Marchel wins photo contest
Wildlife photographer and writer Bill Marchel of Fort Ripley recently won the Nikonians 2012 Wildlife Forum February Challenge online photography contest.
The monthly theme was “Camouflaged Birds, Hidden in Plain Sight.” Marchel won with his image of a well-camouflaged great gray owl perched against the trunk of a white cedar tree.
Walleye slot drops to 17 inches on Mille Lacs
Anglers who fish Lake Mille Lacs Lake during the 2012 season will be able to keep walleyes less than 17 inches in length, according to the DNR.
This is a change from last year’s regulation that allowed keeping of walleye less than 18 inches.
The 17- to 28-inch protected slot is designed to keep the walleye harvest by state licensed anglers within the state’s allocation of safe harvest. One walleye 28 inches or longer may be included in the four-fish limit. The walleye season is scheduled to open May 12.
“We expect anglers to do very well at Mille Lacs,” said Dirk Peterson, DNR Fisheries Section chief. “The winter bite was good. The open-water bite should be very good, too.”
He said the new regulation on Mille Lacs is identical to that on Rainy Lake and similar to regulations on several other large walleye lakes.
Mille Lacs Lake is being managed this year for a safe walleye harvest level of 500,000 pounds. The state angler allocation is 357,500 pounds. The tribal allocation is 142,500 pounds. The DNR met with the citizen-comprised Mille Lacs Fishery Input Group twice this past winter to discuss fishing issues.
Watercraft inspections on Pelican, Whitefish
The Crow Wing County Land Services Department, in partnership with the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association and the Pelican Lakes Association, received a $7,750 Watercraft Inspection Grant from the DNR to inspect watercraft at public landings for Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS).
This summer, in addition to the Whitefish Chain, the Land Services Department will also provide inspectors for the county-owned Jones Bay Public Access on the west side of Pelican Lake.
The Crow Wing County Land Services Department will be accepting applications for two full-time seasonal watercraft inspectors. Minimum requirements for the position are two years of post secondary training in a Natural Resources field. The positions will run from about May 9 through Sept. 3. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Mitch Brinks at (218) 824-1125.
Beekeeping concerns to be addressed at meeting
It‘s been well documented in recent years that beekeepers have been experiencing significant losses to colonies. There are a number of explanations offered for this phenomenon, which has been termed “Colony Collapse Disorder,” and the impacts of this phenomenon have the potential to be felt throughout the food industry as approximately 30 percent of our fruits and vegetables are dependent on pollinators to propogate.
Certain pesticides have been found in high levels in northern Minnesota beehives recently, and those hives have frequently seen complete losses due to premature mortality.
AT 7 p.m. April 16, agricultural chemical investigators Greg Cremers and Mark Magusson from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will present “How to manage Pesticides and Fertilizers for Beneficial Insects” at the monthly meeting of the North Central Beekeepers Association at the Northland Arboretum in Baxter. The event is open to the general public, and all people who use chemicals or fertilizers even casually in their gardens or yards are encouraged to attend.
The presentation will educate beekeepers and the public on how to use these products in a way that can serve their use while minimizing the impact on beneficial insects, such as bees, that are critical to agricultural production.
For more information, contact Scott Lucas at (218) 316-3874.
Retriever club open house April 14
The Marsh and Meadows Hunting Retriever Club Open House is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. April 14 at Hunts Point Sportsman’s Club, 2142 76th St. S.W., Pequot Lakes.
For more information, call (218) 568-8445.
Pointing dog seminar April 21-22
A pointing dog seminar is scheduled April 21-22 at the Little Moran Hunt Club near Staples.
Fees, which include two nights lodging, meals, training and seminar instruction, are $350 per handler.
Reservations due by Tuesday for camping
Reservations for seasonal and monthly camping opportunities, which are available at a select number of Minnesota state parks, are due by Tuesday, the DNR said.
People should call the individual park for pricing and other park-specific information or to apply for or make reservations. Rates and additional details are also available by visiting the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/extended_stay.html.
Comments wanted on Aitkin area lakes
Those interested in learning about or commenting on DNR strategies for managing Aitkin area lakes and streams have until April 15 to ask questions or submit comments.
Plans for the following lakes will be reviewed. All waters are located in Aitkin County: Savanna, Spirit, Dam and Horseshoe lakes.
Those interested may review the current plan for these lakes as well as recent fish population assessment information at the DNR’s Aitkin area fisheries office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S, in Aitkin. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; or call (218) 927-3751, ext. 228, or email email@example.com. The plans may also be viewed online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/aitkin/index.html.