees,” City Parks Superintendent Preston Stensrud said.

Now that the grants have been awarded, the DNR is pleased to identify the 2021 grant recipients.

2021 Shade Tree Program bonding grantees:

Funding from the 2020 bonding bill provided $1 million to assist communities in removing and replacing ash trees.

  • Brooklyn Park, $25,000
  • Chanhassen, $30,745
  • Coon Rapids, $100,000
  • Duluth, $99,081
  • Eden Prairie, $42,467
  • Lake City, $98,212
  • Maplewood, $45,038
  • Mounds View, $11,996
  • New Brighton, $100,000
  • Red Wing, $94,000
  • Rochester Parks & Recreation, $77,385
  • Saint Louis Park, $40,000
  • Saint Paul Forestry, $50,000
  • South St. Paul, $94,500
  • Willmar, $24,996
  • Winona, $24,330
  • Dakota County Parks, $42,250

2021 Preparing for EAB grantees:

Legislative funding in 2021 provided $1.6 million to assist communities in conducting tree inventories, ash management plans, and removing and replacing ash trees.

  • Anoka County Parks, $100,000
  • Albert Lea, $100,000
  • Anoka, $100,000
  • Arlington, $26,042
  • Eagle Lake, $7,500
  • Fridley, $55,400
  • Hopkins, $28,950
  • Lake St. Croix Beach, $6,419
  • Lakeville, $11,185
  • Lino Lakes, $32,910
  • Little Canada, $73,142
  • Mankato, $32,500
  • Marine on St. Croix, $8,910
  • Marshall, $93,390
  • Moorhead, $60,000
  • New Hope, $35,000
  • New Ulm, $100,000
  • North Mankato, $50,000
  • Northfield, $92,500
  • Oakdale, $100,000
  • Ramsey County Parks & Recreation, $72,000
  • Richfield, $99,840
  • Roseville, $50,000
  • Shakopee, $100,000
  • Paul Park, $89,310
  • Vadnais Heights, $75,000

To date, EAB has been confirmed in 35 Minnesota counties. For a list of these counties, visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s interactive map (mda.state.mn.us/EABStatus).

For more information, visit the Community Forestry page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/Forestry/Urban) or contact the DNR Community Forestry Grants Team at ucf.dnr@state.mn.us.

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Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is this Friday through Sunday

During Take a Kid Fishing weekend (Friday, June 10 to Sunday, June 12) Minnesota residents can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger along.

“Fishing together with kids is a fun way to spend time in the outdoors,” said Benji Kohn, volunteer mentor program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Making great memories can be as easy as finding some rods and reels, finding or buying worms for bait, and heading to a nearby lake to give fishing a try.”

Youth 15 and younger do not require fishing licenses at any time of the year, though they must observe all fishing seasons and other regulations. Take a Kid Fishing weekend allows adults to fish without a license as long as they take a child fishing with them. Minnesota residents also may generally fish in state parks without a fishing license if the body of water does not require a trout stamp.

Learn to fish resources

The DNR’s Learn to Fish page (mndnr.gov/GoFishing) covers fishing basics, where to fish, how to catch different types of fish, and the importance of fishing ethics and being stewards of Minnesota’s natural resources.

In the Twin Cities area, people can find accessible piers and shore fishing locations, and lakes stocked with fish, by going to the DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood webpage (mndnr.gov/FiN). For anglers across Minnesota, the DNR has an online map of piers and shorefishing sites (mndnr.gov/FishingPiers). Parking at these locations is generally located within 300 feet of the pier or shore fishing site, with a hard surface path from the parking area. Most are designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Adults who want to learn about fishing ahead of Take a Kid Fishing Weekend can view a recorded webinar (mndnr.gov/Discover#tab-1-2)—look under “Outdoors” and select “Opportunities”—which details the DNR Fishing in the Neighborhood Program and other resources to help people take advantage of the weekend fishing opportunity.

Anyone 16 or older can buy fishing licenses online (mndnr.gov/BuyALicense). The investment in a license supports management of the state’s fishing resources and habitat that benefits fish and aquatic systems.

Share the fun

Share photos and stories by uploading Minnesota fishing photos using the DNR photo uploader (mndnr.gov/Fishing/Photos.html), for possible use in DNR social media, in email notifications and on the DNR website.

Through the #MyMNOutdoorAdventure campaign, the DNR invites people of diverse backgrounds to share photos, memories and stories of connection from their outdoor adventures. These stories just might inspire others to discover new stories and personal connections to Minnesota’s outdoors. Share stories on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/MyMNOutdoorAdventure).

In This Issue


Fish and Wildlife Almanac

A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.

Minnesota Twins offer free hats

Anyone with a 2022 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Minnesota Twins logo cap thanks to a special ticket offer.

That’s right — the Minnesota DNR Days are back at Twins games this season, through a partnership between the Twins and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The Minnesota DNR Days partnership includes six games this year:

  • Saturday, April 23, vs. the Chicago White Sox at 3:05 p.m.
  • Friday, May 6, vs. the Oakland Athletics at 7:10 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 25, vs. the Colorado Rockies at 1:10 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 3, vs. the Baltimore Orioles at 1:10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 16, vs. the Kansas City Royals at 6:40 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 9 vs. the Cleveland Guardians at 7:10 p.m.

License holders can purchase a reserved game ticket online and receive a special Twins cap at the game. Ticket prices vary by game. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Instructions for purchasing tickets are on the Minnesota DNR Days page (mndnr.gov/Twins).

People may buy fishing and hunting licenses at any DNR license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device (mndnr.gov/BuyALicense), or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile license buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

DNR announces temporary, seasonal fishing closures

To protect spawning fish, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has begun to close certain portions of some Minnesota waters. The closings are routine and based on local conditions.

Closings occur each year as ice-out begins and waters begin to warm. The DNR closes the spawning locations to fishing only where habitat is limited and fish are very concentrated in one location, such as a river or the bay of a lake where fish are congregated during spawning.

Areas closed to fishing are listed and updated on the DNR website (mndnr.gov/Regulations/Fishing/Fishing-Seasonal-Closures.html). Portions of waters closed to fishing also are posted at access sites and in other visible areas. Anglers may fish in areas that are not posted.

DNR webinars cover 4-H youth programs

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites Minnesotans interested in fishing, wildlife and outdoor skills to tune into two upcoming webinars about 4-H youth programs.

The first, on the 4-H shooting sports and wildlife program, will be at noon Wednesday, April 20. The Minnesota 4-H shooting sports and wildlife program is designed to promote life skills through a safe and educational program. Join the webinar to explore the program and objectives through the eyes of youth leaders from the program.

The second, on the 4-H outdoor adventures program, will be at noon Wednesday, April 27.

The Minnesota 4-H outdoor adventure program is a comprehensive outdoor education program that includes shooting sports and wildlife, 4-H ATV safety, wildlife biology, fishing, conservation and outdoor skills. Join the webinar to explore the program and how youth and adult leaders can get involved.

The webinars are part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series, which aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, as well as skills to enjoy these opportunities. The webinars are free, but registration is required. More information, including registration information for webinars each Wednesday through May 25, is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/Discover).

Learn how to fish with DNR guides, resources

Anyone interested in learning how to fish can find helpful how-to guides on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ learn to fish pages of the DNR website.

Find out how and where to fish, learn about fishing equipment, read about ways to catch different kinds of fish, and get acquainted with fishing ethics and stewardship, all at the DNR learn to fish page (mndnr.gov/GoFishing).

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Upper Red Lake walleye regulations announced for open water season

Anglers fishing during the 2022 open-water season that starts May 14 on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota will have a four-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 20 inches allowed, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Although angler activity was once again high last winter, harvest was modest at 134,000 pounds of walleye. Early winter fishing was very good, but heavy snow reduced anglers’ mobility and harvest in the later months.

