Bills would keep parks, fishing license system open in a shutdown

  • Updated: February 21, 2012 - 11:00 PM

Remember last summer when a 21-day state government shutdown meant anglers couldn't buy fishing licenses, and campers couldn't get into state parks?

Bills at the Legislature would force state parks to remain open, and fishing and hunting licenses to be sold through the Department of Natural Resources electronic licensing system -- even if the government shuts down again.

The bills give authority to the commissioner of management and budget to tap funding to pay to keep those areas open.

"My main concern is, why are we talking about making a government shutdown easier?" said Bob Meier, Department of Natural Resources assistant commissioner. "Why aren't we talking about making it so we don't have shutdowns?"

Fishing for ducks

About 3,100 anglers enjoyed balmy weather Saturday to fish in the annual Ducks Unlimited Fishing for Ducks ice fishing contest at Lake Mille Lacs. Pete Brandt of Northfield caught the biggest fish, a 2.95-pound eelpout.

Brandt took home $17,000 cash in lieu of a new pickup truck, the top prize. Organizers raised almost $100,000 for Ducks Unlimited. The ice was 22 inches thick in Garrison Bay.

Did you know?

• Anglers were reporting less success last week fishing on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake.

•Walleye and sauger fishing continues strong on the Minnesota River near New Ulm, and anglers are catching crappies in the backwaters.

• Ice conditions are very poor in the Willmar area, with open water on a lot of lakes.

• And ice conditions are deteriorating abnormally early on the St. Louis River and harbor area of Duluth, and anglers are being advised to use extreme caution.

DOUG SMITH

 

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