As anglers ready their gear for a summer of fishing they can add a free guide and downloadable app to their lures, lines and bobbers.
Wisconsin Sea Grant offers a downloadable four-page guide on selecting lure colors to increase the odds of catching fish. The aptly named "Selecting Lure Colors for Successful Fishing," discusses how water depth and clarity, along with the level of light, influences how fish see colors.
Go to publications.aqua.wisc.edu/product/selecting-lure-colors-for-successful-fishing/ to download a free copy.
Sea Grant also offers a popular "Fish ID" that is available via website and mobile app. It's a photo-rich guide for identifying fish. To use the web version or download for Android devices, visit Sea Grant's website at seagrant.wisc.edu/fish-id/. A version for Apple devices can be downloaded directly from Apple's App Store. The mobile website and app are presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology.
Minnesota House votes to ban wolf hunt
It's a bit premature because the animal remains federally protected, and the bill is unlikely to pass the state Senate, but the Minnesota House on Tuesday voted to prohibit a recreational wolf hunt - if and when the animal comes off the endangered species list.
The House voted 66-65 to prohibit a wolf hunt should the state regain control of wolf management. Federal wildlife officials in the Trump administration have proposed trying yet again to take wolves off the endangered list in MInnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan saying the animals have recovered enough to allow hunting and trapping. So far federal courts have blocked those efforts.
Rep. Peter Fischer, DFL-Maplewood, sponsored the wolf measure as an amendment to a larger natural resource funding bill, which also passed. Fischer said wolves are a culturally significant animal for Minnesota's Native American tribes and that they should not be subject to a recreational hunt. He also questioned whether a hunt would prevent problems for farmers who have lost livestock to wolves, but said farmers would maintain the right to protect their livestock by shooting wolves.
A heated debate preceded the vote pitting rural against urban representatives.
Minnesota Senate backs two rods
In yet another measure that may not ultimately pass into law, the full Minnesota Senate has included a measure in a natural resources bill that would allow anglers to use two fishing rods on all waters all year long.
Currently only anglers ice fishing or on Lake Superior or some border waters (such as the St. Louis River in the Twin Ports) can use two rods at a time.
While the Senate included the measure in their larger natural resource bill, it is not yet in the House version. It's unclear if a compromise version of the bill will include two rods or not.
New DNR commissioner bags first ever turkey
Newly appointed Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Sarah Strommen bagged her first ever wild turkey last weekend as part of the first-ever Governor's Turkey Hunt. Her boss, Gov. Tim Walz, hosted the event in Northfield, fulfilling a campaign promise to add a turkey hunt in the spirit of longstanding events like Governor's Fishing Opener, Governor's Deer Hunting Opener, and Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener.
In addition to Strommen, who bagged the only bird in the group, Walz was joined by U.S. Rep. Angie Craig, state Sen. Matt Little, DFL-Lakeville, and state Rep. Todd Lippert, DFL-Northfield, among other guests. The governor and guests were accompanied by experienced turkey hunters from the Dakota County Strutters Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation to guide them.
Crex Meadows bursting with spring
Celebrate the arrival of spring by heading to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area for the Spring Open House beginning at 7 a.m. and runs all day on May 18 at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor Center in Grantsburg.
Visitors can enjoy an early morning bird tour, songbird banding, bird activities for kids, property management tours, a bald eagle watch tour, a wild edibles class and more.
Some events require pre-registration. For more information, contact Lauren Finch, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources natural resources educator, at 715-463-2739. Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area is located at 102 East Crex Ave., Grantsburg, Wis.
Crex Meadows is about 90 minutes south of the Twin Ports. The 30,000 acre state wildlife area is home to over 280 species of birds, 720 species of plants, over 96 species of butterfly and a wide variety of reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
Wildlife conservation education programs are supported by the non profit Friends of Crex. For more information go to crexmeadows.org.