Fall netting is used to assess the status of the walleye population and directly informs the pounds of walleye that can be sustainably harvested throughout the year — 2021 surveys found a robust population of walleye. The four-walleye possession limit, with one over 20-inch size restriction, is intended to keep total annual harvest within the target harvest range of 240,000 to 336,000 pounds. The 2021 open water regulation was a three-walleye limit with one over 17 inches allowed.

“We are happy that anglers will have the opportunity to harvest a few more and larger fish this summer,” said Edie Evarts, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “This is due to a combination of lower winter harvest and a desire to manage spawning stock at a level that stimulates recruitment of strong year classes.”

The Red Lake Nation and the Minnesota DNR manage walleye harvest on Red Lake under a joint harvest plan that the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee revised in 2015.

The 2022-2023 winter harvest regulations will be determined after the summer fishing season and the completion of fall assessment netting.

An Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee reviews walleye harvest totals and regulation options and provides recommendations for the state waters of Upper Red Lake.

Conservation success story

Red Lake is a naturally productive walleye fishery but over harvest caused the walleye population to collapse in the 1990s.

In 1999, the DNR, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and the Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed to a short-term stocking effort coupled with a harvest closure and aggressive enforcement. In 2006, the harvest fishery was reopened and has been managed successfully since that time. Upper Red Lake has become a top Minnesota fishing destination in summer and winter.

“We said it years ago and it’s worth repeating — Red Lake walleye fishing today represents a phenomenal conservation success story,” said Brad Parsons, Minnesota DNR’s Fisheries section chief. “We have many year classes of mature fish and consistent natural reproduction which enables us to manage this fishery for great fishing now and into the future.” Upper Red Lake fishing regulations are available on the Minnesota DNR fishing regulations page (mndnr.gov/Fishing/Upper-Red-Lake-Regulations.html).

DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management that can be used in full, as separate short stories, or to jump-start a longer article.

Join this webinar on tying flies for fly fishing
Ever wonder how to tie flies used in fly fishing? Join a webinar with Linda Radimecky, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources park naturalist, to learn the basics of fly tying, including how to use the equipment needed to tie flies.

The webinar is at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 15, and is part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series, which aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, and skills to help enjoy these opportunities. Registration and more information are available on the DNR website.

Hunting regulations now available in Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish
People who speak Hmong, Karen, Somali or Spanish can access Minnesota’s hunting regulations in their language. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has translated the state’s hunting regulations into four languages. Previously, they had been available only in English.

The translated booklets in Hmong, Somali and Spanish are available in digital format on the DNR website and in print at locations where they are likely to be in demand, including at select DNR offices, license vendors and Minnesota state parks. In Karen, the waterfowl regulations are available electronically and in print at this time. The Karen hunting and trapping regulations book, including the deer permit area map, is available electronically.

People can request that a free copy of the English, Hmong, Somali or Spanish regulation booklets, or the Karen waterfowl regulations, be mailed to them by calling the DNR’s Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 or by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us.

In addition, the DNR Information Center offers interpretation in more than 200 languages and provides information in alternative formats for individuals with disabilities. For TTY/TDD communication contact us through the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 800-627-3529.

Make a plan for deer hunting season

As 400,000 hunters prepare for deer hunting this firearms opening weekend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds them to plan ahead for the 2021 hunting season.

“A safe and enjoyable hunt starts with good preparation. To assist hunters with that preparation, we’ve put a wealth of general and area-specific information on our website,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “We hope these tools contribute to a safe and successful deer season with family and friends.”

A successful hunt requires planning no matter which deer permit area hunters are in. All you need is your DPA number to use our online make a plan tool, which provides a comprehensive list of information hunters need to consider before heading to deer camp.

  1. Buy a license. It starts with deciding which deer permit area you will be hunting so you can buy the appropriate license.
  2. Get your deer tested if requiredInvest in the health of Minnesota’s wild deer by participating in chronic wasting disease If you’ll be hunting in a CWD surveillance, control or management zone, sampling is mandatory opening weekend Nov. 6-7 for all deer one year of age or older.
  3. Know the regulations. Read up on the regulations for your deer permit area, including how to register deer and how harvested deer must be handled and transported in certain areas to help prevent the spread of disease.
  4. Know where you will have your deer If you plan to use a meat processor, contact them ahead of time to be sure they’re accepting whole deer from hunters this year. If you plan to butcher your own deer, you must properly dispose of the carcass (head and spinal column). We have videos to help you process your own deer and assist those hunting in a CWD control or management zone.
  5. Be safe. Practice the four tenets of firearms safety, know how to set up and use the tree stand safely, wear a safety harness and wear blaze clothing.
  6. Enjoy the hunt! Have fun, make memories and keep the tradition alive. Share deer camp and deer hunting photos directly with the DNR or on your social media accounts using the hashtag #DeerCampMN and #HuntMN.

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DNR: It’s up to every hunter to ensure safe-hunting trend continues

Minnesota has enjoyed two firearms deer seasons and nearly three years without a hunting-related firearms death—that’s the longest stretch since the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has been tracking these tragedies. And when the firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 6, every hunter needs to prioritize safety to keep the trend going.

“Our goal is that every hunter make it home safely at the end of every hunt,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division. “That doesn’t happen by chance; it happens when all hunters understand what’s at stake when they head out for the day.”

While the number of hunting-related firearms fatalities has dropped significantly since the 1960s and 1970s, when it wasn’t unusual for 10 or more hunters to die each year, safety officials say even one incident is one too many. In the past 10 years, a total of 14 people have died in firearms-related hunting incidents. Many of them happened during the firearms deer season. By following the basic rules of firearms safety, hunters can avoid most hunting-related firearms incidents:

  • Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded.
  • Always control the muzzle.
  • Be sure of the target and what’s beyond it.
  • Put finger on the trigger only when ready to shoot.

In addition to safe firearms handling and wearing blaze orange or blaze pink clothing, hunters also should keep safety top of mind when it comes to hunting from a tree stand. Accidents involving tree stands are the leading cause of injury among hunters.

According to national data, as many as one in three hunters who hunt from an elevated stand will fall and sustain a serious injury. The following tips can help hunters stay safe while using elevated hunting stands:

  • Check the stand before the season to ensure it remains in good working order.
  • Climb into and out of the tree stand before the season begins, so that you remember what it feels like.
  • Inspect the safety harness thoroughly, and use it when in the stand, as well as when climbing into and out of it.
  • Maintain three points of contact with the steps or ladder at all times.

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Hunting regulations now available in Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish

People who speak Hmong, Karen, Somali or Spanish will be able to access Minnesota’s hunting regulations  in their language. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is translating the state’s hunting regulations into four languages. Previously, they had been available only in English.

“We want all Minnesotans to enjoy the wide range of fantastic outdoor experiences our state has to offer. Addressing language barriers is one import step we can take to improve access,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “We’re pleased that Minnesota hunters now have the regulations available in Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish.”

The DNR is translating the regulation booklets into the four languages, other than English, that are most commonly spoken in Minnesota households. The DNR translated the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations booklet, the deer permit area map and the Minnesota Waterfowl Hunting Regulations booklets.

The translated booklets in Hmong, Somali and Spanish are available in digital format on the DNR website and in print at locations where they are likely to be in demand, including at select DNR offices, at license vendors, and at some Minnesota state parks. In Karen, the waterfowl regulations are available electronically and in print at this time. The Karen deer permit area map is available electronically. And in Karen, completion of the full hunting regulations booklet is expected in the next several weeks and it will be available electronically once finished.

“Hunting is a highlight of fall and a way to enjoy some quality time with family and friends in nature and harvest locally-sourced meat in the process,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR education and skills team supervisor. “Our distribution plan for the translated regulations includes a variety of ways to get these booklets to the community members who want them.”

People can request that a free copy of the English, Hmong,  Somali or Spanish regulation booklets, or the Karen waterfowl regulations, be mailed to them by calling the DNR’s Information Center at 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 or by emailing info.dnr@state.mn.us.

In addition, the DNR Information Center offers interpretation in more than 200 languages and provides information in alternative formats for individuals with disabilities. For TTY/TDD communication contact us through the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 800-627-3529.

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DNR invites public comment on proposed master plan amendment for land added to Frontenac State Park

Open house at Frontenac Sportsman Club on Nov. 30

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host an open house for the public to review and comment on a proposed master plan amendment for Frontenac State Park. The open house will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, at the Frontenac Sportsman Club, 30301 Territorial Road, Lake City, MN  55041.

The DNR Parks and Trails Division is amending the master plan to address land acquired for the park in 2020. A master plan sets the direction for the state park for the next 15-20 years and includes recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and learning opportunities to park visitors.

“We are very excited about the new property and the experiences it will allow us to provide for park visitors,” said Jake Gaster, Frontenac State Park supervisor.

The master plan amendment describes proposals for the new property that will enhance the current interpretive and recreational offerings at the park. New facilities and use areas, including summer and winter hiking trails, scenic overlooks, hike-in campsites, and a combination trailhead/picnic area, will provide additional recreational opportunities, signs and kiosks and a new self-guided trail and boardwalk.

The master plan amendment also describes resource management activities planned for the new property including prairie and forest restoration, prescribed burning, and invasive species management.

The master plan amendment is posted on the DNR website and is open for a 30-day public review; public comments will be accepted through Dec. 17.

Public comments can be submitted in person at the open house, emailed to jade.templin@state.mn.us, or mailed to: Frontenac State Park Plan Amendment comments, c/o Jade Templin, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 4039, St. Paul, MN  55155-4039

For more information or to comment on the plan amendment, contact Jade Templin at 651-259-5598 or jade.templin@state.mn.us

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DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management that can be used in full, as separate short stories, or to jump-start a longer article.

Webinar details deer season tips  
Hunters looking forward to deer season can join a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources webinar for last-minute tips, reminders, strategies, and time for question and answers, at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Opening day of firearms deer season is Saturday, Nov. 6.

The webinar is part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series, which aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, and skills to help enjoy these opportunities. Registration and more information are available on the DNR website.

Deer hunters invited to share wildlife observations
Minnesota deer hunters can use an online questionnaire to report wildlife they see during each hunt. Data from the observation survey will provide a helpful comparison to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ population estimates for various species.

Using a mobile device or desktop computer, hunters enter information on the DNR website about wildlife they see each day of hunting, including deer, turkeys bear, fisher and other species. They’ll also be able to report specific information about any deer they harvest, including antler size. Hunters are encouraged to fill out a report after each hunt even if they don’t see any deer that day. The questionnaire will be available until Jan. 15, 2022.

Deer harvest numbers available online
Hunters, media members and anyone interested in deer harvest data can find current deer harvest figures that are updated twice a week and harvest reports for past years on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ deer reports and statistics webpage. The webpage also features an interactive map and graph that visualizes the data.

Know the difference between white-tailed deer and elk
Individual elk sightings are beginning to be reported in a wider geographic area outside of far northwestern Minnesota. Hunters need to make sure they know the difference in the field. The DNR website has drawings and traits listed to help distinguish elk from white-tailed deer. Additionally, anyone in the public can report elk sightings using the DNR’s online elk sighting reporting tool.


Afton State Park to close during special hunt this weekend

Afton State Park will be closed to all visitors beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5 for a special deer hunt. The state park will reopen to the public at 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 8. The purpose for the hunt is to prevent overpopulation of deer and to protect resources.

Hunts also will take place at other Minnesota state parks and recreation areas this fall, and access to the parks will vary. Some will remain open to all visitors, some will have limited public access and some will be open only to hunters with special permits. The deadlines have passed for youth and adults to apply for the permits to participate in these state park and recreation area hunts, which include regular firearms, muzzleloader and archery options.

“Too many of one animal or plant species in an area can start to throw off the balance of other species in that area,” said Tavis Westbrook, a natural resource program coordinator with DNR’s Division of Parks and Trails. “When there are too many deer in a park, they feed too much on certain trees and native plants, so occasionally we allow deer hunts as a way to protect natural resources.”

The DNR thanks visitors for their patience and understanding during the hunts.

For a list of parks and recreation areas that are open, partially open or closed during the 2021 hunting season, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/hunting.html or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or call 888-646-6367 (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sat.).

Details on specific areas affected by the special deer hunts can also be found in the “Visitor Alert” boxes on the individual park and recreation area website pages at www.mndnr.gov.

 issue, freshen up about Minnesota’s youth deer season, find out more about early antlerless-only season, prepare for chronic wasting disease testing this firearms season, and find out how you can participate in DNR deer research projects. We’ve also got deer-focused skills webinars coming up soon!


youth hunter with a deer she harvested

Making memories: Youth deer season returns statewide Oct. 21-24

Minnesota’s youth deer season will continue statewide for its third year, starting Thursday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 24. The season, for youth 10-17 years old, coincides with statewide teacher workshops, so many Minnesota students don’t have school during the youth season.

Find more details about this opportunity at the DNR youth deer season page.

Common questions and answers here about the season.

Do adults need to accompany youth?

An adult parent, guardian, or mentor must accompany youth ages 10-13. Adults may not hunt, unless they are in an area open during the early antlerless-only season and have a deer license and at least one valid early antlerless permit.

What license is needed for youth deer season?

A: Parents should purchase or obtain a regular firearms deer hunting license for the youth who will be hunting. Participant numbers are not limited and there is no special permit.

Minnesota’s youth deer season is Thursday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 24. Please check the DNR website for full regulations.

young hunter with a doe he harvested

How many deer can a youth hunter harvest during youth deer season?

The bag limit is one either-sex deer. If the youth is hunting in an early antlerless area, he or she may take up to five antlerless deer with the correct permits. Youth may not take antlerless deer in permit areas designated bucks-only. Legal bucks must be tagged with the youth’s firearm license and bonus tags are not valid for legal bucks. Party hunting is not allowed.

Is blaze clothing required?

Yes, blaze orange or blaze pink clothing is required. In addition, archery hunters of all ages must wear blaze orange or blaze pink while hunting in Minnesota Oct. 21-24. Please consult the specific blaze clothing requirements, available in the Minnesota Hunting Regulations booklet.


antlerless deer behind brush

Get details on the antlerless-only deer season Oct. 21-24

Hunters can participate in an early antlerless-only deer season in specific permit areas of the state from Thursday, Oct. 21, through Sunday, Oct. 24. Find details about this opportunity, including the bag limit, on the DNR early antlerless hunt page.

Common questions and answers here about the season.

Where is the early antlerless-only season open?

The season increases opportunities for hunters in areas where deer populations are above population goals or where there is an increased risk of CWD spreading. Permit areas open during the hunt are 213, 214, 215, 221, 227, 236, 277, 341, 342, 343, 604, 605, 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 655 and 701.

What permit do I need to participate in the early antlerless-only deer season?

You need at least one early antlerless permit to participate in the early antlerless-only season. You can use additional permits to tag additional deer (up to five). Hunters are required to possess valid permits before hunting and harvesting deer.

Provided you have at least one early antlerless permit, you can substitute bonus permits, or disease management permits in 600-series deer permit areas, for an early antlerless permit. But you still must possess at least one early antlerless permit to participate in the early antlerless season. An early antlerless permit remains valid for the entirety of the early antlerless season but can only be used to tag one deer.


hunter in blaze orange with nice buck and firearm

Field reports: What you can expect across the state this deer season

Nearly half a million firearms deer hunters are preparing for the firearms deer season that opens Saturday, Nov. 6, and offers opportunity to spend time outdoors with friends and family, find adventure outdoors and put venison in the freezer. Check out the reports from DNR wildlife managers on what hunters can expect this season.

