Vern Wagner Logo


Vern Wagner

Minneapolis, Minn.

Rally at the Capitol featuring Al Lindner on Monday

You’re invited! Hunters, Fishermen & Women, Conservationists and friends of the Outdoors will be gathering at the State Capitol Rotunda Monday April 23rd at 10:30 a.m. to support a Hunting and Fishing License increase. Al Lindner, renowned angler, fishing tackle innovator and sportsman's television and radio personality, will be the fearured speaker.

It is not often that folks gather together and demand to pay more for fishing and hunting licenses. But this is actually what Minnesota's Hook and Bullet community wants to do. WHY?

The answer is simple, license fees have not increased in over 12 years and the Game & Fish fund will be running on empty by 2013. So the time to act is now. The DNR has been belt tightening for many years due to budget cuts and rising inflation. There is no room to make any more notches in their belt, without a fee increase they will need a tourniquet to survive the pending cuts.

 Add your voice to the call for State Legislators to approve hunting and angling fee increases that will preserve recreational opportunities and provide funding to fight invasive species.  “This is a user- pay initiative, not a distributed tax, which has full support from Minnesota’s outdoor and environmental groups” said Lance Ness, President - Anglers for Habitat. “Hunters and anglers attitudes haven’t changed. We remain willing to pay our way for quality hunting, fishing and conservation efforts. ”Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund is in dire straits. Fisheries, wildlife, and enforcement programs have been cut to the bone, and now core programs and services are threatened. Many anglers and hunters mistakenly believe that legacy, RIM and lottery funding can be used to replace Game and Fish Fund dollars in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ budget. “A license fee increases equal to the cost of two dozen jumbo leeches or the sighting in of a deer rifle are affordable for everyone who hunts or fishes,” said Jim Lilienthal, former DNR Fisheries staff and Board Member AFH.  Surveys and research from current and past license holders found that customers are willing to pay for the license privilege, and license cost is not a deterrent to youth participation in hunting or fishing. Individuals and groups need to contact their local representatives and senators and demand support and passage of these USER FEES now.  “Call, email or write your local legislators FIRST, and plan to attend the rally if we don’t get action on the license fee increases and adequate funding for AIS management programs,” said Ness. Asian Carp and other AIS threaten our Minnesota outdoor heritage; the problem is real and action is needed. It isn’t true, as many believe that it doesn’t matter if we do anything because they are coming anyway.  “We need to slow them down in the short term in order to buy time for research and management to control or eradicate them in the long term,” Ness said.  The steps and costs being taken to control the spread of Zebra Mussels are necessary to protect Minnesota’s lakes and watersheds.  Support needs to come from more than just Lake Associations and Environmental Groups. "We as Minnesotans need to join together and make our voice known.  Minnesota needs to develop an adequate long-term funding source for AIS projects and research that doesn’t affect funding of current fish and wildlife management responsibilities. WE NEED FOLKS TO STEP FORWARD NOW.”

While HF 2171 was tabled this week by a Senate vote, there is still time to make it happen.

Come and Rally with us! Bring a sign, make a statement!

“Don’t move a Mussel”  “Fee Fie Foe Fum No Fee Increase Would Be "REEL" Dumb!”

 Vern Wagner, VP

Anglers for Habitat


Dear Governor Dayton: Stop the Asian Carp

The following letter was recently sent to Governor Mark Dayton by a Coalition of Leaders, Directors, Members, Anglers and Conservationists, Outdoors and Environmental groups. We ask that you join us in calling for State and Federal action.

Governor Mark Dayton
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155

Dear Governor Dayton:
On behalf of the undersigned organizations and our hundreds of thousands of members and supporters in Minnesota and nationwide, we thank you for your continued leadership in addressing the threat of Asian carp. We strongly encourage you to develop and implement strong and immediate actions designed to stop Asian carp from advancing northward in Minnesota.
As you know, Asian carp are known to batter boaters and even knock them into the water at the sound of a passing motor. They are voracious filter feeders that can grow to more than 4 feet long, weigh up to 100 pounds and quickly dominate a body of water by gobbling up the same food that sustains native fish populations. As these jumping, jumbo-sized fish travel up the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers northward into Minnesota’s waters, we are in an emergency situation and immediate actions are necessary.
In early December, the locks on the Upper Mississippi River closed for the winter months. This routine winter closure provides a clear opportunity to stop Asian carp from advancing further north into Minnesota’s waters. We strongly recommend that you capitalize on this winter closing by developing and implementing effective plans to block Asian carp at Lock and Dam Nos. 1, 2 and Upper St. Anthony Falls before the 2012 navigation season commences. In addition, we urge you to support reducing lock use combined with deterrent technologies that would reduce the risk of Asian carp spreading further north.
Specifically, our coalition recommends:
1) Stop the spread of Asian carp upstream from Lock #1
a. Immediately install deterrent technologies and combine with modified lock operations before 2012 navigation season commences;
b. Secure Congressional authorization and direction for the emergency, temporary closure of Lock #1 and the Upper St. Anthony Locks by September 2012;
c. Restore the historic permanent fish barrier at the St. Anthony Falls Upper Lock by September 2014.
2) Slow Asian carp passage above Lock #19 at Keokuk, Iowa
a. Convene a multi-state task force to coordinate a regional and federal response to the spread of Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species in the Upper Midwest by February 2012;
b. Install deterrent technologies at Lock #19 and combine with modified lock operations before 2012 navigation season commences;
c. Install redundant deterrents at strategic locations in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin by October 2012.
3) Control established Asian carp populations upstream of Lock #19
a. Continue to monitor for Asian carp eDNA and live fish in the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix Rivers;
b. Research and implement safe methods for eradication Asian carp from Minnesota’s water (identify recommended strategies by April 2012).
We strongly believe now is the time to act. Minnesota sportsmen and women and private property owners need your support. You are our champion for protecting Minnesota’s vast wildlife resources and quality of life. But without immediate efforts to stop Asian carp, Minnesota could lose its multi-billion dollar statewide annual fishing, water recreation, and tourism industries - which make our state so unique – and see two of our water-based national park units threatened. We ask you to use your leadership to support the actions outlined above to stop Asian carp from jeopardizing Minnesota’s waters. Our combined thousands of members and supporters, as well as the entire sportsmen and women conservation community and private property owners in Minnesota depends on your leadership to lead the way in taking immediate action on Asian carp.


We look forward to working with you and respectfully request a meeting to discuss these issues with you in more detail as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your consideration of our recommendations.


Leaders, Directors, Members, Anglers, of the following organizations.

Minnesota Conservation Federation, Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners, Minnesota Trout Unlimited, Minnesota Division of Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations, Mississippi River Fund, Minnesota Waters, National Parks Conservation Association, National Wildlife Federation, New Ulm Area Sport Fisherman, Anglers for Habitat, Audubon Minnesota,  Fish & Wildlife Legislative Alliance, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy