Northern Pike Study on Mille Lacs Continues

May 25, 2005

Anglers who catch one of more than 7,000 Mille Lacs Lake northern pike marked with a numbered, plastic tag are asked to report their catch to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The tags, which resemble a short length of coated electrical wire, are anchored under the dorsal fin on northern pike as well as on walleye and some muskie. The northern pike were tagged this spring by biologists from the DNR, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Fond du Lac Band of Resource Management Division.

"We need anglers' help in establishing how many northern pike are in Mille Lacs, " said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR 1837 Treaty biologist. "From there we can begin to clarify population trends and better manage the fishery."

Additional northern pike will be sampled with gill nets that will be set for very short lengths of time, which renders them nonlethal. Staff from DNR or the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission will check the net sets every one to two hours to reduce fish mortality. "With such short set times and cooler water, we rarely have problems with killing fish," Brusewitz said. "If that does occur, we'll shorten the set time or use other means to collect the fish."

Anglers who plan to release a tagged fish should write down the tag number without removing the tag. If a tagged fish is harvested, anglers are asked to return the tag to the DNR.

Reports of tagged fish should include the following information:
- tag number and approximately where the fish was caught in the lake
- length of the fish, the date of the catch and if the fish was harvested or released
- whether the fish was caught from a boat, a commercial launch, or from shore
- the angler's name, address, telephone number and, if available, e-mail address.

Anglers who report catching a tagged fish will receive information on where and when the fish was tagged and whether the fish had been previously caught and released.

Reports of tagged fish may be sent electronically to fishtags@dnr.state.mn.us or by calling (218) 927-3751 (DNR Fisheries - Aitkin), or by calling toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367) or by mailing to DNR Fisheries, PO Box 138 Aitkin, MN 56431

DNR Osprey Photo Contest Deadline Nears The third Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Nongame Wildlife Checkoff photo contest is underway. Carrol Henderson, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program supervisor, reminds amateur and professional photographers to send in their photo entries featuring ospreys, before the June 17 deadline.

Winning photos from the contest will be featured in the 2006 Nongame Wildlife Checkoff Poster. The poster helps promote donations to the Nongame Wildlife Program and is available free to people who donate to the Wildlife Checkoff Fund on their Minnesota state tax forms or directly to the Nongame Wildlife Program.

Photographers may submit up to 12 original slides taken in Minnesota. Photos chosen to be included in the year 2006 poster will be published with photo credit. Contest winners will receive a framed copy of their winning photo, along with their choice of a complimentary copy of the best selling CD "Restore Your Shore" or a copy of the award winning book "Landscaping for Wildlife," both published by the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program.

Slides or transparencies may be submitted with each slide labeled with the photographer's first and last name. Slides should be submitted in a clear plastic 35mm slide sheet. A self-addressed, stamped envelope must be included for return of the slides.

Entry forms and contest rules may be obtained from the DNR Information Center by calling (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367), or by visiting the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

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