More details: DNR regional reports for deer hunters

Photo thanks to Steven Yang


young bucks sparring on a trail camera photo

DNR temporarily bans farmed deer movement in and into Minnesota

The DNR has issued an emergency rule that temporarily prohibits the importation and movement of farmed white-tailed deer into and within Minnesota. This emergency action took effect Oct. 11 and aims to reduce further spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and protect the health of Minnesota’s wild deer. Read more about this action in the DNR news release.


deer that died from EHD in a past year

Deer deaths in Houston and Winona counties caused by midge-borne virus

The DNR has confirmed two cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in wild white-tailed deer in Minnesota. EHD is a viral disease of deer and some livestock that is spread by a biting insect called a midge.

The DNR received reports of deer deaths throughout September in both Houston and Winona counties, amounting to over 20 animals. Tests from two of the deer in Houston County were positive for EHD; other deer were too decomposed to test. The disease incubates for five to 10 days, and most infected deer die within 36 hours of exhibiting symptoms.

EHD is not a threat to humans or animals outside the deer family. Even so, people should not consume deer that appear to be sick or deer that appear to be in poor health. More information is available on the DNR website.


firearms deer hunters holding bucks they harvested

CWD: What’s new for hunters

During specified weekends of deer season, CWD testing will once again be mandatory in specific deer permit areas.

This year hunters will also find additional deer permit areas have been added to disease zones due to detections of CWD in both wild and farmed deer in the past year. Check the DNR chronic wasting disease page for details.


kid who harvested a deer holding spleen in a zip-close bag

Hunters: Please help us assess neonicotinoid exposure in deer

The DNR is continuing research to screen hunter-harvested deer for the presence of neonicotinoids.

Neonicotinoids, often referred to as “neonics,” are the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide. The goal for this fall is to collect additional samples from select deer permit areas (DPAs) to confirm results from 2019, when the DNR first began the study, and use the information to select future potential study sites for additional research that will assess the effects of neonicotinoids on white-tailed deer survival and behavior.

The sample needed for testing is the spleen. The spleen is large, flat and dark red. It’s attached to the rumen (stomach) of a deer and easily found while field-dressing. If you hunt in DPA 234, 237, 295, 296, 241, 214, 239, 240, 604, 172, 171 or 179 and are interested in participating, sign up at this link.


fawn with collar near deer stand and doe

Fawn study examines survival, movement and mortality

This past spring the DNR began a fawn survival study in south-central Minnesota to examine survival, movement and causes of mortality. The study objectives are to quantify the importance of fawn bed-site characteristics on avoiding predation, identify important landscape attributes, and identify the most important ecological factors influencing fawn survival.

Predation is the leading cause of mortality for white-tailed deer fawns, but quantifying the extent can help in determining their importance on the population and better understanding how fawns are using the land to avoid detection. The study also aims to uncover how fawns disperse and migrate in the farmland region to help understand habitat selection and deer ecology and to update data used in the deer model.

To GPS-collar the fawns in the spring, biologists use drones with thermal infrared cameras to locate fawns in wildlife management areas across four deer permit areas (252, 253, 296, 299). Then biologists go place the collars on the deer. In all, 75 fawns will get such collars each year for three years.

Hunters: If you’re hunting in these permit areas, know that these GPS-collared deer are OK to harvest as if they were uncollared. If you harvest a GPS-collared fawn, please notify the Farmland Research Unit at 507-578-8912. It is important that DNR retrieves the collars because data is stored in the GPS unit on the collar.

More details: DNR deer permit areas


CWD sampling station with dumpster and quartering station

Join these webinars on deer topics

Anyone interested in hunting, fishing and the outdoors is invited to join DNR skills webinars, and we have a few coming up about deer.

  • Oct. 27 – The latest on CWD in Minnesota and what hunters need to know about this disease, and what the DNR is doing to manage it
  • Nov. 3 – Preparing for the firearms deer season, including last-minute tips, reminders, strategies to be successful this deer season
  • Nov. 10 – Muzzleloader hunting tips and techniques
  • Nov. 17 – Creating habitat in your woods to attract more wildlife

The webinars are free, but participants are required to pre-register. Details, registration information and past webinars are on the DNR website.

For Immediate Release:

Oct. 4, 2021

For more information:
Contact DNR Information Center
by email or call 888-646-6367.


DNR to Review Siting Rule for Nonferrous Mines

Today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) filed a Procedural Order in Ramsey County District Court outlining the process the department will use to review Minnesota’s siting rule for nonferrous mines.

The Procedural Order describes how the DNR will seek public comment and make a decision on whether the state’s existing nonferrous mine siting rule (Minnesota Rule 6132.2000 Subparts 2A and 3A) is adequate to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) from pollution, impairment or destruction from potential mining within the Rainy River Headwaters watershed. The DNR will accept public comments on the adequacy of the siting rule from November 9, 2021 through December 8, 2021.

On June 24, 2020, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (NEMW), sued the DNR under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act. NEMW claims in its lawsuit that Minnesota’s longstanding nonferrous mine siting rule is inadequate to protect the BWCAW. Specifically, NEMW asserts that Minnesota Rule 6132.2000 (Subparts 2A and 3A) should prohibit nonferrous metallic mineral mining (e.g., copper-nickel mining) in the entirety of the Rainy River Headwaters watershed, which flows into the BWCAW. Currently, the rule prohibits mining in the BWCAW and prohibits mining that disturbs the surface in a specified area around the BWCAW.

At the DNR’s request, the Court issued a September 13, 2021 order sending the case back to the DNR for further proceedings. This approach allows the DNR, as the state’s primary regulatory authority for mining, to assess the adequacy of the siting rule through a robust administrative process that ensures agency experts have an opportunity to carefully consider all relevant evidence.  The Procedural Order issued today outlines how DNR will seek public comment on the following question:

With express consideration of how Minn. R. 6132.2000, subp. 2A and subp. 3A fit within the broader context of all applicable environmental protection in state and federal law regulating nonferrous mining, are the exclusion of mining in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) set forth in Minn. R. 6132.2000 subp. 2A, and the prohibition of surface disturbance in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Mineral Management Corridor as set forth in Minn. R. 6132.2000, subp. 3A adequate to protect the BWCAW from pollution, impairment, or destruction or should further restrictions on mining be extended to all or part of the Rainy River- Headwaters defined as HUC 09030001?

As described in the Procedural Order, the DNR will seek substantive public comments from November 9, 2021 through December 8, 2021 to assist the department in its decision making.  Since this comment period is associated with a court approved process, the comment period will be limited to 30 days; however, interested parties may begin to develop their comments prior to the opening of the comment period.

The DNR has established a dedicated webpage for DNR’s review of the siting rule. This webpage will be used to house information about the review process and contains a link to sign up for future GovDelivery emails on this topic. The DNR will use the GovDelivery list to announce the start of the public comment period on November 9, 2021.

July 29, 2021

This month, we’re highlighting what’s new for the 2021 deer hunting season! Read the highlights here and on the deer hunting webpage, or do a deep dive by checking out the 2021 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook online.

cover of 2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook

Deer hunting season details available

Ready to plan ahead for the fall? Check out the details for the 2021 season in the Minnesota Hunting and Trapping regulations handbook, now available on the  DNR website . Printed copies of the handbook will be delivered to hunting license vendors the first week of August.

Hunting licenses go on sale Sunday, Aug. 1. You can buy your license at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236, or online at  mndnr.gov/buyalicense .

Archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 18, and firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 6. Find out more on the  deer hunting page.

map of Minnesota deer permit areas with bag limit designations

Deer bag limit name changes

Bag-limit labels have been changed to make the limits clearer:

  • “Lottery” is now “antlerless permit lottery” (one-deer limit)
  • “Hunter choice” is now “either-sex” (one-deer limit)
  • “Managed” is now “two-deer limit”
  • “Intensive” is now “three-deer limit”
  • “Unlimited antlerless” is now “five-deer limit”

“Bucks only” remains the same, with the one-deer limit. Areas that were previously under an unlimited antlerless bag limit are now a five-deer limit.

Early antlerless season expands

The DNR has expanded the early antlerless deer season, Oct. 21-24, to include more deer permit areas in central and southeastern Minnesota. The season increases opportunities for hunters in areas where deer populations are above population goals or where there is an increased risk of chronic wasting disease spreading. Permit areas open during the hunt are 213, 214, 215, 221, 227, 236, 277, 341, 342, 343, 604, 605, 643, 645, 646, 647, 648, 649, 655 and 701. Early antlerless permits go on sale Aug. 1.

snapshot of some DPAs with new boundaries for 2021

Check your deer permit area boundary

Several deer permit area boundaries in southwest and northeast Minnesota have changed based input from the public, tribal communities and DNR staff. The permit areas affected are: 169, 171, 173, 179, 184, 197, 237, 259, 275, 276, 277, 281, 282, 283 and 295.

Changes are depicted on the 2021 Deer Season Area Map and hunters should double-check the boundaries of any permit areas where they plan to hunt, as well as bag limits in those areas.

2021 CWD zone map

Key CWD changes for the 2021 season

  • Mandatory sampling of deer harvested in chronic wasting disease zones will resume this year during the opening weekends of both firearms A and B seasons.
  • The names of the zones are simplified to three tiers: management zone, control zone and surveillance zone.
  • The surveillance zone has expanded following detections of the disease in wild and captive deer, adding deer permit areas 110, 184, 197, 233 and 342, and a portion of deer permit area 169.
  • Late chronic wasting disease hunts are scheduled for Dec. 17-19 and Dec. 31-Jan. 2; additional details will be posted on the DNR website closer to hunt dates.

Check out the  regulations book  (PDF) and the  webpage  for more information.

young hunter dressed in blaze orange

Apply for special youth deer hunts

Minnesota has  special hunting opportunities for youth deer hunters . There is a limited number of permits for each hunt, with the individual hunts taking place on various dates during the fall in state parks and a national wildlife refuge. Adults must accompany youth during these hunts. Hunters may apply for special youth hunt permits through Friday, Aug. 20. Special youth deer hunts are different from the statewide youth deer season that does not require an application and takes place Oct. 21-24.

statewide map of goal-setting blocks

Deer population goals released

Results of the second year of deer population goal-setting are now available  online . This year focused on portions of southwest and northeast Minnesota. Thank you to those of you who participated in the virtual engagement options this year!

Next year will focus on deer permit areas in the northeast, north-central and southeast portions of the state (noted in green in the map) and will start later this winter. Stay tuned for details of when and how you can provide your input for those areas and check out the  deer populations and goals webpage  for more information.

hunter dressed in blaze orange with ear protection

Webinar: How to get certified in firearms safety

Do you know someone who wants to go hunting this fall? Join a chat with DNR conservation officers officers at noon Wednesday, Aug. 4, to discuss Minnesota hunter safety requirements, including how to get certified in firearms safety.

The webinar is part of the  Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series  that aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, and skills to help enjoy these opportunities. Registration is free.

areas where deer feeding and attractant bans are in place

Feeding ban reminder

Feeding and attractant bans are critical in limiting the spread of chronic wasting disease in wild deer. Due to the detection of CWD in Beltrami county, the deer feeding ban is expected to expand to include Beltrami County and neighboring counties this fall.

Currently there are deer feeding or attractant bans in the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Olmsted, Pine, Pope, Ramsey, Rice, Scott, Stearns, Steele, Todd, Wabasha, Wadena, Washington and Winona.

Learn more about what you need to do to help our wild deer, and the difference is between feeding and attracting deer, on the  deer feeding ban webpage .

Get complete CWD information

Deer hunters, please regularly check the DNR website at  mndnr.gov/cwd  for the most recent information.

You are receiving this email because you subscribed to Deer Notes on the DNR website. You can  manage your subscriptions here .

Stay informed! Here’s a summary of upcoming fisheries and habitat management activities and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

two kids fishing off the dock with a sunset

Fishing opener is Saturday

Fishing opener is this Saturday, May 15! That means the start of fishing for walleye, bass, northern pike, and trout in lakes, plus the kickoff of the summer tourism season.

We treasure our fishing traditions in Minnesota, where we have about 1.4 million licensed anglers each year and a half a million of them who fish during the fishing opener. Minnesotans have extensive fishing opportunities — for a great variety of fish species — at 4,500 fishing lakes plus 3,800 miles of trout streams and 16,000 miles of fishable streams and rivers.

You can find fantastic fishing opportunities all across Minnesota, and your fishing license dollars help improve those opportunities. We wish you a great 2021 fishing season!

More details:  Your fishing license dollars at work

Thanks to Steve McChesney for the photo taken at Monson Lake State Park

angler holding a large walleye

How to find fishing information

Find answers to fishing questions at the DNR fishing webpage, a mobile-friendly destination for information about fishing. From there you can use 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 the Minnesota fishing regulations.

More details:  DNR fishing page

person falling into the water

Prepare for cold water during fishing opener

While we’ve had some extra ice-free days this spring on many of the state’s water bodies, relatively cool weather since then — including overnight lows in the 30s — means the water temperature may be lower than you might expect.

As you prepare to hit the water for Saturday’s fishing opener, it’s vital to keep this in mind and put safety first. In many places the water temperature remains dangerously cold. Please be aware of this and plan accordingly.

The law requires anyone younger than 10 to wear a life jacket when boating, but the DNR urges everyone to wear a life jacket when they’re on or near water. This is especially important when water temperatures are low. Wearing a life jacket is the easiest and most effective way to prevent a tragedy.

More details:  DNR cold water dangers page

two anglers fishing on the Mississippi River

DNR launches My Minnesota Outdoor Adventure

In partnership with Share the Mic Minnesota, we’re kicking off a unique social media campaign to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion on Minnesota’s public lands and waters.

#MyMNOutdoorAdventure is launching in conjunction with the Governor’s Fishing Opener. We’re encouraging Minnesotans of diverse backgrounds to share your stories and pictures about fishing, hunting, camping and other outdoor activities by uploading them to the DNR’s website. The DNR will then feature these stories, and accompanying photos, on its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels and also on its website.

More details:  Upload an outdoor story and photo

pike being released by a hand from a boat

Keeping pike? Be aware of northern pike zone regulations

If you might want to keep northern pike when the season opens on May 15, please familiarize yourself with the regulations and be prepared to measure the fish. Minnesota has three northern pike zones that apply to inland waters and reflect the differing characteristics of pike populations across the state.

More details:  DNR northern pike page

married combo license, new requirements, each spouse must provide full name, birthdate, social security number, driver's license number

How to buy married combination licenses and redeem vouchers

Do you usually purchase a married combination license? Please be aware of a change this year that brings the DNR into compliance with federal and state laws and helps prevent licenses from being issued to those with violations or unpaid fines. The change requires both spouses who purchase a married combination license to provide and verify their DNR customer records for these licenses.

If purchasing in person, both spouses must be present. If both are not present, one spouse may purchase their part of the license and their spouse may obtain their license at a later date at no additional charge using a spouse voucher number.

Anglers should remember to redeem their vouchers. Redeeming the voucher is quick and easy. Without redeeming the voucher, the spouse with the voucher cannot legally fish.

