Muskies won't be introduced in popular Gull Lake near Brainerd because of opposition to the proposal, the Department of Natural Resources annoucned last week.

But muskies will be stocked in Pokegama Lake near Grand Rapids as part of a new long-range muskie management plan the DNR has adopted. Under it, the agency will manage muskies to emphasize trophy angling opportunities in waters the fish now inhabit and will add up to eight new muskie lakes -- including Pokegama -- during the next 12 years.

The plan has been somewhat controversial. Muskie supporters wanted more lakes stocked with muskies and opponents argued for fewer, saying muskies can harm populations of other fish species, such as walleyes and bass.

"We tried to balance the concerns," said Ron Payer, DNR fisheries chief.

Originally, the DNR's plan called for adding eight more lakes. Now the plan says up to eight lakes will be added.

Gull will not be among them. Opponents pointed out that many lakes connect to Gull and that, if introduced, muskies could spread far beyond the lake.

"There was some really strong opposition," Payer said. "There are about 26 connected waters on Gull Lake. We just felt with the strength of public opposition and the connected waters, it makes the most sense not to go there."

Local support was stronger at Pokegama.

"The majority of public comments support stocking Pokegama with muskellunge," Payer said. "Our managers believe the decision to stock will not affect northern pike spearing or angling opportunities on the lake."

Payer said new muskie waters will be selected based on biological, physical and social considerations. Currently 116 waters -- about 35 percent of the lake acreage in the state --are managed for muskies. Trophy-sized muskies will be promoted through stocking, size regulations, season closures, existing spearing bans and promoting voluntary catch and release.

A northern plan, too The DNR also has OK'd a long-range plan for managing northerns, with the goal of creating more trophy fish on 106 existing waters, and possibly adding 19 new waters.

The primary way to do that is to restrict the harvest of bigger northerns, Payer said. Anglers can expect to see more harvest restrictions on northerns. Among them: a 40-inch minimum size; a 30-inch minimum size; and a 24-to-36-inch protected slot. All are designed to increase the average size of northerns.

Both the muskie and northern plans are prompted by the growing interest by anglers to catch larger fish, Payer said.

To see the muskie-northern management plans, see

Lac qui Parle geese Hunters wanting to reserve a date to goose hunt in the controlled hunting zone at the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area must apply between Monday and Sept. 17. Hunters must submit a standard postcard with name and address and their first and second choices of hunting dates. The limit is one postcard per hunter. Send applications to: Controlled Hunt, Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, 14047 20th St. NW, Watson, MN 56295.

A split regular Canada goose season of 41 days is proposed at Lac qui Parle (West Central Zone). The first segment is Oct. 16-19. The season then will close for five days, reopening Oct. 25-Nov. 30. For more information, call 320-734-4451.

Evinrude's 100th Ole Evinrude just wanted to find an easier way of traveling on the water than rowing when he invented the Evinrude outboard motor back in 1909. He'd be amazed to see the marine industry today with its high-powered, high-tech motors. Evinrude's 100th Anniversary Tour 53-foot mobile museum, which documents Ole's invention and evolution of the outboard, will be at the Minnesota State Fair.

ATV brochure The DNR is sending brochures to 130,000 registered ATV owners who also have bought big game hunting licenses that discuss the changing rules for off-highway vehicles and ATVs for hunting on public lands.

Did you know? • The Twin Cities Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is holding its 30th annual banquet and fundraiser Thursday at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. For more information, see

• The Rum River Chapter of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association will hold its first fund-raising banquet Sept. 11 at Wells Catering & Event Center in Ramsey. For ticket information call 763-427-6524.

• Iowa is considering establishing a daily limit of 25 crappies and 25 bluegills on public waters.

doug smith •