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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
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.
DNR rescues Utah kayaker stranded and freezing in the Mississippi headwaters

DNR rescues Utah kayaker stranded and freezing in the Mississippi headwaters

Stuck on a mud flat in a boggy stretch of the Mississippi as darkness was approaching, Michael Stone was in the early throes of freezing to death when he reached for a solar-powered cell phone.
The opener is past, but these boat ramp rules are timeless

The opener is past, but these boat ramp rules are timeless

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the follies of boat launching take on epic proportions on three special occasions: fishing opener, Memorial Day weekend and July 4th.

Despite cold, anglers found fish biting

Conservation officers across the state reported seeing success for many of the traditionalists who showed up.
Mille Lacs walleyes showed, but anglers were in short supply

Mille Lacs walleyes showed, but anglers were in short supply

For those who weren't turned off by the state's new season-long catch-and-release mandate for the big lake, the fish were plentiful.
Historic fly fishing shop relocating to St. Paul after four decades in Lake Elmo

Historic fly fishing shop relocating to St. Paul after four decades in Lake Elmo

Bob Mitchell's Fly Shop, a historic Lake Elmo store, is moving by Lake Monster Brewing Co.
Lake trout unlimited for the first canoe group to hit southeast Quetico this year

Lake trout unlimited for the first canoe group to hit southeast Quetico this year

After bypassing brisk current, fishing was a fruitful foray

Crappie contest repeats on Lake Minnetonka as a spring ritual

More than 2,000 anglers are expected to participate Saturday in Lake Minnetonka's annual crappie contest, with $50,000 in prizes.

Turkey harvest numbers even with last year thus far

So far this year, 6,584 turkeys have been taken statewide compared to 6,592 a year ago.
Women's hunting and fishing expo strives for togetherness

Women's hunting and fishing expo strives for togetherness

This weekend's first Women's Outdoor Expo at South St. Paul Rod and Gun Club will offer clinics to all
ATV riders may have inroad to land bought with state habitat money

ATV riders may have inroad to land bought with state habitat money

Lessard-Sams council member says vehicles will harm habitat.

New format adds catch-and-release fish to DNR record system

The change is a response to fishing option; the traditional program is to remain unchanged.
DNR beefs up Mille Lacs walleye management toolbox with stocking trial

DNR beefs up Mille Lacs walleye management toolbox with stocking trial

For the first time, the DNR is collecting walleye eggs on Lake Mille Lacs, with a look to the future

Conservationists see politics creeping into designated fish and wildlife spending

Conservationists say funds are being wrongly tied down.
Minnesota DNR appeals ruling that invalidated major deer poaching bust

Minnesota DNR appeals ruling that invalidated major deer poaching bust

County Attorney Richard Stulz said in papers filed with the Minnesota Court of Appeals his office wants to resume prosecution of Joshua Dwight Liebl of Dawson on 13 gross-misdemeanor and misdemeanor counts
Judge tosses poaching case over use of tracking device

Judge tosses poaching case over use of tracking device

A judge has tossed out the Minnesota DNR's highest-profile deer-poaching bust in recent memory, saying a GPS device that conservation officers attached to the suspect's pickup was illegal.
Minnesota non-profit aiming for national dominance of high school trap shooting

Minnesota non-profit aiming for national dominance of high school trap shooting

State group, helped by Cabela's grant, has helped sport spread to 11 states with more in its sights
Success story: Whitewater wildlife area to launch 38th turkey season

Success story: Whitewater wildlife area to launch 38th turkey season

After resurrection of the bird in '70s, wildlife area is a rich hunting spot
Fishing traditions win out with reversal of live-bait ban on Mille Lacs

Fishing traditions win out with reversal of live-bait ban on Mille Lacs

Fishing with a bobber and live bait is a fundamental Minnesota experience that the Mille Lacs fishing and resort community felt they couldn't live without this summer.
Minnesota deer hunters want to be heard more often

Minnesota deer hunters want to be heard more often

To better track whitetail abundance, agency should survey hunters' opinionsannually, some say

Muskie expo rolls into St. Paul as lawmakers plot against stocking the big fish

Legislation that seeks to ban the spread of muskie fishing to new lakes in the state will be a sizzling topic of conversation this weekend…

Mille Lacs stakeholders voice unrest over live-bait ban

Goal is to keep Mille Lacs open, but merchants are fearing deeper losses.
Catch a fishing class at the Northwest Sportshow

Catch a fishing class at the Northwest Sportshow

Want advice on muskie, walleye or smallmouth fishing or picking a kayak? It's available
Five Minnesota anglers to be honored at Northwest Sportshow

Five Minnesota anglers to be honored at Northwest Sportshow

Three men, a Chisago City fishing business and the Minnesota Fishing Museum itself will be inducted Friday into the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.
No-nonsense Fish and Wildlife official jumps ship to top ranks of Minnesota DNR

No-nonsense Fish and Wildlife official jumps ship to top ranks of Minnesota DNR

At 62, Jim Leach will take over the state fish and wildlife division.
Outdoors-friendly land deals getting brushed off at Legislature

