Tricounty News

DNR to seek public input on five muskie stocking proposals



The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold seven input open house meetings Thursday, Sept. 2, for citizens to learn about and comment on agency muskellunge stocking proposals.

Public comments will also be accepted from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 online at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and by mail to Muskie Stocking Proposals, Minnesota DNR, 1201 East Highway 2, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

The DNR is considering stocking muskellunge in five new waters starting in the fall of 2011 because of growing interest in muskellunge fishing. Proposed for muskellunge management are Roosevelt Lake in Cass and Crow Wing counties, Upper South Long Lake and Lower South Long Lake in Crow Wing County, Tetonka Lake in LeSueur County, and the Sauk River Chain of Lakes in Stearns County.

"All of these waters meet or exceed the criteria for muskie management," said Dirk Peterson, DNR fisheries chief. "People who want to learn more details about each proposal are encouraged to attend our open-house style meetings."

The DNR is proposing five new muskellunge waters because interest in muskellunge fishing has risen substantially in recent years. The best science indicates stocking muskellunge in low densities in these lakes will not harm existing fish populations.

DNR staff will not make a formal presentation at the Sept. 2 meetings, but will be available the entire time to answer questions. This structure Ð a lengthy opportunity for interaction with staff but no formal presentation Ð is designed to accommodate people's busy schedules.

The locations and times of the Sept. 2 meetings are:

¥ MankatoÐGander Mountain, 11:30 a.m.Ð8 p.m.

¥ OwatonnaÐCabela's,

11:30 a.m.Ð8 p.m.

¥ WatervilleÐDNR fisheries office, 50317 Fish Hatchery Road, 11:30 a.m.Ð8 p.m.

¥ BrainerdÐDNR office, 1601 Minnesota Drive, noonÐ8 p.m.

¥ St. PaulÐDNR office, 500 Lafayette Road, 8 a.m.Ð4:30 p.m.

¥ MontroseÐDNR fisheries Office, 7372 State Highway 25 SW, 12:30Ð4:30 p.m.

¥ Cold SpringÐCity offices, 27 Red River Ave. S., Cold Spring,

5Ð8 p.m.

Citizens unable to attend the Sept. 2 meetings can learn more about each proposal by visiting www.mndnr.gov/muskie, where the DNR has posted a summary of each proposal as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

All input, whether collected on forms at the public meetings or via online survey, e-mail or mail, will be considered equally.

The DNR will review public input during October and November. Decisions on each stocking proposal are expected in December. If the DNR decides to move forward, stocking would begin in 2011 or 2012. It would be 12 to 15 years after that before the fish reach 48-inches, the minimum size at which a muskellunge can be kept by anglers.