Staff Directory 10645191

Tony Kennedy

Reporter | Outdoors
phone: 612-673-4213
Tony Kennedy covers the outdoors for the Star Tribune. Previously he had been an investigative reporter since 2002, starting with a probe of the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone. His work includes a 2012 collection of stories on executive compensation at the University of Minnesota; a four-part series on judicial penalties against BNSF Corp.; and an examination of factors leading to the collapse of the I-35W Bridge.
Recent content from Tony Kennedy
Game warden shortage leaving large areas of Minnesota unpatrolled

Game warden shortage leaving large areas of Minnesota unpatrolled

With 23 openings expected by May, the DNR is seeking a $2.78 million budget hike from the Legislature to fill jobs.

National alliance calls for a review of Minnesota's handling of deer farms

Alliance questions animal health board's priorities.
Expect another catch-and-release walleye season on Mille Lacs

Expect another catch-and-release walleye season on Mille Lacs

The DNR has yet to publish regulations for the coming open-water season. But the DNR's Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee was told last week to expect a second catch-and-release season.

Field report: Winter walleye season coming to sloppy end

Anglers and resorters are pulling back from an ice season that never produced the wild bite that has taken place in recent years
Tensions over deer farming surface in double CWD outbreak

Tensions over deer farming surface in double CWD outbreak

At risk is the state's 1-million-animal deer herd, more than $500 million annually in economic activity tied to deer hunting and the state's legacy of family and friends bonding over whitetails in the fall.
Controversial 'Dr. Deer' stirs the pot in Minnesota's CWD disease zone

Controversial 'Dr. Deer' stirs the pot in Minnesota's CWD disease zone

"Dr. Deer" throws water on DNR, calling CWD overblown and eradication measures excessive.
As demand soars for Canadian fishing trips, bush pilots and lodges flying high

As demand soars for Canadian fishing trips, bush pilots and lodges flying high

At most of Ontario's 450 lodges, fishing trips were up from at least 10 percent to 30 percent last year.
Potential accord reached in feud over ATV trails on Crow Wing land

Potential accord reached in feud over ATV trails on Crow Wing land

Officials credited sudden diplomacy by ATV riders for helping to build compromise.
Beer and fly-tying mix well at angler gatherings in the metro

Beer and fly-tying mix well at angler gatherings in the metro

Gatherings like the one by the St. Paul Fly Tiers at Summit Brewing have become more regular.
Garbage left by ice fisherman becoming bigger problem

Garbage left by ice fisherman becoming bigger problem

For some lakes, such as Lake of the Woods, committees have formed to clean up abandoned garbage

Minnesota to hire federal sharpshoots to shoot more deer in Fillmore County

Lou Cornicelli, the DNR's top big game researcher, said Tuesday the sharpshooters could go to work in the area by the third week in February to help eliminate a vexing outbreak of CWD.

DNR sees wild ginseng as the root of more money

Unlike many other states, Minnesota has never required diggers of wild ginseng to buy a license. That could change.
Walleye over-harvesting a concern on Lake of the Woods

Walleye over-harvesting a concern on Lake of the Woods

Minnesota game wardens have been writing numerous tickets for overharvesting, Conservation Officer Nicholas Prachar said Tuesday.
Quail hunting on the rise ahead of National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic

Quail hunting on the rise ahead of National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic

As the bird population recovers, hunters are returning — a good sign for February's event in Minneapolis.
Minn. deer hunter's death remains 'such a mystery'

Minn. deer hunter's death remains 'such a mystery'

Terry Brisk's loved ones are seeking answers after his death on the opening Monday of deer hunting as authorities vow not to "give up."
A pontoon that expands on the water. Will it fly at the Boat Show?

A pontoon that expands on the water. Will it fly at the Boat Show?