More details:  Married combination license page

boat in the water

Boaters: renew your watercraft registration online or in person

Boaters, please remember to renew your watercraft registration if it has expired. The DNR encourages boaters to renew boat registrations online or at a local deputy registrar’s office rather than by mail. If you renew online, you can print out the confirmation page to use as a temporary permit, or you may write down the temporary authorization number from the confirmation page. You’ll later get the registration card and expiration decals in the mail.

To renew online, visit the DNR’s online license sales web page, click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. To renew in person, visit a deputy registrar. Deputy registrar locations are available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.

More details:  DNR online license sales  and  DPS registrar location list

kid holding a big largemouth bass

Webinar focuses on how to consistently catch bass

Anyone interested in learning more about the finer points of bass fishing is invited to join a webinar at noon on Wednesday, May 19. The webinar is part of the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series that aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, and skills to help enjoy these opportunities.

During the webinar, Abbey Rabine, an avid and successful bass angler as well as pro-staff at Rapala, joins Ray Ruiz, DNR hunting and fishing skills liaison and also a pro tournament angler, to discuss how to catch more bass consistently, all year around.

More details:  DNR Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series page

sunfish in hand

New to fishing? DNR has helpful information online to learn how

Anyone interested in learning how to fish can find helpful how-to guides on the DNR’s learn to fish pages. Find out how and where to fish, learn about fishing equipment, read about ways to catch different kinds of fish, and get acquainted with fishing ethics and stewardship.

More details:  DNR learn to fish page

Find fishing information

You can find the information you need about learning to fish, regulations, where to fish, aquatic invasive species, contacting a conservation officer and more on the DNR fishing page at  mndnr.gov/fishing .

Stay informed! Here’s a summary of upcoming fisheries and habitat management activities and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

two kids fishing off the dock with a sunset

Fishing opener is Saturday

Fishing opener is this Saturday, May 15! That means the start of fishing for walleye, bass, northern pike, and trout in lakes, plus the kickoff of the summer tourism season.

We treasure our fishing traditions in Minnesota, where we have about 1.4 million licensed anglers each year and a half a million of them who fish during the fishing opener. Minnesotans have extensive fishing opportunities — for a great variety of fish species — at 4,500 fishing lakes plus 3,800 miles of trout streams and 16,000 miles of fishable streams and rivers.

You can find fantastic fishing opportunities all across Minnesota, and your fishing license dollars help improve those opportunities. We wish you a great 2021 fishing season!

More details:  Your fishing license dollars at work

Thanks to Steve McChesney for the photo taken at Monson Lake State Park

angler holding a large walleye

How to find fishing information

Find answers to fishing questions at the DNR fishing webpage, a mobile-friendly destination for information about fishing. From there you can use 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 the Minnesota fishing regulations.

More details:  DNR fishing page

person falling into the water

Prepare for cold water during fishing opener

While we’ve had some extra ice-free days this spring on many of the state’s water bodies, relatively cool weather since then — including overnight lows in the 30s — means the water temperature may be lower than you might expect.

As you prepare to hit the water for Saturday’s fishing opener, it’s vital to keep this in mind and put safety first. In many places the water temperature remains dangerously cold. Please be aware of this and plan accordingly.

The law requires anyone younger than 10 to wear a life jacket when boating, but the DNR urges everyone to wear a life jacket when they’re on or near water. This is especially important when water temperatures are low. Wearing a life jacket is the easiest and most effective way to prevent a tragedy.

More details:  DNR cold water dangers page

two anglers fishing on the Mississippi River

DNR launches My Minnesota Outdoor Adventure

In partnership with Share the Mic Minnesota, we’re kicking off a unique social media campaign to encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion on Minnesota’s public lands and waters.

#MyMNOutdoorAdventure is launching in conjunction with the Governor’s Fishing Opener. We’re encouraging Minnesotans of diverse backgrounds to share your stories and pictures about fishing, hunting, camping and other outdoor activities by uploading them to the DNR’s website. The DNR will then feature these stories, and accompanying photos, on its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels and also on its website.

More details:  Upload an outdoor story and photo

pike being released by a hand from a boat

Keeping pike? Be aware of northern pike zone regulations

If you might want to keep northern pike when the season opens on May 15, please familiarize yourself with the regulations and be prepared to measure the fish. Minnesota has three northern pike zones that apply to inland waters and reflect the differing characteristics of pike populations across the state.

More details:  DNR northern pike page

married combo license, new requirements, each spouse must provide full name, birthdate, social security number, driver's license number

How to buy married combination licenses and redeem vouchers

Do you usually purchase a married combination license? Please be aware of a change this year that brings the DNR into compliance with federal and state laws and helps prevent licenses from being issued to those with violations or unpaid fines. The change requires both spouses who purchase a married combination license to provide and verify their DNR customer records for these licenses.

If purchasing in person, both spouses must be present. If both are not present, one spouse may purchase their part of the license and their spouse may obtain their license at a later date at no additional charge using a spouse voucher number.

Anglers should remember to redeem their vouchers. Redeeming the voucher is quick and easy. Without redeeming the voucher, the spouse with the voucher cannot legally fish.

More details:  Married combination license page

boat in the water

Boaters: renew your watercraft registration online or in person

Boaters, please remember to renew your watercraft registration if it has expired. The DNR encourages boaters to renew boat registrations online or at a local deputy registrar’s office rather than by mail. If you renew online, you can print out the confirmation page to use as a temporary permit, or you may write down the temporary authorization number from the confirmation page. You’ll later get the registration card and expiration decals in the mail.

To renew online, visit the DNR’s online license sales web page, click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. To renew in person, visit a deputy registrar. Deputy registrar locations are available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.

More details:  DNR online license sales  and  DPS registrar location list

kid holding a big largemouth bass

Webinar focuses on how to consistently catch bass

Anyone interested in learning more about the finer points of bass fishing is invited to join a webinar at noon on Wednesday, May 19. The webinar is part of the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series that aims to give participants quick, relevant information on upcoming seasons and events, and skills to help enjoy these opportunities.

During the webinar, Abbey Rabine, an avid and successful bass angler as well as pro-staff at Rapala, joins Ray Ruiz, DNR hunting and fishing skills liaison and also a pro tournament angler, to discuss how to catch more bass consistently, all year around.

More details:  DNR Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series page

sunfish in hand

New to fishing? DNR has helpful information online to learn how

Anyone interested in learning how to fish can find helpful how-to guides on the DNR’s learn to fish pages. Find out how and where to fish, learn about fishing equipment, read about ways to catch different kinds of fish, and get acquainted with fishing ethics and stewardship.

More details:  DNR learn to fish page

Find fishing information

You can find the information you need about learning to fish, regulations, where to fish, aquatic invasive species, contacting a conservation officer and more on the DNR fishing page at  mndnr.gov/fishing .

In This Issue

Minnesota’s fishing opener is May 15 this year

Take a Mom Fishing Weekend is the weekend before fishing opener

Fishing seasons open for walleye, bass, trout in lakes, and northern pike on Saturday, May 15, with this year’s date taking the prize for the latest possible opener under Minnesota statute.

“We know there is some confusion about this year’s opener date,” said Jon Hansen, fisheries program consultant for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota statute sets the fishing opener as the Saturday two weeks prior to the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. This year, with Memorial Day the latest it can be, on May 31, that puts the fishing opener on Saturday, May 15.

Also related to May fishing, there is an error in the printed version of the Minnesota Fishing Regulations book regarding the dates for the 2021 Take a Mom Fishing Weekend.

The correct dates for this year’s Take a Mom Fishing Weekend—when Minnesota-resident moms can fish without purchasing a license—are Saturday, May 8, to Sunday, May 9. That special weekend is defined in Minnesota statutes as the weekend that coincides with Mother’s Day. Most years, under Minnesota law, the fishing opener and Take a Mom Fishing Weekend fall on the same weekend, but not this year.

