The tullibee population in Lake Mille Lacs almost disappeared back in 2007. But tullibees — also called ciscoes — have rebounded, big-time. Anglers this winter have been catching 12- to 14-inch keepers.
“The fishing (for tullibees) this winter has been crazy,’’ Rick Bruesewitz, DNR area fisheries manager. He said relatively mild summers in 2008 and 2009 helped boost tullibee reproduction and survival. Tullibee dieoffs have occurred on Mille Lacs and other Minnesota lakes during hot spells.
“We’ve gone from really low numbers to pretty decent numbers,’’ he said. Though not a highly sought fish, some anglers will target them, while others catch them incidentially while fishing for other species. Tullibees can be eaten smoked, pickled or baked. “They’re very good,’’ Bruesewitz said.
Still no CWD found
The latest tally of deer killed for chronic wasting disease testing near Pine Island, Minn., is 645, including 427 mature deer. The DNR wants to test 900 adult deer in the area for the disease after a wild deer killed by a hunter last fall was found with the fatal brain disease.
So far, tests on 603 deer have been completed, and all were negative.
Ten federal sharpshooters have been killing 20 to 30 deer daily, said Lou Cornicelli, Department of Natural Resources big game coordinator. They planned to shoot deer throughout the weekend.
Did you know?
•Crappie anglers on Lake Alexander near Brainerd were pulling up Eurasian watermilfoil on their augers last week. Conservation officers urged anglers to be sure to clean all equipment of vegetation and debris, even in winter, to prevent spreading invasive species.
•A homeowner near Hinckley watched two stray dogs take down and kill a doe recently, and other dog-chasing-deer complaints continue to flow into DNR conservation officers.
Summer jobs for youths
Summer jobs are tough to find these days, especially for young people.
But the Department of Natural Resources has 200 jobs for both college- and high school-aged youths.
First, it’s looking for 110 college students to work as watercraft inspector interns for the upcoming boating season.  The inspectors are stationed at public accesses on lakes and rivers infested with invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels. 
Positions are available in Brainerd, Winona, Twin Cities, St. Cloud, International Falls, Duluth, Bemidji, Minnetonka and the surrounding areas. The pay: $7.50 an hour, with bonuses up to $1,430 and mileage reimbursement.
“We’re looking for enthusiastic young adults interested in doing important environmental conservation work,” said Heidi Wolf, DNR watercraft inspection program coordinator.
The inspectors also educate the public about aquatic invasive species and the threat they pose to Minnesota waters. They also help post accesses and  remove invasive plants.
The positions are full-time temporary internships that start in late April and run through the middle of October, with flexibility for students still in school.
Applicants must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license, be enrolled in a natural resources or related program and eligible to receive school credit for the position. The application deadline
is March 11.
See the job description at  Contact Heidi Wolf at 651-259-5152 or with questions.
Another 90 jobs for high school youths are available with the Conservation Corps Minnesota summer conservation work program.
Application deadline is April 22.
Youth ages 15-18 will be based at a residential program site in St. Croix State Park for eight weeks. They will travel in crews led by staff members to various state and federal lands to camp out and work on conservation projects.
“Participants can expect to work hard on projects such as trail construction, erosion control, bridge and boardwalk building, and invasive exotic plant removal,” said Eric Antonson, youth programs manager.
He said the outdoor residential nature of the Summer Youth Corps provides an opportunity for youth to develop and strengthen leadership skills, work ethic, camping skills, and an understanding and appreciation for the natural environment.
Weekend activities include canoe trips, wilderness hikes and high-adventure challenges. The program runs June 19 through Aug. 13, and participants earn a stipend of $175 per week, with room and board provided.
The program hires an equal number of males and females and encourages minority youth to apply. Up to 20 deaf and hard-of-hearing youth, who will work with deaf staff and trained sign language interpreters, will also be hired.
To receive an application, contact Nina Eagin at or 651-209-9900.

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