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Outdoor Notes - Oct. 7

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outdoors Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Interested in serving on Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee?

Brainerd lakes area residents who are concerned about aquatic invasive species and committed to doing what it takes to combat AIS, consider this:

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The DNR is seeking applications from stakeholders who are interested in serving on a statewide Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory Committee. People who are concerned about aquatic invasive species and have the ability to commit to reviewing reports, preparing comments and participating in six to eight meetings a year are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by Oct. 19.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr seeks to continue building strong relationships with AIS stakeholders (individuals, citizen organizations, local units of government) and use their insights and perspectives to help guide DNR AIS activities.

The DNR AIS Advisory Committee will be comprised of 15 stakeholders appointed by the commissioner. The first set of appointees will be asked to serve either a two- or three-year term in order to stagger appointments. Eventually, committee members will serve three-year terms.

Application questions reflect the DNR’s desire to have a well-rounded AIS Advisory Committee. Members will have a range of personal and professional experiences with AIS issues, including prevention, decontamination, public awareness and control activities. Similarly, different parts of the state will be represented, as will a diversity of ages, genders, recreational interests and education. The committee also will reflect the range of private, nonprofit and public sector organizations that are actively engaged in AIS issues.

Applications will be accepted online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/ais-app. Data provided for the oversight committee application is classified as public data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.

For more information, contact Ann Pierce at (651) 259-5119 or ann.pierce@state.mn.us, or Jim Japs, (651) 259-5656 or jim.japs@state.mn.us.

DNR responds to wolf lawsuit, mails notifications to lottery winners

A month before the highly anticipated first wolf season and it’s still wait-and-see time – for wolf hunting hopefuls and the hunt as a whole.

On Wednesday, the DNR continued to move forward with the state’s inaugural wolf season by both responding to recent legal challenges to the season and mailing notifications to hunt lottery winners.

The DNR filed a memorandum in opposition to a petitioner’s motion for a preliminary injunction on the wolf season on Friday, Sept. 28, with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, the DNR formally denied a petition for rulemaking that was delivered to the agency on Aug. 9. That petition requested that the DNR adopt a new rule to stop the 2012-13 Minnesota wolf hunting and trapping season.

While the DNR said it will not discuss matters of active or potential litigation, the filed documents and petition response are public information and are available for review on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/wolves by clicking the “Lawsuit Documents” tab.

The agency posted the documents on its website in the name of transparency and openness. DNR Communications Director Chris Niskanen said that “the documents speak for themselves” and that the agency would not comment on the case until a court ruling has been issued.

Also, the DNR said hunters and trappers who applied to participate in the wolf season should watch their mailboxes for lottery winner’s notices. Notifications were mailed to each lottery winner on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and successful early season applicants have until Wednesday, Oct. 24 to purchase their license from any Minnesota DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at (888) 665-4236. As of Wednesday, the DNR reported having sold 300 licenses to lottery winners.

Lottery results and complete wolf hunting regulations also are available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf. Additional information about wolf management in Minnesota is available online at www.mndnr.gov/wolves.

Minnesota’s first-ever wolf season is set to open Nov. 3.

Central duck zone re-opens

Minnesota’s Central Duck Zone reopened Saturday, Oct. 6 and remain open through Sunday, Nov. 25, the DNR announced.

The DNR split the Central Duck Zone season into two parts to provide more opportunity later in the fall. The zone is bordered on the north by Minnesota Highway 210, which running east to west dissects the Brainerd lakes area, and on the south by U.S. Highway 212.

Temporary closures translate into additional hunting opportunity later in fall when late season migrant ducks pass through the state.

A map of Minnesota’s three duck zones is available on page 22 of 2012 Waterfowl Regulations and online at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

Comments sought on rule limiting special northern pike regulations

Comments on rules governing regulations for northern pike and other fishing regulation matters will be accepted until Thursday, Nov. 15, the DNR announced.

The proposed rule change makes existing northern pike bag limits and catch-and-release lengths a permanent part of Minnesota’s inland fishing regulations.

Other changes include:

• Clearly defining electronic fish-finding devices as depth finders; fish finders; underwater video or still cameras; sonars; global positioning systems; and temperature, oxygen and pH meters.

• Making rules regarding liberalized fish and seasonal closures consistent on Minnesota-South Dakota border waters.

• Enacting provisions that protect vulnerable fish populations in Otter Tail County’s Annie Battle and Mille Lac County’s Black Bass lakes from overharvest.

• Enacting changes that are technical in nature to clarify and improve the consistency of regulations.

Comments should be directed to Linda Erickson-Eastwood at 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4020, linda.erickson-eastwood@state.mn.us or 651-259-5200. Complete details are available on the DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/rules/rulemaking/nop/index.html.

– Compiled by Brian S. Peterson, contributing writer

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