DNR Fish and Wildlife Almanac

May 5, 2020

Leave deer fawns alone, urges DNR 

Deer fawns are being born this time of year and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks that people avoid disturbing or touching them. Most fawns are born in mid-May to mid-June, and fawns do not attempt to evade predators during their first few weeks of life. Instead, they remain still to avoid being seen. During these times, fawns are learning critical survival skills from their mothers but are often left on their own while their mothers are foraging nearby. Be assured deer fawns do fine even if they look abandoned or fragile. For more information about what to do if you find fawns or other species of baby wild animals, visit the DNR website.

Regional fishing reports available from DNR in preparation for opener

Anglers looking for local information before the Saturday, May 9 fishing opener for walleye, bass, northern pike and trout in lakes can gain local knowledge from regional fishing reports by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The regional fishing reports include details about waters throughout each region, and can be found on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/fishing by clicking on “Fishing outlooks by region.” They are available Monday, May 4.

Reminder: Mississippi River border waters fishing regulations changed in March 

Anglers on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters of the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin should be aware of new possession and length limits for a variety of fish in place since March. The regulation changes represented the first comprehensive update of regulations on the Mississippi River border waters in nearly 70 years. These and the rest of the 2020 Minnesota fishing regulations are available on the DNR website.

Removing lake plants could require a permit

Lakeshore property owners are reminded that a permit may be required to remove aquatic plants, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Aquatic plants provide food and shelter for fish, ducks and other wildlife. They also stabilize the lake bottom, which helps maintain water clarity, and protect shorelines from erosion by absorbing energy from waves and ice.

Additionally, the DNR frequently receives questions about devices that generate water current to blast muck and plants away. They have various trade names, but the DNR refers to these devices generically as hydraulic jets. Even though you can buy one, they cannot be used in any way that disturbs the bottom of the lake or uproots plants.

Specific regulations govern what situations require permits for aquatic plant removal. Regulations and a guide to aquatic plants can be found on the DNR website. To apply for a permit, visit the DNR’s permitting and reporting system.

DNR posts routine, seasonal fishing closures

As in previous years, to protect spawning fish, the Department of Natural Resources has begun to close certain portions of some Minnesota waters to fishing. These closings are routine and based on local conditions. Closings occur each year as ice-out begins and waters begin to warm.

The DNR closes 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 are congregated during spawning. Areas closed to fishing are listed and updated on the DNR website.