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DNR officials seek public comment on special regulations

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DNR officials seek public comment on special regulations
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Reviews of existing or newly proposed experimental fishing regulations on Minnesota waters will be the subject of 11 open house public meetings being conducted across the state in the coming weeks by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

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The meetings will focus on special regulations for sunfish, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye and trout in 20 lakes and connecting waters, as well as one stream. Notable among the meetings are reviews of walleye regulations on Lake Vermilion and the Kabetogama/Namakan Reservoir.

Also up for discussion are the current walleye regulation on big Sand in Hubbard County, all the regulations on Lester Lake near Laporte, the bass regulation on Hovde Lake in Cass County and a proposed new panfish regulation on Dixon, Sand, Cut Foot Sioux and other lakes in Itasca County.

The goal of experimental regulations on individual waters is to produce a quality fish population that can sustain increasing angling pressure and improved angler efficiency. During the past 25 years, fisheries managers have monitored a variety of regulations across Minnesota.

"Much has been learned from our efforts to improve fish populations with length and bag limits," said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries program consultant. "If experimental regulations are successful, then regulations can be replicated on similar waters where fisheries managers and anglers agree they would help improve or maintain quality fishing."

Experimental regulations are in effect for a specific period of time, typically 10 years. Before the regulation ends, fish managers must evaluate the regulation and then gather input from public meetings to help determine whether to extend, modify or drop the existing experimental regulations.

"Fisheries managers welcome the opportunity to hear opinions from anglers," Stevens said. "Public participation is critical in determining whether proposed and existing regulations are meeting angler expectations."

Waters that will be evaluated this year were posted at public access points this spring. For more information about a specific meeting, contact your local DNR fisheries offices.

Written or verbal comments also will be accepted at local fisheries offices up to 10 days following a local meeting.

Among the area open houses are:

E Cass County: Hovde Lake (review existing regulation on bass) from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Walker Area Community Center Library Room, 105 Tower Ave., in Walker.

E Hubbard County: Big Sand (review existing regulation on walleye) from 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Northwoods Bank Community Meeting Room, 1200 E 1 St, in Park Rapids;

E Lester Lake (review existing regulation on all species) from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Laporte public school commons area, 315 Main St. West, in Laporte.

E Itasca County: Dixon, Sand and connected waters (near Max), Cut Foot Sioux and Little Cutfoot, Splithand, Little Splithand, Blackwater, Jay Gould and Little Jay Gould, (review new proposals for panfish) from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Training Room at the Interagency Fire center, 402 11th St. SE, in Grand Rapids;

A second meeting concerning the same regulations will be from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Sand Lake Community Center, which is located on County Road 4 about four miles west of Spring Lake.

Reviews of existing or newly proposed experimental fishing regulations on Minnesota waters will be the subject of 11 open house public meetings being conducted across the state in the coming weeks by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The meetings will focus on special regulations for sunfish, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye and trout in 20 lakes and connecting waters, as well as one stream. Notable among the meetings are reviews of walleye regulations on Lake Vermilion and the Kabetogama/Namakan Reservoir.

Also up for discussion are the current walleye regulation on big Sand in Hubbard County, all the regulations on Lester Lake near Laporte, the bass regulation on Hovde Lake in Cass County and a proposed new panfish regulation on Dixon, Sand, Cut Foot Sioux and other lakes in Itasca County.

The goal of experimental regulations on individual waters is to produce a quality fish population that can sustain increasing angling pressure and improved angler efficiency. During the past 25 years, fisheries managers have monitored a variety of regulations across Minnesota.

"Much has been learned from our efforts to improve fish populations with length and bag limits," said Al Stevens, DNR fisheries program consultant. "If experimental regulations are successful, then regulations can be replicated on similar waters where fisheries managers and anglers agree they would help improve or maintain quality fishing."

Experimental regulations are in effect for a specific period of time, typically 10 years. Before the regulation ends, fish managers must evaluate the regulation and then gather input from public meetings to help determine whether to extend, modify or drop the existing experimental regulations.

"Fisheries managers welcome the opportunity to hear opinions from anglers," Stevens said. "Public participation is critical in determining whether proposed and existing regulations are meeting angler expectations."

Waters that will be evaluated this year were posted at public access points this spring. For more information about a specific meeting, contact your local DNR fisheries offices.

Written or verbal comments also will be accepted at local fisheries offices up to 10 days following a local meeting.

Among the area open houses are:

- Cass County: Hovde Lake (review existing regulation on bass) from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Walker Area Community Center Library Room, 105 Tower Ave., in Walker.

- Hubbard County: Big Sand (review existing regulation on walleye) from 7-9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Northwoods Bank Community Meeting Room, 1200 E 1 St, in Park Rapids;

- Lester Lake (review existing regulation on all species) from 7-9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Laporte public school commons area, 315 Main St. West, in Laporte.

- Itasca County: Dixon, Sand and connected waters (near Max), Cut Foot Sioux and Little Cutfoot, Splithand, Little Splithand, Blackwater, Jay Gould and Little Jay Gould, (review new proposals for panfish) from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Training Room at the Interagency Fire center, 402 11th St. SE, in Grand Rapids;

A second meeting concerning the same regulations will be from 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Sand Lake Community Center, which is located on County Road 4 about four miles west of Spring Lake.

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Pioneer staff reports
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