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Outdoor Notes for Sept. 23

Tuma triumphs in Bass Snatchers' 5th tournament Keith Tuma, with an overall catch of 19 pounds, 1 ounce, won the Baxter Bass Snatchers' fifth tournament of the season held Sept. 18 on Birch Lake near Hackensack. Coming in second was Dwight Hammer...

Tuma triumphs in Bass Snatchers' 5th tournament

Keith Tuma, with an overall catch of 19 pounds, 1 ounce, won the Baxter Bass Snatchers' fifth tournament of the season held Sept. 18 on Birch Lake near Hackensack.

Coming in second was Dwight Hammermeister with a total catch of 17 pounds, 1 ounce. Third place went to Beau Bacon with a total catch of 15 pounds, 4 ounces.

The Lunker Award went to Keith Tuma with a 4 pound, 3 ounce bass.

In total, 18 anglers caught and released 96 bass.

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DNR seeking input on Leech Lake proposed walleye regulation change

A proposed walleye regulation change on Leech Lake would allow anglers more opportunities to keep walleye beginning when the 2019 open water fishing season opens.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking input on the change at an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 24, at the Walker Area Community Center.

The proposed regulation change would remove the 20- to 26-inch protected slot and replace it with a regulation similar to the statewide regulation, but with a four-fish walleye limit, only one of which can be over 20 inches.

The current walleye regulation on Leech Lake is four fish, requiring the immediate release of any walleye that are within a 20- to 26-inch protected slot limit. Only one fish over 26 inches allowed in possession. The four-fish walleye possession limit on Leech Lake has been in effect since 2005.

"The regulation was initially put in place to help protect spawning fish," said Doug Schultz, DNR Walker area fisheries supervisor. "Regulation goals have been exceeded, prompting the DNR to propose increased harvest opportunity at this time."

Carl Pedersen, the DNR large lake specialist on Leech Lake, said the walleye population is in excellent condition at this time and can afford some additional harvest.

"We have an abundant population of spawning-age fish with a wide distribution of sizes, and multiple year classes of smaller fish entering the fishery," Pedersen said. "Protective fishing regulations combined with very consistent production of year classes over the past 10 years have put us in a very good position."

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If future fisheries assessments indicate harvest should be reduced, the DNR anticipates revisiting the protected slot limit at that time.

At the meeting, there will not be a formal presentation but DNR staff will be on hand to answer questions and discuss the proposed regulation with individuals who attend. Following the meeting, comments will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 5. Those unable to attend the meeting can provide comments by calling the Walker area fisheries office at 218-547-1683 or by emailing walker.fisheries@state.mn.us .

Anglers who can't make the meeting in Walker can attend an open house about that and other regulation proposals from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road. No formal presentations will be made at the open house.

More information on fishing regulations can be found on the DNR website atmndnr.gov/fishing.

Online harvest registration requires sign-in for better information security

Hunters who harvest deer, bear or turkey starting this season will need to sign into the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources electronic license system when registering a harvest online.

"Requiring hunters to log in adds another layer of security to protect their personal information," said Steve Michaels, licensing program director. "We recognize that online game registration will be a little less convenient and we appreciate hunters' patience as they adapt to the new process."

In 2017, half of all deer harvest were registered using the online system, so this new security measure is important.

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To register a harvest, go to mndnr.gov/buyalicense. The harvest registration system is available after hunters enter their information in the customer identification page, similar to when purchasing a DNR license or permit. Once signed in, click on the harvest tab. Harvest registration is the same as in past years, and requires hunters to enter a nine-digit harvest registration number that is printed on the license.

"While in the system registering your animal, we also recommend adding your email address to your electronic record," Michaels said. "The DNR is increasingly using email to conduct surveys and communicate with license holders on a variety of wildlife issues."

Hunters also can choose to register a harvest by calling 1-888-706-6367 and following the instructions, or in person at any big game registration station.

Hunting regulations and details about when harvest registration is required are available at mndnr.gov/regulations/hunting.

Related Topics: LEECH LAKE
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