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Field reports: DNR closes portion of Cut Foot Sioux flowage for opener

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that it will close a portion of the Cut Foot Sioux flowage northwest of Deer River from the Minnesota fishing opener on May 10 through May 16. The closed area is from Williams Narrows upstream through the First River Flowage up to Egg Lake. No fishing will be allowed during this time period. Signs will be posted at the narrows and other access points within the closed area.

Because of the late ice cover and the early walleye opener, concentrations of walleyes remain near the DNR’s egg-collection operation at Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake.

“The closure is necessary to protect adult walleye that have concentrated around the spawning site,” said   Chris Kavanaugh, DNR area fisheries supervisor at Grand Rapids. “It’s always a difficult decision to close the area and restrict recreational opportunities, but our first responsibility is to the long-term health of the fishery.”

For a complete list of fishing closures, go to and click on “Fishing.”

Bruch to head DNR fisheries in Wisconsin

Ron Bruch, a Wisconsin native and a 37-year veteran of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, will take over as fisheries director for the agency Monday.

He replaces Mike Staggs, who retired after 17 years in the position. Bruch will lead a staff of 226 people and a budget of $27 million. Over his DNR career, Bruch has worked at every level in the fisheries management program. He most recently was statewide planning director, working on projects including the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative plan to boost walleye populations statewide.

Bruch is most well-known for his service from 1986 to 2012 as the Winnebago sturgeon biologist and Oshkosh fisheries supervisor.

Change in deer limits considered

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials are considering a rules change that would allow hunters to receive unlimited antlerless deer permits in an area that encompasses Duluth.

A public meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday  at the EPA building in Duluth, 6201 Congdon Blvd., to discuss a proposal that would designate deer permit area 182 surrounding Duluth as a “metro deer hunt.” The designation would allow for more liberal taking of antlerless deer and would extend the firearms deer season by one week in the permit area. The designation also would apply to the Duluth city bow hunt.

The proposed change is aimed at reducing deer numbers and deer-human conflict, said Chris Balzer, Department of Natural Resources area wildlife manager at Cloquet.