DNR: Plenty of crappies in the St. Louis River
Fisheries biologists with the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources placed trap nets in the shallows of the St. Louis River this spring to trap muskies. Those nets trapped lots of other species, too, including many, many crappi...
Fisheries biologists with the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources placed trap nets in the shallows of the St. Louis River this spring to trap muskies. Those nets trapped lots of other species, too, including many, many crappies, said Jeramy Pinkerton, Minnesota DNR fisheries specialist at French River.
"We caught almost 7,000 crappies in our nets this spring," Pinkerton said. "The average was like 10 inches long, and the biggest crappies were right around 14 inches. The number and size is pretty amazing."
Nets were placed at 32 locations in the river, from Allouez Bay in Superior to Mission Creek in the Fond du Lac neighborhood. Nets were placed in 6 feet of water or less, Pinkerton said. Fish captured in the nets were released alive after being measured.
Lots of fishing licenses
Maybe it was the warm weather forecast for opening weekend of Minnesota's fishing season last weekend. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that through the Monday after opening weekend, anglers had bought 429,599 licenses. That's up from about 418,000 last year, 409,000 in 2015 and 338,000 in 2014 at the same time.
That might not lead to an increase in license sales for the entire year, however. Fishing license sales have been fairly constant in recent years: 1,158,000 in 2016; 1,154,000 in 2015; and 1,146,000 in 2014.
Minnesota Deer Plan progressing
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asked. The public responded.
More than 500 people - nearly all of them deer hunters - turned out for 12 public meetings about deer management in Minnesota this past winter. In addition, more than 1,400 offered comments online, by email or by mail.
The DNR had held the meetings and solicited comments as it puts together its first Deer Management Plan. In general, respondents agreed with most of the deer-management goals put forth by the citizens' Deer Plan Advisory Group, which is helping guide the DNR's efforts. Among them:
• Healthy deer (monitoring and addressing deer health and impacts to resources): 94 percent agreed or strongly agreed
• Deer population management (manage deer by considering both biological and social information): 88 percent agreed or strongly agreed
• (DNR should) Effectively communicate and involve public, with accountability: 89 percent agreed or strongly agreed
• Hunter and non-hunter satisfaction (consider biological and social dimensions of deer management): 88 percent agreed or strongly agreed
• Healthy habitat (manage for an appropriate number of deer by protecting and enhancing habitat): 90 percent agree
• Impacts to other resources (address negative impacts of deer to the land): 67 percent agreed or strongly agreed
• Funding (ensure sufficient funding for deer management): 85 percent agreed or strongly agreed
For more information, find the DNR's Deer Management page at mndnr.gov.