From a backyard workshop in Oakdale comes a pontoon boat that is the standard width of 8.5 feet on a trailer, but when it's on the water it unfolds to 11.5 feet.
Minnesota looks to tighten fishing rules on beloved crappies, sunnies

Minnesota looks to tighten fishing rules on beloved crappies, sunnies

Lower DNR limits would be an unpopular next step.
Minnesota notching up its fight against CWD in wild deer

Minnesota notching up its fight against CWD in wild deer

With two more likely infected deer found, hunt may get bigger.
DNR looking at cut in 60-year daily limit of six walleye

DNR looking at cut in 60-year daily limit of six walleye

Minnesota's standard walleye limit of six fish per license holder could shrink for the first time in 60 years under a review that's in its infancy at the state DNR.
Ice getting nice: Conditions improving for ice fishing

Ice getting nice: Conditions improving for ice fishing

Christmas rain was actually a boost, and hopes are for a long ice fishing season.
Ahead in 2017: Mille Lacs walleye drama, mining watch for BWCA

Ahead in 2017: Mille Lacs walleye drama, mining watch for BWCA

A coalition to protect the BWCA that finally includes hunters and anglers, Minnesota's battles against Chronic Wasting Disease and invasive species, the state's first deer management plan ever and the latest walleye drama from Mille Lacs make up a diverse slate of outdoors stories that bear watching in 2017.
State slaps CWD quarantine on Crow Wing County deer farm

State slaps CWD quarantine on Crow Wing County deer farm

2 animals in the private herd recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease.
Third infected deer discovered in Minnesota's CWD outbreak

Third infected deer discovered in Minnesota's CWD outbreak

The DNR said a hunter killed the infected deer in mid-November about 5 miles north of the two previously reported infected deer, which were killed about 4 miles west of Lanesboro. A taxidermist provided the DNR with a sample for testing, which led to the discovery.
Feds suspect BWCA outfitter of smuggling baitfish out of Canada for cash

Feds suspect BWCA outfitter of smuggling baitfish out of Canada for cash

Three members of a family-operated outfitting business in Ely allegedly netted large quantities of baitfish just inside Canada in apparent violation of the Lacey Act, a century-old anti-trafficking law to protect wildlife.
Southeastern Minnesota deer hunters dreading herd reduction as antidote to CWD

Southeastern Minnesota deer hunters dreading herd reduction as antidote to CWD

The disease's fallout: dread, suspicion and blame.
How ice fishing unites one Minnesota town for the winter

How ice fishing unites one Minnesota town for the winter

Park Rapids' fish house, a heated eight-hole trailer, is in constant demand by all walks of life in the community.
DNR authorizes special hunt to stop chronic wasting disease in SE. Minn.

DNR authorizes special hunt to stop chronic wasting disease in SE. Minn.

Hunt will begin Dec. 31 in area around Preston. People in the 370-square-mile zone will be banned from feeding deer.
Litchfield-based Core Ice rethinks the size, use of icehouses

Litchfield-based Core Ice rethinks the size, use of icehouses

A Litchfield company thinks its lighter, versatile icehouse can gain a big following.

DNR developing response plan to halt spread of CWD

The agency remains focused on creating a response plan to stop the disease in an area where two CWD-positive deer were harvested this fall near Lanesboro.
Whitetail lore lives on in Wisconsin's Buffalo County

Whitetail lore lives on in Wisconsin's Buffalo County

Buffalo County deer grow big because hunters 'Let 'em go' when still young
Buck show-and-tell tradition fades into history in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Buck show-and-tell tradition fades into history in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Electronic registration of deer has upended tradition of buck parades.

Minnesota deer hunters in Wisconsin required to quarter animals this year

Minnesota hunters participating in the 2016 Wisconsin deer season are required for the first time to quarter the animals and not bring home whole carcasses, no matter where in the state they harvest a deer.
High temps turn down deer harvest on opening weekend

High temps turn down deer harvest on opening weekend

A partial review of the state's DNR conservation officer reports supported the notion that deer were somewhat immobilized by the temperatures, which were warm enough to spoil venison in some cases if the meat wasn't iced or refrigerated in a timely manner.
State parks, in bid to lower deer populations, offering special two-day hunts

State parks, in bid to lower deer populations, offering special two-day hunts

State parks lock out regular patrons and use land for two-day foray aimed at shrinking herd.
DNR nearing kickoff for first-ever statewide deer plan

DNR nearing kickoff for first-ever statewide deer plan

The DNR says the public has to get involved to put a relevant, broad, long-term plan together
Repeal of Mille Lacs walleye agreement another wedge on resource management

