No positives were found in Chronic Wasting Disease tests of 682 lymph node samples taken from deer harvested during the 2004 firearms season, the DNR said.
The results are the first from 12,500 samples collected at 130 big game registration stations statewide. Samples tested were from deer taken in permit areas 152, 170 and 225. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Minnesota is conducting all tests.
This is the third and final year of DNR testing for CWD in Minnesota's deer population. During the 2002 and 2003 hunting seasons the DNR collected and tested 14,450 deer, none of which tested positive for CWD.
Aid available for phy ed archery equipment
The DNR is taking applications from Minnesota schools interested in starting or expanding physical education archery programs. Applications are due Dec. 31.
As part of the National Archery in Schools Program, the DNR offers teacher training and a ready-made physical education curriculum to maximize the benefits of target archery as a lifetime sport. Matching funds are available to a limited number of schools to purchase archery equipment for use in physical education classes. Schools must provide $1,300.
For more information or to download an application form, go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/epr/archeryinschools.html. Or phone (651) 296-0776.
3-D shoot, breakfast coming to Wealthwood R & G Club
Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club will host a breakfast and 3-D archery shoot to benefit the Salvation Army. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until noon on Dec. 19. The shoot is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the same day. Entry fee is $10, with $2 going to the prize fund and $8 going to the Salvation Army.
To reach the club, go five miles north of Garrison on Highway 169, then turn east on Highway 18 and go one mile. Phone (218) 678-2281 for more information.
Snowmobile trails not ready for riding; ice not safe
Snowmobile trails open in early December and every year some enthusiasts hit the trails after the first snowfall. But many trails aren't yet ready for riding, the DNR says.
Before being opened for travel, trails must be cleared of dead falls, signs need to be posted and gates opened. DNR staff and snowmobile club volunteers are working on these tasks now. Landowner permits also must be in place. Ground needs to be frozen so wet areas can be crossed. Adequate snow cover, about 12 inches, is needed to pack and groom trails.
Ice on most lakes is not ready for travel. The DNR says 5 inches of new, clear ice are needed to support a snowmobile. To check state trail conditions, log onto www.dnr.state.mn.us, or phone (888) MINN-DNR.
Build a custom fishing rod in January
LakeLady Custom Rods will offer two custom rod building classes in January. These 15- to 17-hour hands-on classes will have no more than seven builders to assure personal attention. Students can make spinning, casting or fly rod rods. All tools and materials are furnished and each student gets a one year membership in the Custom Rod Builders Guild, a $25 value that includes four magazines. Custom built rods will have a retail value of about $160.
Classes will meet at Breezy Point Community Center. The first is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, resume at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8, and conclude at about noon on Sunday, Jan. 9. The second class is January 28-30, same times as above. Cost is $225. Students are asked to sign up early to assure that all necessary materials can be gathered beforehand.
Classes will be taught by Kris Kristufek, a certified professional custom rod builder. For more information log onto www.lakeladyrods.com, e-mail to email@example.com, write 29297 Piney Way, Breezy Point, MN 56472, or phone (218) 562-4512.
DNR nixes plan for protected slot on Namakan bass
The DNR's International Falls area fisheries office announced that it will not implement a protective size regulation for bass on Namakan Reservoir due to lack of support from the public. A 12-inch maximum size limit for largemouth and smallmouth bass had been proposed for Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane and Little Vermilion lakes.
Although many anglers practice voluntary catch and release, bass harvest has been increasing on the lakes. The Namakan Reservoir proposal was part of a statewide initiative to maintain and improve Minnesota's walleye, bass, crappie and sunfish populations through a simplified set of possession limits and length-based regulations. The decision to drop the Namakan Reservoir proposal followed a year of discussions with stakeholders and a public meeting in Orr. Although some anglers favored increased protection for bass in the Reservoir, most of those who participated in the public input process were opposed to the proposal. Some felt it was too restrictive, while others were afraid that maintaining a quality bass fishery would have a negative affect on the walleye population.
Trout Unlimited to meet Dec. 14
The Paul Bunyan Chapter of Trout Unlimited will meet at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the Northland Arboretum.
The meeting will include a fly tying session and demonstration. Non-members are encouraged to attend. Fly tying equipment and materials will be available for those who don't have their own equipment and wish to learn. For more information, contact Mike Rahn at 829-7569, or John Imgrund at 829-0616.
The new Northland Arboretum headquarters building is located across Excelsior Road from the Westgate Mall/theater complex.
Walleye regulation changes set for Itasca lakes
The DNR's Grand Rapids area fisheries office has announced that changes are coming to walleye harvest regulations on seven lakes throughout Itasca County.
Chris Kavanaugh, area fisheries supervisor, said public support for the 17 to 26 inch protected slot on Swan, Splithand, Trout (near Coleraine), Moose (near Deer River), Round (near Squaw Lake), Deer/Battle/Pickerel (near Effie), and Island (near Northome) was good and the regulation will take effect May 14.
"For Sand, Bowstring and Jessie there was a lack of support so the regulation will not be implemented at this time," Kavanaugh said.
North Country question of the week
What is the best way to feed birds in winter?
"An easy plan for winter bird feeding," said Carrol Henderson, DNR nongame wildlife program supervisor, "is to provide three main choices of food: large seeds, small seeds and suet. Black-oil sunflower seeds and cardinal mixes have the greatest appeal to the broadest variety of winter birds and contain a high-energy content. Water is a critical ingredient of a winter-feeding program.
There are excellent birdbaths with heating elements and thermostats available from bird feeding supply stores. The heated water is primarily for drinking. Don't worry about birds freezing if they bathe on a cold winter day because native song birds seem smart enough not to bathe when the wind chill is 40 below."
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