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Open houses on southeastern Minnesota trout streams scheduled

Fri, Mar 12th, 2010
Posted in The Great Outdoors

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold six open houses in March and April to update the public on accomplishments and goals for management of trout streams in southeastern Minnesota.

Fed by the cold water of natural springs, the valleys of southeastern Minnesota are an angler's paradise, with more than 700 miles of trout streams. Ecologically sensitive, and popular with anglers from around the Upper Midwest, these streams require special attention to assure that they remain healthy and productive.

In 2003, the DNR worked with anglers and other interests to develop a 12-year strategic plan and a six-year management plan to maintain the recreational and biological values of these coldwater resources. Now, at the midpoint of that 12-year period, the DNR is reporting on its progress and fine-tuning plans for the next six years.

The DNR's 2004-2009 management plan for southeast trout streams included four major goals related to angling opportunities, habitat improvement, research and monitoring, and public information. Accomplishments for this period include:

• added 20.26 miles of angling easements on 20 streams.

• reintroduced native brook trout in 17 streams.

• implemented tiered trout fishing regulations to increase angling opportunities.

• assessed fish populations in 68 streams.

• published 68-page booklet highlighting angling opportunities.

• intensified long-term monitoring program to better evaluate factors influencing annual variability of trout populations.

While retaining the four major goals of the earlier plan, DNR fisheries staff has identified a number of opportunities for further improvements in their management of southeast Minnesota's unique coldwater resources for the next few years, including:

• increase angling opportunities.

• accelerate acquisition of angling easements.

• explore simplification of angling regulations.

• secure new funding for habitat improvement.

• enhance research and monitoring efforts.

• augment information on DNR Web site.

Public information meetings on recent accomplishments and proposed plans will be held from 7 -9 p.m., with formal presentations at 7:45 p.m., on:

• Tuesday, March 16, at the DNR Central Office cafeteria, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul;

• Tuesday, March 23, at the University Rochester/Heinz Center, 851 30th Ave SE, Room HA 102, Rochester;

• Thursday March 25, at the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center, 28097 Goodview Drive, Lanesboro;

• Monday, March 29, at the Frontenac Sportsman's Community Center, Co. Rd. 2 and Territorial Road, Frontenac;

• Monday, April 5, at Elks Lodge 327, 4540 Service Drive, Winona; and

• Thursday, April 15, at the Four Seasons Community Center, 900 N. Kingston St., Caledonia;

Copies of the draft management plan can be found on the DNR Web site at www.mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries/lanesboro/index.html

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