Repeal of Mille Lacs walleye agreement another wedge on resource management

Abrogation of Mille Lacs walleye agreement another wedge on management issues.
3 Chippewa Indian tribes renew hunting of Minnesota moose

3 Chippewa Indian tribes renew hunting of Minnesota moose

A three-year hunting reprieve for the state's struggling moose population has come to an end with the planned shooting of 38 bulls by three Chippewa tribes in northern Minnesota.
Tentative clean water conservation deal for Minnesota aids birds

Tentative clean water conservation deal for Minnesota aids birds

Called the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, the state-federal partnership is primarily aimed at addressing water quality concerns.
As a pheasant mecca, South Dakota is shrinking

As a pheasant mecca, South Dakota is shrinking

As agriculture chews up South Dakota grassland, bird numbers decline.
Migratory Bird Treaty turns 100

Migratory Bird Treaty turns 100

The U.S. and Canada are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty, the first international accord forged to protect wild birds. It also was among the first to protect any wildlife species.
Pack the shotguns and fishing poles for a Minnesota cast and blast weekend

Pack the shotguns and fishing poles for a Minnesota cast and blast weekend

The fishing was so enjoyable that a planned grouse hunt was skipped.
Duck hunting opener mostly good, according to DNR reports

Duck hunting opener mostly good, according to DNR reports

On Tuesday, the Department of Natural Resources released a roundup of reports from state conservation officers. Viewed collectively, they illustrate a pretty good start to duck hunting in 2016 with exceptions in the southern tier.
Emphasis on prairies, pheasants in this year's Lessard-Sams funding recommendations

Emphasis on prairies, pheasants in this year's Lessard-Sams funding recommendations

About half would aid prairies and wetlands.
Wood Duck Society dwindling, but it still educates

Wood Duck Society dwindling, but it still educates

The group's numbers may be down, but it's still trying to increase bird numbers.
State wrestled with wild rice baiting question before duck opener

State wrestled with wild rice baiting question before duck opener

The decision reached before the duck opener was that limited seeding of shallow water is lawful.
Only Minnesotan in this week's Bassmaster blowout could win it

Only Minnesotan in this week's Bassmaster blowout could win it

Struggling Bloomington angler got final spot in national tournament on Lake Mille Lacs last weekend.
Minnesota in for a better grouse season, but there's issues

Minnesota in for a better grouse season, but there's issues

The grouse population is on the rise, though a wet summer could affect both numbers and tracking.
Minnesota appears on the cusp of new era of loon conservation

Minnesota appears on the cusp of new era of loon conservation

Minnesota's beloved loon population — the largest in the U.S. — is stable at about 12,000 breeding adults.
Hunting's future rests with recruiting from new audiences

Hunting's future rests with recruiting from new audiences

With white men dominating the industry, others must be courted.
Boat built, couple head down big river in their element

Boat built, couple head down big river in their element

Having built a Norse-inspired vessel, the two are testing it -- and themselves -- with a journey down the Mississippi River.
Lake Mille Lacs catch-and-release walleye season will end Sept. 6

Lake Mille Lacs catch-and-release walleye season will end Sept. 6

Local Ojibwe bands had expressed displeasure with Dayton's decision earlier this month to allow the season to continue even though a quota had been surpassed.

Minnesota fishing secrets bubble up inside club

Secrets are freely shared at the longtime Apple Valley group that has been expanding by about six anglers a year.
Minnesota scrambles to rekindle outdoors participation

Minnesota scrambles to rekindle outdoors participation

Minnesota wants to turn the tide in the battle to get youths involved in the outdoors
Aug. 17: Mille Lacs Band ponders suit over walleye decision

Aug. 17: Mille Lacs Band ponders suit over walleye decision

At issue is Gov. Mark Dayton's move last week to break this year's joint management agreement governing the annual walleye harvest by band members and state-licensed anglers.
18 states, including Minnesota, partner to assist pheasants

18 states, including Minnesota, partner to assist pheasants

The goal is maintaining and improving the birds' habitat in hunting states.
Minnesota still crazy about fishing, but there are cracks

