News release: Fish and Wildlife Almanac, May 20

May 20, 2024

Bass fishing a highlight of spring

The bass fishing catch-and-keep season opens Saturday, May 25, and spring is a great time to cast a line for these fun-to-catch fish. Largemouth and smallmouth bass can be easier to catch in spring and early summer when they spend more time in shallow water. Later, as water temperatures rise, many bass move to deeper water in search of sunken points, rocky humps and aquatic plant edges that offer protection from larger fish and hiding places for prey. Learn more about how to fish for bass and other species at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s learn to fish webpage.

DNR cautions lake and river property owners about improper use of hydraulic jets

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources frequently receives questions about devices that generate water current to blast muck and aquatic plants away. They have various trade names, but the DNR refers to these devices generically as hydraulic jets. Even though they can be purchased in Minnesota, they cannot be used in any way that disturbs the bottom of a waterbody or uproots plants.

A person may legally operate a hydraulic jet if it is placed at the surface of the water in such a way that it does not disturb the bottom or destroy rooted aquatic plants. It should be directed slightly upward toward the water’s surface. This can prevent dead vegetation and duckweed from collecting around docks and boat lifts.

“We want people to know why it’s important to protect aquatic plants,” said Shane McBride, DNR aquatic plant management consultant. “Plants are important to lakes and rivers because they help maintain water clarity, prevent erosion, stabilize the bottom of the waterbody, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. Aquatic plants are protected under state law.”

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

Minnesota Twins offer special edition hats with DNR ticket package

Anyone with a 2024 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can access a ticket package with the Minnesota Twins this season that includes a special edition blaze orange wool-blend Twins cap with a ticket purchase.

The Minnesota DNR Days partnership includes seven games this year, with the next one coming up Friday, May 24 vs. Texas Rangers. Find more game times and instructions for purchasing tickets on the Minnesota DNR Days webpage.

Minnesota DNR webinars focus on invasive earthworms, hiking the Superior Hiking Trail

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites people interested in wildlife and outdoor skills to check out the spring program schedule for the Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series.

In a webinar on Wednesday, May 22, Laura Van Riper, DNR terrestrial invasive species program coordinator, will discuss effects of invasive earthworms and provide more detail on jumping worms, including how to identify them, known current distribution, and research and regulatory updates. Also, participants will learn about actions people can take to prevent and report jumping worms and other invasive earthworm species.

In a webinar on Wednesday, May 29, join Lisa Luokkala, Superior Hiking Trail Association’s executive director, to learn the best first steps in planning a visit to Minnesota’s premier footpath. Luokkala will cover guides and maps that are available, basic information about features such as campsites and trailheads, trail history and other guidance to help plan a trail adventure.

The Minnesota Outdoor Skills and Stewardship Series webinars are free and offered year-round, though registration is required. Visit the Outdoor Skills and Stewardship webpage of the Minnesota DNR website for the registration portal, more information about upcoming webinars and recordings of past webinars.

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