In the fall of 2007, an estimated 7,000 lesser scaup and an unknown number of coots on Lake Winnibigoshish died from eating snails that were infected with parasitic trematodes. The DNR surveys of Winnie this summer revealed the presence of the faucet snail, Bithynia tentaculata, the invasive species that carries the parasite that can infect and kill ducks.
The faucet snail is not native to the area and, fortunately, has not been discovered in neighboring lakes. The DNR is urging anglers and waterfowl hunters to be especially diligent in cleaning boats when leaving Winnie to prevent the spread of this snail and parasite.
When leaving Winnie or any other lake:
Remove all vegetation from your trailer, boat and fishing or hunting equipment (anchors, decoys and lines).
Drain bilge, live well and bait water.
Remove any snails that may be attached to your boat or trailer (snails can live out of water for several days).
There have been no reports of trematodes infecting humans. However, the DNR is advising hunters not to eat birds that appear sick and reminds them to wear gloves when cleaning or handling birds and to cook them until well done.
Those who find dead birds or would like further information should contact Perry Loegering, DNR area wildlife supervisor, at (218) 999-7939 or email@example.com.
Whitefish-tullibee netting dates, regs
The DNR has announced the 2008 dates for the start of the whitefish-tullibee sport-netting season and reminds sport-netters to help stop the spread of spiny waterfleas when netting.
Schedule I lakes, which are more susceptible to factors that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses and other public places.
Schedule II Lakes, which are less susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed as follows:
Schedule II A lakes will be open from Oct. 10 through Dec. 7.
Schedule II B lakes will be open from Nov. 7 through Dec. 14.
Schedule II C lakes will be open from Nov. 14 through Dec. 14.
Area lakes closed to sport gill netting in 2008:
Mille Lacs Lake in Aitkin, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs counties.
East and West Fox Lakes in Crow Wing County.
Mitchell Lake in Crow Wing County.
Nisswa Lake in Crow Wing County.
Roy Lake in Cass and Crow Wing counties.
Serpent Lake in Crow Wing County.
About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish and tullibee each year. Minnesota law restricts the size of the net and its openings, requires that netting be done in water not deeper than six feet unless specifically authorized, stipulates that netted fish cannot be sold and requires that only rough fish caught in the net may be kept.
A copy of the 2008 whitefish-tullibee regulations is available by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296 6157 in the Twin Cities metro area or toll-free at (888) MINNDNR (646-6367) in greater Minnesota. Online, go to http://mndnr.gov/fishing/cisco.
Hunters: Avoid parking on rural roads
With Minnesota's major hunting seasons under way or on the way, the DNR is encouraging hunters to avoid parking on rural roads whenever possible.
"Right now, farmers are out in the fields trying to get the crops out and it's important they be able to freely travel down the road," said Paul Hansen, DNR Southern Region assistant wildlife manager at New Ulm. "Parking cars and trucks on these roads can present a real problem for a farmer trying to get by with large machinery."
Hansen said the DNR provides parking areas off roadways adjacent to state wildlife management areas. When hunting private land, Hansen said, it's a good idea to ask the landowner where parking off the road might be available. Otherwise, park as far off onto the road shoulder as possible.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.