Minnesota still crazy about fishing, but there are cracks

The DNR has been doing more promotions and outreach work to combat a decline in fishing interest on a per capita basis. Attracting young people is a concern.
Minnesota deer hunters will get more chances in 2016 due to herd growth

Minnesota deer hunters will get more chances in 2016 due to herd growth

A bigger herd means a cautious easing of regulations by the DNR.
A remote fishing camp puts Lake of the Woods walleyes in close reach

A remote fishing camp puts Lake of the Woods walleyes in close reach

'Tourist camp' in Ontario offers a remote, no-frills fishing paradise

Muskie opponent: 'You can hardly catch a crappie in the summer'

Pelican Lake property owner David Majkrzak, a retired mechanical engineer who lives in West Fargo, N.D., has been one of the loudest anti-muskie voices around Fergus Falls.
Gull Lake to get muskies under DNR stocking plan

Gull Lake to get muskies under DNR stocking plan

A Minnesota fish feud over muskie stocking has been settled — for now — with a decision by the DNR to introduce the big predators to the Gull Lake chain near Brainerd.
Hmong fishing tournament grows into a blowout of bass and fiberglass

Hmong fishing tournament grows into a blowout of bass and fiberglass

Fast-growing Hmong community fishing contest is rewarding on many levels
Angling by kayak has struck a sweet spot in Minnesota fishing

Angling by kayak has struck a sweet spot in Minnesota fishing

Whether it's the economics or the versatility, the sport is a lot of things to a lot of anglers. Here are their takes.
5-foot-long muskie? That's a state record on Pelican Lake

5-foot-long muskie? That's a state record on Pelican Lake

Andrew Slette, an electrician who lives in Hawley, said his recent catch outmeasured the 54-incher he caught last year, also on Pelican.

Competition is the hook to kids' fishing league

The winning team of 5- to 12-year-old anglers will get their names engraved on the Lake Minnetonka Cup, à la the NHL's Stanley Cup.
Catch rate keeps improving for Red Lake walleye

Catch rate keeps improving for Red Lake walleye

More than a decade after a bold move, hot fishing is getting hotter.

Minnesota anglers start the scoring for new catch-and-release records

Steven DeMars of Stillwater earned state bragging rights this week as the first catch-and-release record holder for a Minnesota flathead catfish.
DNR spying on native river fish to watch their habits

DNR spying on native river fish to watch their habits

DNR, citing program's progress, wants electronic fish-tracking program to continue.

Lake Minnetonka was the hot spot for Metro Muskie Fishing Tournament

The biggest single muskie in the tournament was 52 inches, caught by Kevin Kray on Lake Independence.
Minnesota spending millions to save deep-water cisco lakes

Minnesota spending millions to save deep-water cisco lakes

A DNR project aims to curb development around deep lakes containing ciscoes.
Officials go high tech to bust fish tournament cheaters

Officials go high tech to bust fish tournament cheaters

Digital cellphone technology is all that's needed this year to police the Chris Nelson Memorial Fishing Tournament, the marquee annual event of the Minnesota Kayak Fishing Association.
Political feud disrupts Minnesota outdoors and environment commission

Political feud disrupts Minnesota outdoors and environment commission

When the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) meets Tuesday in St. Paul, members will review discord in the legislative session that unraveled 18 percent of the commission's recommended spending.

Opposition won't stop DNR's muskie stocking request

The anti-muskie sentiment centers on an assertion that large muskies will prey on walleye and panfish, ruining those native fish populations.
State of Boating: Minnesota has powered up

State of Boating: Minnesota has powered up

Larger crafts are in demand, thriving in a market flooded with new options.
Bigger boats and paddleboards are invading Minnesota lake culture

Bigger boats and paddleboards are invading Minnesota lake culture

Data on boat registrations in the state show ownership trends by county and type of boat.
Attempt to stop muskie stocking fizzles; northern pike plan goes nowhere

Attempt to stop muskie stocking fizzles; northern pike plan goes nowhere

The anti-muskie stocking movement was largely fed by local opposition to DNR plans to introduce muskies in Otter Tail County, Gull Lake and Big Marine Lake.
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