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Ripe wild rice harvesting season starts Saturday August 15

ST .PAUL - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife managers say it's shaping up to be a good season for wild rice harvesting as the dry spring provided favorable water levels and rice beds have been growing well in most areas.

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Harvest of ripe wild rice is allowed between Saturday and Sept. 30. Harvesters must first make sure the rice is ripe before launching their canoes because it is illegal to harvest “green” or unripe rice, according to the DNR. It also illegal on most Indian reservations. Illustration.

ST .PAUL - Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife managers say it’s shaping up to be a good season for wild rice harvesting as the dry spring provided favorable water levels and rice beds have been growing well in most areas.

Harvest of ripe wild rice is allowed between Saturday and Sept. 30. Harvesters must first make sure the rice is ripe before launching their canoes because it is illegal to harvest “green” or unripe rice, according to the DNR. It also illegal on most Indian reservations.

“Rice growth appears to be a little ahead of last year,” said Ann Geisen, DNR wildlife lakes specialist. “Peak harvesting dates are estimated to be in late August to early September as long as weather remains mild.”

More than 1,200 lakes and rivers in 54 counties contain wild rice, with concentrations of rice being the highest in Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca and St. Louis counties.

Harvesting licenses can be purchased online via desktop browser and smartphone at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or any DNR license agent for $25 for the season or $15 per day.

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