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Posts Tagged ‘DNR’


First Cast 2011

A group of Hooded-Megansers beat their wings against the water as they fly away from beneath the undergrowth. Wild Roses, Dog Wood and young saplings dip their branches into my favorite Crappie lake. Walking closer — two Grey Herons fly over the trees.

“That’s odd?” I thought to myself. “That’s kinda early to see Herons.” It’s the middle of March and all the lakes are still frozen – but not this one! Because of the heavy snow and potential of winter kill, the Minnesota DNR has underwater aerators running to keep the water open.

Sadly, looking down into the water lay thousands of pale-motionless dead fish! Only the silhouettes of shadowless bodies identify what kind of fish it was. Sunfish, Crappies and Largemouth Bass completely litter the shoreline.

What is Winter Kill?

Winter kill happens during long-harsh winters like the one we had this year. When deep snow covers shallow lakes, the lake is sealed off from the atmosphere and cannot be recharged with oxygenated air. Ice and snow reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, thereby reducing photosynthesis and oxygen production. Deeper Twin Cities lakes with larger oxygen levels can withstand the stress and will usually survive.

In desperation, I’ve seen shore-owners with plows and snow-throwers trying to remove the dense snow pack to allow more light to penetrate the ice.

February, is generally the most critical month. This is about how long smaller lakes can stand, as the rate of oxygen consumption increases by living aquatic organisms and depletes the supply of oxygen stored in the lake.

As I make a few cast….my memories of a great Crappie lake may be all I take home today.

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It’s January and I say it’s never to late or to soon to “Think Spring” even though the St. Paul Winter Carnival Medallion is right around the corner! Finding those spring crappies and planning your next summer vacation starts at home. Now!

While on the Minnesota’s DNR Web site, I found some very good information.
If you’re not familiar with Public Recreation Information Maps (PRIM) or the Recreation Compass (An interactive mapping tool) I strongly suggest you get to know these tools. Listed are all 51 areas of Minnesota and the land available for sale from the DNR. Also valuable when planning a fishing trip are the sporting goods shops along the way and map stores to order large prints of your favorite lake.

For more maps: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/prim.html

For lakes check out: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/index.html

When you select DNR data — from hunting regulations to historical items or restoring shoreline, you can create customized maps. At the Minnesota’s DNR website it can be used to browse or find a lake and good structure to fish quickly. Shortcut tools enable you to find a particular lake, city or park fast. More maps can be found at ToMO (Tons of Maps Online): http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/tomo.html

Another great document to have on hand is the Minnesota State Forests at: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_forests/sft00046.pdf

For ariel photos go to: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/airphotos/index.html

Ultimately, if you can’t find what you are looking for, call the DNR information hotline at 1-888-MINNDNR or 651-296-6157 in metro. Another option is to email them at info.dnr@state.mn.us. They have always responded to all my questions.

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Originally from Asia and European countries, Zebra mussels came to Minnesota through the Great Lakes by attaching themselves to foreign ships departing with coal and iron ore pellets. They eventually worked their way into the Mississippi River and are now in Lake Minnetonka!

Danger lurks Beneath the Water

Wayzata Bay is the first to be infected. So what does this mean for Dick Osgood, executive director of the Lake Minnetonka Association and the residents living on the lake? (more…)

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