Almanac: More boaters cited for invasive species violations

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 9, 2012 - 7:29 PM

Despite heavy publicity, more enforcement and threats of stiffer fines, the percentage of Minnesota boaters violating aquatic invasive species laws this spring has increased over last year.

Conservation officers have checked 7,957 boaters so far this spring and have written 193 criminal citations, 463 civil citations and 975 warnings for aquatic invasive species violations.

That's a 20.4 percent noncompliance rate. Last year, officers reported an 18 percent noncompliance rate.

"It's discouraging, and it surprises me,'' said Phil Meier of the Department of Natural Resources enforcement division.

The laws are intended to stop the spread of zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, Asian carp and other invaders, and the state has intensified its enforcement efforts this spring. But many boaters apparently are forgetting or ignoring requirements to drain bilges and livewells, transport boats without drain plugs and clean weeds off trailers.

"I think most of them are aware of it, it's just not built into their routine yet,'' Meier said.

Fines for violators double beginning July 1, and the DNR plans to begin random roadside stops soon to check for invasive species violations.

Turkey harvest results

Minnesota's spring turkey harvest was up, but the number of hunting licenses sold was down 7 percent -- a puzzling trend considering the good hunting forecast.

Hunters bagged 11,324, the third-highest harvest on record and a 12 percent increase over last year. Though good, it was below the record 13,468 birds killed in 2010 or the 12,392 taken in 2009.

The DNR sold 42,563 licenses this spring, down from 45,923 last year and 52,169 in 2010.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's spring turkey harvest of 42,612 is a 6 percent increase from last year. License sales of 201,984 were down 4 percent from last year.

DNR job changes

As DNR invasive species supervisor for the past five years, Luke Skinner has been at the forefront of the state's battle to slow the spread of zebra mussels, Asian carp and other foreign critters. Now Skinner, a 22-year DNR veteran, has been promoted to deputy director of Parks and Trails. It's a temporary move, but those job shifts often become permanent. Skinner is taking the position held by Forrest Boe, who was promoted to forestry director last winter. Ann Pierce, an ecologist in the invasive species unit, has assumed Skinner's old job.

Did you know?

• Minnesota has sold 530,562 fishing licenses, up more than 57,000 -- or 12 percent -- from the same period last year. Sales also are 11,000 above the 10-year average.

• And then there was the couple caught fishing near Pequot Lakes with husband-wife combination licenses -- even through they had been divorced for nine years. "When asked why ... they responded that although they didn't get along well enough to stay married, they did get along well enough to continue to fish together,'' reported conservation officer Tim Collette, who cited the ex-husband and seized the licenses.

• Conservation officer Mark Fredin of Aurora received a call of an extremely aggressive doe that came into a yard and attacked a black Lab. The reason, he reported, was the doe's newborn fawn was nearby in the woods.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

LA Angels - LP: C. Rasmus 6 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: R. Webb 7
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: T. Bauer 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 11 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 4
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 3
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 0
Milwaukee - LP: W. Smith 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 5
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 4 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Leake 3
Colorado 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
NY Yankees 12 Top 9th Inning
Texas 9
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 2 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
Oakland - WP: E. Scribner 7 FINAL
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 4
Atlanta 3 Bottom 3rd Inning
Los Angeles 2
St. Louis 0 Top 5th Inning
San Diego 1
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 5th Inning
San Francisco 1
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Connecticut 80 FINAL
Atlanta 89
Washington 76 FINAL
New York 80
Chicago 74 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Seattle 74 FINAL
Tulsa 80
Los Angeles 51 4th Qtr
Phoenix 66
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close