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MN DNR news releases

Minnesota DNR News

For Immediate Release:

April 12, 2021

For more information: 
Contact DNR Information Center by email
or call 888-646-6367.

In This Issue
Spring turkey hunting begins this week
Stream trout fishing opens statewide on April 17
DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac
DNR invites public comments on FireFrost ATV Trail proposal

Spring turkey hunting begins this week

When Minnesota’s turkey hunting season begins Wednesday, April 14, hunters hoping to bag a tom turkey will see similar regulations as last year.

A spring turkey license will provide the opportunity to hunt all permit areas in the state, with the exception of three major wildlife management areas. Permits are required for firearms turkey hunters ages 18 and older in Mille Lacs, Carlos Avery or Whitewater wildlife management areas (WMA) during A through C seasons. Permits have already been issued through a lottery.

“Turkey hunting is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in the spring,” said Leslie McInenly, wildlife populations program manager with the DNR. “Good luck to all hunters planning to take part in this springtime tradition.”

Wild turkey restoration is a conservation success story. As turkey populations have expanded, the DNR, with input from hunters, allowed more hunting season flexibility starting in 2020 and regulations this spring are similar to last year.

Last year hunters harvested a record 13,996 birds, topping the previous record of 13,467 set in 2010. The average harvest over the past 10 years has been 11,400.

2021 season details
Turkey season will be from April 14 to May 31 and is divided into six hunt periods, A through F (dates are in table below). Firearms hunters ages 18 and older must choose their hunt period when they purchase a license. Firearms turkey hunters can participate in Hunt F if they have an unused tag from one of the earlier hunt periods.

Archery-only license holders may hunt statewide for the entire season (April 14-May 31). Hunters cannot purchase both a firearms and archery-only license.

Licensed hunters ages 17 and younger may hunt statewide for the entire season (April 14-May 31) with firearms or archery equipment.

Because there is no lottery for statewide spring wild turkey licenses, the landowner and tenant drawing, which had set aside a percentage of lottery licenses in each permit area for landowners with qualifying land, was discontinued, and landowners and tenants can purchase licenses like other turkey hunters.

Turkey licenses can be purchased online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, by phone at 888-665-4236, or in person from a license agent. More information about turkey hunting in Minnesota can be found on the DNR website.

2021 Spring turkey hunt periods

Hunt A:                 April 14-20

Hunt B:                 April 21-27

Hunt C:                 April 28-May 4

Hunt D:                 May 5-11

Hunt E:                 May 12-18

Hunt F:                 May 19-31

Stream trout fishing opens statewide on April 17

Anglers have a new StreamFinder tool to find places to fish
and a webinar to learn tips

Minnesota’s popular warm weather stream trout season opens Saturday, April 17, with quality fishing opportunities in every region of the state. Brook trout and splake fishing also open April 17 on Lake Superior and its tributary streams.

“Minnesota has some excellent trout fishing and anglers help pay for trout habitat and access improvements with their fishing licenses and trout stamps,” said Benji Kohn, volunteer mentor program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “If you haven’t given trout fishing a try, it can be a relaxing, challenging and exciting way to fish. And you don’t need a boat to fish for trout.”

Whether you’re new to the sport or an experienced trout angler, the DNR has new information on Minnesota’s trout streams and lakes available on its website. Modeled after the DNR’s popular LakeFinder tool, StreamFinder provides anglers with a description, species list, regulations and access information for trout streams throughout Minnesota. Anglers also will find helpful learning guides and fishing tips tailored to each of Minnesota's six trout fishing regions.

Anyone interested in learning the basics of fly fishing, including tools to help find a fishing spot, can join the DNR’s free webinar at noon on Wednesday, April 14. The webinar is part of the new Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series from the DNR and features brief, relevant information on skills and upcoming events. Registration and more information are available online.

Minnesota has roughly 3,800 miles of designated trout streams. The southeastern part of the state has a wide variety of streams and fishing opportunities — everything from big waters with fly or bait casting, to tiny streams that require an angler to crawl through brush to access. In other areas of the state, anglers can find trout fishing excitement on Lake Superior or its tributaries, and in northwestern Minnesota on the Straight River or Kabekona Creek.

Anglers fishing on designated trout waters must have a trout stamp validation in addition to an angling license. Complete trout season details are available at mndnr.gov/fishing.

DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management.

Minnesota DNR announces temporary, seasonal fishing closures

To protect spawning fish, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has begun to close certain portions of some Minnesota waters. The closings are routine and based on local conditions.

Closings occur each year as ice-out begins and waters begin to warm. The DNR closes the spawning locations to fishing only where habitat is limited and fish are very concentrated in one location, such as a river or the bay of a lake where fish congregate during spawning.

Areas closed to fishing are listed and updated on the DNR website. Portions of waters closed to fishing also are posted at access sites and in other visible areas. Anglers may fish in areas that are not posted.

Boaters: renew your watercraft registration early, use online renewal

Boaters, remember to give yourself enough time to renew your watercraft registration if it has expired. As a result of COVID-19 and an increase in requests, the DNR License Center currently is requiring up to nine weeks to process mail-in boat registration renewals. Additional staff have been pulled in to help with the backlog.

To avoid the wait, the DNR is encouraging boaters to renew boat registrations online or at a local deputy registrar’s office, rather than by mail. If you renew online, you can print out the confirmation page as your temporary permit. You also may write down your temporary authorization number from the confirmation page.

Your registration card and expiration decals will then be mailed to you. To renew online visit the DNR website and click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts. To renew in person, visit a deputy registrar.  Deputy registrar locations are available on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.

Anglers: Remember to check for new sunfish regulations
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds sunfish anglers to closely check the 2021 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet and signs at water accesses for new sunfish limits that are in effect on 94 waters. The new regulations went into effect March 1. Lower limits on specific waters are part of an initiative to protect and improve sunfish sizes. These changes are in response to angler-driven concerns over the declining sizes of sunfish in Minnesota.

Minnesota fishing regulations use sunfish as the generic name for bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, orange-spotted sunfish, longear, warmouth and their hybrids. More about sunfish biology and the Quality Sunfish Initiative is available on the DNR website.

DNR invites public comments on FireFrost ATV Trail proposal

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites public review and written comments on a proposal by Norman County to obtain grant-in-aid funding for an all-terrain vehicle trail. Grant-in-aid is a cost-share program that relies on partnership between the DNR, a local government sponsor and an off-highway vehicle organization to facilitate trail development and maintenance.

The proposed FireFrost ATV Trail would consist of approximately 24.9 miles of trail within Norman and Polk counties, connecting the towns of Perley and Nielsville. The route would follow an abandoned railroad bed. In addition to ATV use, the trail would be open to off-highway motorcycles, snowmobiles and non-motorized users such as walkers, bicyclists and equestrians.

The DNR will accept written comments about the trail proposal until 4:30 p.m. on May 12. Comments may be submitted via email to allen.larsen@state.mn.us or by mail to Allen Larson, area supervisor, Parks and Trails Division, Minnesota DNR, 48990 County Road 4, Roseau, MN 56751.

A map of the proposed trail segments can be found at online.  

For more information, contact Allen Larsen, 218-425-7504.


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