Outdoors-friendly land deals getting brushed off at Legislature

Some conservation group leaders and DNR officials say the actions are threatening to undo millions of dollars in land deals between the state and willing sellers.
New walleye season on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release

New walleye season on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release

Policy will be catch-and-release only, with no live bait, this season.
DNR grades pheasant restoration project a mixed bag so far

DNR grades pheasant restoration project a mixed bag so far

Pheasant hunting's future murky one year into project.
Five special birds making their way back to Minnesota

Five special birds making their way back to Minnesota

Big and small, these five distinctive birds are part of a busy migration.
Roadside grass management becomes a hot topic

Roadside grass management becomes a hot topic

Management of roadside grasses is getting increased attention because of its effect on habitat

Minnesota deer and grouse hunting groups partner to save forest habitat Up North

The two Grand Rapids-based hunting organizations share an interest in similar habitat and already have been working together on a plan to buy thousands of acres of private forest.
Lead ammo debate heats up

Lead ammo debate heats up

The DNR wants to prohibit its use by bird hunters on state land if Legislature doesn't.

Sweet weather wields a threat to makers of maple syrup

Maple syrup makers in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin are fretting over unseasonably warm temperatures out of fear the trees will start to bud before all the sap runs.
March 8: No shortage of issues for outdoors enthusiasts as Legislature resumes

March 8: No shortage of issues for outdoors enthusiasts as Legislature resumes

A look at outdoors-related topics likely to draw attention from lawmakers over the next 10 weeks.
U team draws line in Mississippi to stop Asian carp

U team draws line in Mississippi to stop Asian carp

Plan would bombard fish with water pressure, noise and underwater lights.
Average ice-out dates of interest to many in Minnesota

Average ice-out dates of interest to many in Minnesota

A rash of early ice-out dates since the late 1990s has been noticed by fisheries managers, climatologists, naturalists and lake biologists.
DNR sets deadelines for removing fish houses, shelters from lakes

DNR sets deadelines for removing fish houses, shelters from lakes

Anglers who fish south of a line connecting Detroit Lakes, Walker, the Floodwood area and Proctor must remove fish houses by the end of March 7.
Fishermen hope steelhead surge on North Shore continues

Fishermen hope steelhead surge on North Shore continues

After a historic Lake Superior catch last year, fishermen are eager to see if numbers stay high.
'Hooking mortality' count one more Mille Lacs sore point

'Hooking mortality' count one more Mille Lacs sore point

The DNR's estimate of walleye that die after being released is a growing source of frustration on the lake.
DNR's new top cop to push for improvements

DNR's new top cop to push for improvements

Rodmen Smith backs Gov. Mark Dayton on felony poaching law, wants warden diversity and balanced service.
Anglers get first look at potential new Mille Lacs walleye rules

Anglers get first look at potential new Mille Lacs walleye rules

The highly anticipated regulations will be set by the DNR in early March, but the first glimpse of what they could look like was shown to anglers Tuesday night.
Feb. 3: Private ditches seen as 'small portion' of farm drainage

Feb. 3: Private ditches seen as 'small portion' of farm drainage

Gov. Mark Dayton's reluctant decision last week to exclude private ditches from buffer strip mapping was an obvious setback to his hard-fought 2015 water-quality law.
Tournaments heat up Minnesota's ice-fishing scene

Tournaments heat up Minnesota's ice-fishing scene

Between economic and personal benefits, the only losers are the fish.
Winter survival outlook for deer, pheasants looks good

Winter survival outlook for deer, pheasants looks good

The mild winter, so far, should help more deer and pheasants survive. But it could still turn nasty.

Coyote hunting interest rising in Minnesota, except up north

"The sport is definitely growing in popularity," DNR Conservation Officer Thor Nelson said.
Dec. 4, 2015: DNR tweaks strategy to boost elk population, retain hunting

Dec. 4, 2015: DNR tweaks strategy to boost elk population, retain hunting

Three herds in northwestern Minnesota total about 130 elk; hunting has been allowed under tight restrictions.
Stopping for a 'cold one' takes on new meaning on Lake of the Woods

Stopping for a 'cold one' takes on new meaning on Lake of the Woods

Anglers in the lobby of Zippel Bay Resort want to know where walleyes are biting — and whether the Igloo Bar is for real. The answer lies nearly 2 miles from shore on Lake of the Woods.
Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Facility would oversee walleye at a lake hurt by low numbers.
Lake of the Woods legend recalls early years of ice angling

Lake of the Woods legend recalls early years of ice angling

Resourceful Lake of the Woods resort owners came to embrace winter anglers

Ice fishermen flocking to fish at Courthouse Lake in Chaska

Chaska's Courthouse Lake is continuing to draw trout anglers more than a week after the 10-acre fishing hole drew a crowd on the opening day of winter trout season.
Minnesota considers elk management plan

Minnesota considers elk management plan

Backers of a reintroduction project see it as restoring part of Minnesota's wildlife heritage
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