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DNR expands winter trout fishing in SE Minnesota


Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By David Schueller

DNR Information Officer

Fly fishing guide Dan Michener walked to a partially snow-covered riverbank in Whitewater State Park. He cast a tiny nymph into the water several times then let it drift through deeper pools, hoping to entice a trout to bite.

Although Michener bought his first fly rod in 1967 and is no stranger to winter trout fishing, this season is bringing him some firsts. For the first time, starting on Thursday, Jan. 1, streams in an eight-county area in southeastern Minnesota will open to catch-and-release trout fishing. In the past, winter fishing in the area was limited to only a few designated streams. And for the first time, trout fishing in southeastern Minnesota state parks is open all year.

“This is a new era for winter fishing,” Michener said.

Fishing for trout in winter weather adds some unique challenges. Anglers use tackle generally designed for finesse during a season when cold and bulky clothing seem to bedevil attempts at graceful movement. Fingers stiffen up. Ice seeks to clog line guides and can foul up fly line, making casting difficult. Because of the cold, outings usually are limited to a couple hours or so.

But all that isn’t stopping Michener, who has reached fishing spots in snowshoes, during blizzards and in the cold. He had good luck in the cold last winter on a designated trout stream nearby.

“It was three degrees. I was in Lanesboro last year and I had really good fishing,” Michener said.

Winter weather also is not appearing to stop the numerous anglers interested in winter fly fishing who have been calling the Whitewater park office and the area fisheries office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources with questions.

“Most have never fished in winter,” said Vaughn Snook, assistant area fisheries supervisor in Lanesboro, who’s worked since 2009 to help expand southeastern Minnesota trout fishing opportunities. He receives phone calls on a regular basis. “They want to know what fly patterns to use or where to go.”

The new regulations that went into effect this year make trout fishing in the southeast more accessible. In the eight southeastern Minnesota counties included in the new regulations – they are Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties – anglers get a catch-and-release season that run .....
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DNR awards $5.7 million in habitat grants to conservation groups

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Department of Natural Resources has awarded 46 conservation grants to various organizations and entities for restoring, enhancing and protecting habitat in Minnesota. This latest round of habitat funding comes from the agency’s Conservation ..... 
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Drive safely this snowmobile season

Mon, Dec 29th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

As another snowmobile season gets underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages snowmobilers to get this season off to a smooth, safe start. Snowmobile trails in Minnesota opened Dec. 1. Minnesota residents born after Dec. 3 ..... 
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Spring wild turkey hunters can apply for permits starting today

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

People can apply for early season spring wild turkey hunting permits now through Friday, Jan. 9, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The spring season, which runs from April 15 to May 28, is divided into eight time periods ..... 
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LSOHC Grant awarded to National Trout Center

Mon, Dec 22nd, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Committee announced recently that a grant of approximately $400,000 has been awarded to Trout Unlimited of Minnesota for stream rehabilitation and improvement on the South Branch of the Root River within the City li ..... 
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Harmony EDA hopes to extend bike trail to Iowa

Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

The Harmony EDA (Economic Development Authority) requested support from the city at the council meeting on December 9. Vicky Tribon explained the EDA’s goal of extending the Harmony-Preston bike trail from Harmony toward Niagara Cave and to the ..... 
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Drive safely this snowmobile season

Mon, Dec 15th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

As another snowmobile season gets underway, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages snowmobilers to get this season off to a smooth, safe start. Snowmobile trails in Minnesota opened Dec. 1. Minnesota residents born after Dec. 3 ..... 
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Deer Creek Speedway offers 2014 ticket holders same price for 2015 World of Outlaws tickets for limited time

Mon, Dec 8th, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley The Great Outdoors

Spring Valley, MN — December 3, 2014 — Fans who held reserved tickets for this past season’s Asgrow/DEKALB Clash at the Creek that featured the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minnesota, will hav ..... 
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Minnesota snowmobile season and weekly trail reports begin

Mon, Dec 8th, 2014
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Snowmobilers can legally ride any of the more than 22,000 miles of Minnesota’s state and grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, from Dec. 1 through the end of March, according to the Department of Natural Resources. “Although many trails do not yet ..... 
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