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OUTDOORS NOTES: Mille Lacs, Upper Red walleye regs to change Thursday

The protected slot limit for walleyes will change Thursday on Lake Mille Lacs and Upper Red Lake.

On Mille Lacs, four walleyes up to 18 inches may be kept, with one over 28 inches allowed. All fishing regulations for species other than walleye and all other fishing restrictions will remain unchanged on Mille Lacs.

On Upper Red, four walleyes up to 17 inches may be kept, with one over 26 inches allowed.

Don’t throw away unused deer permits

Hunters who did not tag a deer or use their either-sex permit during the firearms season may still have a chance to put some venison in the freezer, according to Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR.

This change applies only to the lottery zone.

Cornicelli reminds hunters in the lottery zone that they are only allowed to tag one deer during the 2011 hunting season. They may not use bonus tags in the lottery zone. They may be able to harvest additional deer in managed, intensive or special hunt areas.

Hunters who wish to take advantage of this change must purchase a license for the muzzleloader season, which opened Saturday and runs through Dec. 11. Licenses may be purchased at any of the 1,500 license agent locations in the state, via telephone at (888) 665-4236 or online at A convenience fee is added to telephone and Internet license purchases.

DNR eyes ruffed grouse management plan input

Citizens interested in Minnesota ruffed grouse and the habitat that supports them can provide input on the DNR’s proposed ruffed grouse long-range management plan.

The public comment period, which is available online only, ends Dec. 19.

The draft plan’s long-range vision for ruffed grouse in Minnesota includes sufficient quantity, quality and distribution of habitat to support robust grouse populations throughout the species’ range in the state. The plan also addresses maintaining grouse hunter numbers and provides for quality habitat to support healthy ruffed grouse populations throughout their range.

Public input will be reviewed and considered in January. The final Minnesota ruffed grouse management plan, to be completed in February, will help guide ruffed grouse management during the next 10 years.

More information is available at hunting/grouse/input.html.

Aeration system on Lake Nisswa

An aeration system creating open water and thin ice will be in use on Lake Nisswa, at the old Nisswa Marina site in Nisswa.

Dates of operation will be from Dec. 1 to March 31. People are asked to use caution around the posted areas.