“We encourage Minnesota moms to get out and fish for free on May 8 and 9,” Hansen said. “Even though the walleye season won’t be open, there are still plenty of fun and easy fishing opportunities for crappie, sunfish, or even under-appreciated fish like buffalo, sucker, bullhead or sheepshead.”

Fishing season dates, and the corrected Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook, are available online at  mndnr.gov/fishing .

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Observation of walleye egg take operations closed to public

Biologists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will collect walleye eggs this spring; however, social distancing requirements mean this popular springtime activity will not be open for public viewing this year.

Hatcheries, the destination for the eggs collected, also remain closed to the public.

“Egg take operations are neat things to watch,” said Henry Drewes, northwest region fisheries supervisor. “But the closeness required to observe this work makes it impossible for onlookers to maintain safe and adequate social distancing among themselves and from DNR staff.”

Last year, DNR fisheries biologists did not collect walleye eggs because of COVID-related considerations. This year, egg collection procedures have been re-engineered to minimize close contact among employees.

Egg take stations and hatcheries will remain closed and offer no tours through 2021.

“We’re asking that people respect these closures and not visit these sites so we can work safely,” Drewes said. “We really appreciate the interest in our work, but keeping the public and DNR staff healthy is our number one priority.”

Video of the walleye egg take operation is available on the  DNR’s YouTube channel .

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DNR: Play it safe as early boating season gets underway

Many lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota are now ice-free, and those where ice remains likely will be open in the near future. People are understandably eager to hit the water, but it remains dangerously cold. That means it’s vital for people to exercise extreme caution whenever they’re on or around the water.

Each year, about 30 percent of fatal boating accidents in Minnesota occur during the cold-water period.

“Our boating season in Minnesota is limited, so we know people want to spend every moment they can on open water,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division. “But even among the strongest of swimmers, a fall into the water in April is far more dangerous than the same fall in July because of the incapacitating effects of cold water.”

As boaters begin taking their first trips of the year onto the water, they should:

  • Ensure their boat is equipped with proper safety equipment and that it’s all functioning properly.
  • Wear a life jacket (foam is more effective than inflatables during the cold-water season). A life jacket is the one thing most likely to help people survive a fall into cold water.
  • Distribute weight evenly and abide by manufacturer’s weight limits to reduce the likelihood of falling overboard.
  • Have a means of communication. Boaters also should let other people know where they’re going and when they plan to return.
  • Watch the weather to avoid shifting winds or storms.

For more information about staying safe on or around cold water, visit the  DNR’s cold water dangers page .

Red Flag Warning issued

With extreme fire risk conditions across southern Minnesota this afternoon, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for the following counties:

Anoka, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Pipestone, Pope, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine.

A Red Flag Warning means the area is experiencing critical weather conditions that are ideal for wildfire, including strong winds and low humidity. Do not burn while the Red Flag Warning remains in effect and check any burning done recently to ensure the fire is out. Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions.

The Red Flag Warning expires at 8 p.m.

Stay connected, stay safe:

March 31, 2021

Stay informed! Here’s a weekly summary of upcoming wildlife and habitat management activities and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

deer on trail camera

Talk with us about deer!

Do you have thoughts or questions about deer in your area? Today, wildlife staff dedicating time to discuss deer-related topics on the phone until 8 p.m. Local wildlife managers across the state invite the public to ask their deer-related questions and offer thoughts on deer issues.

In addition to discussing general concerns about deer, individuals can ask DNR staff about last year’s harvest data, share their own observations of local deer populations, discuss their thoughts on the upcoming 2021 deer season, or learn more about the deer population goal setting process or chronic wasting disease management. And if you can’t call today, you’re free to call at your convenience any time during business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

For details:  DNR deer open house webpage

ducks in a pond

Waterfowl town hall is Thursday

You can comment on proposed waterfowl hunting regulations and seasons. DNR proposals would: increase the Canada goose bag limit to five birds per day for the entire season; extend legal shooting hours to sunset for the entire season, eliminating the 4 p.m. early season closure; implement a five-day, early teal season as an experimental regulation for up to three years; allow over-water goose hunting during the early September season; and establish season dates through 2024. Online comment is open through Sunday, April 11, and an online town hall to discuss proposals is 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 1.

For details:  DNR waterfowl public input page

woman with shotgun who will present webinar

Webinar on choosing a shotgun

Anyone wondering how to choose a shotgun for turkey hunting, upland bird hunting or target shooting can join a free webinar at noon on Wednesday, April 7. The webinar is part of a new Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series from the DNR, with quick, relevant information on upcoming events and skills.

Other topics on Wednesdays through the end of May include fly fishing, spring foraging, Take a Mom Fishing Weekend, open water walleye fishing basics, backwater Mississippi River kayaking, bass fishing basics and the Quality Sunfish Initiative.

For details:  Registration pages for webinars

white an Ross' goose

Light goose harvest continues

Hunters can help reduce the population of light geese through a federally authorized spring conservation harvest that runs through April 30. Light geese are snow geese, blue-phased snow geese and the smaller Ross’s goose. Harvest regulations can be found on the DNR website. The conservation action aims to reduce damage from these geese to fragile ecosystems in Arctic coastal areas and around Hudson Bay.

For details:  Light goose harvest page

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources completes sand and gravel resource map for Kandiyohi County

DNR aggregate mapping projects ongoing in Redwood, Swift, and Sibley counties.

Geologists in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Aggregate Resource Mapping Program recently completed a new resource map showing the potential for sand and gravel deposits in Kandiyohi County. Aggregate resource maps are an important tool to assist in local land use planning and identifying local resources needed to construct roads, bridges, trails and buildings.

The project’s datasets, including a map to locate sand and gravel and a countywide gravel pit survey, are publically available on the DNR’s online interactive  statewide mapping website .

The sand and gravel map for Kandiyohi County is the most recent product from the DNR that provides field-researched information to help land use planners, industry, and others make informed decisions on how to maintain access to and best use these resources for local infrastructure and construction needs.

DNR geologists use geologic mapping techniques like field surveys and drilling combined with computer programs to find sand, gravel, and crushed stone resources and characterize the quality of a deposit.

Minnesota’s largest sand and gravel deposits are thousands of years old

Almost all of the accessible aggregate resources in Kandiyohi were deposited more than 10,000 years ago, when meltwater streams from glacial land formations deposited sand and gravel in different areas of the state.

“It would take another glaciation to replenish that supply.” said Chad Crotty, DNR aggregate geologist who worked on the sand and gravel map for Kandiyohi County. “Not only are these resources nonrenewable, but they are also unevenly distributed across the state, leading to a lack of locally available aggregate in certain areas.”

It is important to understand where these resources are located. In an area of aggregate scarcity, planners and industry leaders can use aggregate maps to ensure that any sand and gravel deposits remain accessible and affordable for future generations of construction projects.

DNR working on multiple aggregate map projects

The Minnesota Legislature established DNR’s Aggregate Resource Mapping Program in 1984. Their goal is to complete detailed aggregate maps for every county statewide.

Today, 20 Minnesota counties have access to completed aggregate resource maps.
A three-year grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, provided funding for aggregate resource mapping in Kandiyohi, Redwood, Swift, and Sibley counties.

For more information, visit the  Aggregate Mapping Methodology webpage .

July 30, 2019

Stay informed! Here’s a weekly summary of upcoming wildlife and habitat management activities, and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

Minnesota Hunting Regulations cover from 2019 with a deer, woods, logo and #huntmn, effective date through June 30, 2020 and mndnr.gov/hunting

Deer season regulations available

Hunters can start planning ahead for significant changes to deer season regulations.

