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

New England 14 3rd Qtr 8:00
Seattle 17
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
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