News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, May 8

May 8, 2023

Minnesota moms: join the Mother’s Day weekend fishing challenge

Moms who live in Minnesota are invited to join a free virtual fishing challenge Saturday, May 13, through Sunday, May 14, during Take a Mom Fishing Weekend, when all Minnesota moms can fish without purchasing a fishing license.

To participate in the Mother’s Day weekend fishing challenge, moms simply need to join the Minnesota Moms Fishing Challenge Facebook group and submit one photo of each fish they catch. All participants who submit a fish will be entered in a random drawing for prizes provided by the Student Anglers Organization, including SCHEELS gift cards. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is partnering with the Student Anglers Organization to organize the challenge.

Contest details are available on the Student Anglers Association website. In the contest, no fish is too small and all fish species count.

The Minnesota State Legislature established Take a Mom Fishing Weekend in 1988 to coincide with Mother’s Day. This year, the weekend also happens during fishing opener — seasons begin Saturday, May 13, for walleye, northern pike, bass, and trout in lakes.

To celebrate the fishing season, the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener event is taking place May 12-14 in Mankato. During the event on May 13, several anglers with the Student Anglers Organization will be fishing with their moms on Madison Lake, and the moms will be taking part in the Minnesota Moms Fishing Challenge.

Get your fishing questions answered on DNR fishing webpage

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has a fishing page to help answer angler questions. The page answers questions like:

  • What species can I fish for?
  • What kind of bait is legal?
  • What kind of fish can I keep?

The page also is a mobile-friendly destination for information on when, where and how to fish. Users can find links to LakeFinder, which provides maps and detailed information on lakes throughout the state, and the new StreamFinder tool that provides a description, species list, regulations and access information for trout streams throughout Minnesota. The DNR fishing page also includes an online version of Minnesota fishing regulations, plus an online version of the 2023 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet, which is also available in print anywhere DNR licenses are sold.

DNR urges people to leave deer fawns alone

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources asks that people avoid disturbing or touching deer fawns, which are born around this time of year.

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 forage watchfully nearby.

Be assured deer fawns are likely fine even if they look abandoned or fragile. Even if the fawn is known to be wounded or abandoned due to car strike or animal attack, do not transport it without talking to a wildlife rehabilitator. For more information about what to do when people find fawns or other species of young wild animals, visit the DNR website.

DNR seeks public input on Mille Lacs WMA master plan update

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in the Mille Lacs Wildlife Management Area to participate in a webinar and help inform the DNR’s updates to the WMA’s master plan.

The webinar will be held 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9. DNR staff will present a brief overview of the WMA and the planning process, answer questions and take feedback during the session. Registration is not required. A link to join the webinar is available on the DNR’s Mille Lacs WMA webpage.

Mille Lacs WMA’s 43,000 acres provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species. The updated master plan will be used to guide management of the WMA’s forests, wetlands, and brushlands. It will include management goals, objectives and strategies for the WMA for the next 10 years.

Input from the upcoming webinar will help the DNR develop a draft management plan for Mille Lacs WMA. The draft plan will be available for public review and input in early fall. At that time, people will be able to comment on the draft plan in person, online and via mail/email. The DNR will finalize the plan by Dec. 31.

DNR webinars cover catching walleye on opening weekend, and keeping young wildlife wild

The DNR invites people interested in fishing, wildlife and outdoor skills to tune in to upcoming webinars that feature discussions about catching walleye on opening weekend and what to do if people encounter young wildlife in the spring.

The first webinar is Wednesday, May 10. Join DNR fisheries staff and walleye fishing experts for a discussion on what to expect for the upcoming fishing opener and tips on how to catch early season walleye. The discussion will focus on southern Minnesota ahead of the 2023 Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener, which is in Mankato. The inland water walleye season opens Saturday, May 13.

The second webinar is Wednesday, May 17. People tend to encounter young wildlife in the springtime. Heidi Cyr, nongame wildlife permit coordinator for wildlife rehabilitators, will discuss how wild animals rear their young, and the best actions people can take to help keep wildlife wild.

The webinars are part of the DNR’s Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series. The webinars are free, but registration is required. More information is available on the outdoor skills and stewardship page of the DNR website.

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