The 2019 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations handbook is now available on the DNR’s deer hunting page at  mndnr.gov/hunting/deer .

Hunting licenses go on sale this Thursday, Aug. 1, and are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-646-6367 or online at  mndnr.gov/buyalicense . Remember to check that your license information is up-to-date and to sign the license.

Youth deer season goes statewide

A statewide youth deer season runs from Thursday, Oct. 17, through Sunday, Oct. 20, for youth hunters ages 10-17. In the past, the youth season was only available in the southeast, northwest and Twin Cities metro permit areas.

Deer feeding and attractant ban expands Sept. 1

Minnesotans in central and southeast Minnesota should pay close attention to the deer feeding and attractant ban rule. The area where deer feeding and using deer attractants is prohibited will expand starting Sunday, Sept. 1, in areas of central and southeast Minnesota where CWD was detected in farmed or wild deer.

Feeding and attractants increase the risk of disease transmission between animals by bringing them together in close contact, which is a mechanism for CWD spread.

antlerless deer in Minnesota

Read up on CWD changes

There are several changes to deer permit area numbering this year that will clarify  where CWD management and surveillance occurs . Deer permit areas within a CWD management zone, in southeast and north central Minnesota, will now be part of a 600-series permit areas. The metro deer permit area will be renamed to 701 from 601.

Carcass import ban continues

The DNR is, as in previous years, enforcing carcass movement restrictions to limit the spread of disease. Hunters will also need to be aware of mandatory sampling during all deer seasons in the CWD management zones (southeast and north central), and over the opening weekend of the firearms season in the CWD control zone (southeast, bordering the CWD management zone) and in surveillance areas (central).

grassland and sky on a CPL project

Legacy grant applications open starting Aug. 1

Groups that want to restore, protect or enhance public land or land permanently protected by conservation easements can apply for Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants.

These grants help pay for work on Minnesota prairies, forests, wetlands or other habitat for fish and wildlife.

In all, $10.3 million in Legacy grants are available this year. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to submit applications for the Expedited Conservation Project cycle until 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, and for the traditional and metro grant cycles until 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, on the DNR website at  mndnr.gov/cpl .

Twins ball and hat on the ball with DNR logo

Hunting license gets you a Twins cap

Your hunting or fishing license gets you access to a special Minnesota Twins ticket package and a free blaze orange Twins cap! The next date on this year’s Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins is a 7:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, game against the Kansas City Royals.

Anyone with a 2019 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can  purchase reserved game tickets online  through this special offer and receive an exclusive hat you’ll pick up at the game.

fishing license with DNR logo, 19, to Willy W Walleye and all the license text and signature line

Caution when you buy a license

Don’t get scammed! Hunters and anglers who buy their licenses online should do so only from the Minnesota DNR website. There are websites that claim to sell fishing and hunting licenses – and will take your money – but you may come away from the transaction with extra charges or with improper licensure. When you buy a license online, always start at  mndnr.gov/buyalicense , which will redirect you to DNR’s license vendor at  jc.activeoutdoorsolutions.com .

Minnesota Fishing

July 30, 2019

Stay informed! Here’s a weekly summary of upcoming fisheries and habitat management activities, and ways you can discover, explore and experience Minnesota’s outdoors.

a large sunfish

DNR seeks to

improve sunfish sizes

Large sunfish are scarce in many Minnesota lakes.

Local fisheries managers with the DNR are responding to angler desire for bigger sunfish by seeking out specific lakes that would be a good fit for improving sunfish size quality by reducing sunfish bag limits.

Starting this summer, fisheries managers will be meeting with local angling groups to gauge support for reducing the sunfish bag limit on some lakes through the DNR’s process of proposing special regulations. Learn more  about large sunfish and the Quality Bluegill Initiative  on the DNR website.

An angler fishing on the Mississippi River

Fish the mighty Mississippi

Anyone who wants to try fishing is invited to family fishing events happening at four locations over four days along the Mississippi River.

The events are geared toward anyone who doesn’t much have experience with fishing, lacks fishing equipment or wants to learn how to fish on the river’s edge. People can attend one or more days:

  • Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in Coon Rapids, 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15
  • Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, 4-8 p.m. Friday Aug. 16
  • Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17
  • Lake Rebecca Park in Hastings, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18.

Can’t make it? Potential anglers who want to learn how to fish can visit the DNR website at  mndnr.gov/GoFishing .

walleye in a net

Cass Lake draft plan available

Cass Lake – one of Minnesota’s 10 large walleye lakes – has a new draft management plan and the DNR is seeking input on it. The plan outlines the proposed five-year fish population objectives and fisheries management actions for Cass Lake and connected waters on the Cass Lake Chain, and incorporates recommendations from a 14-member Cass Lake Fisheries Input Group.

Check out the draft plan online , and you’ll be able to  comment online , or pick up a paper questionnaire at the  Bemidji Area Fisheries office . The final plan will be completed in October.

lake scene

Come talk about fishing, AIS and access

You’re invited to join conversations about public access to Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, providing excellent recreational fishing and stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). You can attend any of three meetings that start 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 1, in Alexandria; Saturday, Aug. 10, in Brainerd; and Thursday, Aug. 15, in Monticello.  Find the details and register online .

Twins ball graphic

Fishing license gets you a Twins cap

Your fishing or hunting license gets you access to a special Minnesota Twins ticket package and a free blaze orange Twins cap! The next date on this year’s Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins is a 7:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, game against the Kansas City Royals.

Anyone with a 2019 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can  purchase reserved game tickets online  through this special offer and receive an exclusive hat you’ll pick up at the game.

A fishing license to Willy W Walleye with license text and signature line

Caution when you buy a license

Don’t get scammed! Anglers and hunters who buy their licenses online should do so only from the Minnesota DNR website. There are websites that claim to sell fishing and hunting licenses – and will take your money – but you may come away from the transaction with extra charges or with improper licensure. When you buy a license online, always start at  mndnr.gov/buyalicense , which will redirect you to DNR’s license vendor at  jc.activeoutdoorsolutions.com .

For Immediate Release:

June 21, 2019

bee on flower

Pollinators are key to Minnesota’s environmental health

Without them, we wouldn’t have some of our favorite foods. They are vital to a healthy environment. They’re also beautiful and fascinating to watch. They’re pollinators, and this week is dedicated to understanding, appreciating and helping them.

Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are needed to pollinate plants that provide Minnesota food crops such as fruits, vegetables and herbs. Some of these foods are important for wildlife, too. Black bears, for example, eat raspberries that are pollinated by bumble bees. Honey bees and native pollinators contribute millions of dollars to Minnesota’s agricultural economy.

Pollinators play a critical role in keeping our environment healthy. They help maintain the health of the many plants that stabilize the soil and prevent erosion. These plants also buffer waterways, store carbon, and provide habitat for other wildlife. Plus, flowering landscapes are beautiful. Without pollinators, our environment would look very different.

“Pollinators are so important, not just to flowers but to our whole environment, and there are many simple things Minnesotans can do to help pollinators,” said DNR invertebrate ecologist Jessica Petersen.

To help pollinators:

  • Plant a variety of flowers, especially those that are native to the area.
  • Keep gardens blooming all season long; choose plants that provide pollen and nectar in the spring, summer and fall.
  • Provide nesting sites by allowing dead branches and logs to remain, leaving bare earth for ground-nesting insects, or installing bee nesting blocks.
  • Reduce pesticide use.
  • Become a citizen scientist and help researchers collect data about pollinators and their habitat.
  • Tell friends and family about pollinators and inspire them to take action.

A list of pollinator resources is available on the  DNR website .

Minnesota DNR News

Questions?  The DNR Information Center now answers your calls from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and

9a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and offers interpreter services. Call 888-646-6367 or email  info.dnr@state.mn.us .

In This Issue