A series of events celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will take place throughout Minnesota in 2018.
Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is this Saturday, Jan. 13 through Monday, Jan. 15. During the weekend, Minnesota residents age 16 or older can fish or dark-house spear without an angling or spearing license if they take a child younger than 16 fishing or spearing. "Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors in the winter," said Jeff Ledermann, angler recruitment and retention supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "This weekend is a way to encourage anglers to get out and take a kid fishing."
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, reports of inconsistent ice thickness on area lakes continue to be a safety issue for anglers and anyone driving vehicles, including OHVs and snowmobiles, on the lakes. The fatality rate this season is already higher than the last two seasons combined. All fatalities have occurred while driving an ATV or snowmobile. In a news release, DNR Walker Area Fisheries Supervisor Doug Schultz stated ice thickness on Leech Lake is very erratic, ranging from 6 to 16 inches.
Anglers and spearers pursuing northern pike this winter can prepare for new pike regulations that will be in effect for the spring fishing opener on Minnesota's inland waters. "Pike regulations remain the same this winter, with major changes coming this spring," said Chris Kavanaugh, northeast region fisheries manager. "As anglers continue fishing for pike, we encourage them to get used to measuring their catches and even consider keeping some of the smaller ones in the north-central part of the state."
Beginning this ice fishing season, anglers using a wheelhouse type of ice or dark-house shelter are required to purchase a license to place the shelter on the ice, even when occupying it. A new definition for portable shelters has been provided in law, which states that a portable shelter is one that collapses, folds or is disassembled for transportation.
With daytime temperatures still climbing above freezing even in the northern parts of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding outdoor enthusiasts to stay clear of early ice and use extreme caution when recreating on dangerously cold water.
Anyone living near bear habitat is reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
The Minnesota chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) named Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Samantha “Sam” Hunter as its Minnesota Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Hunter joined the DNR in 2004 and is currently stationed in Park Rapids. “When Officer Hunter is asked to help with a NWTF event, or any event promoting the outdoors, she goes and makes whatever contribution to it she can.