DNR NEWS—A statewide catch-and-release season for sturgeon is among several rule changes proposed by the Minnesota DNR. Now, there are only a few waters in the state where anglers can legally fish for sturgeon. New rules would also affect those who fish for trout and bass, among other species. The DNR is accepting comments on the proposed rules. Rulemaking documents are available at http://www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/fisheries/statewide.html. The proposed changes include but are not limited to:
GAME FISH REGULATIONS
New statewide catch-and-release seasons for bass and sturgeon
Close the taking of flathead catfish during the winter.
TROUT LAKE REGULATIONS
Open trout lakes in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties to winter trout fishing.
Little Andrus [Snowshoe Lake] in Cass County; Allen and Pleasant lakes in Crow Wing County; and Bad Medicine Lake in Becker County will remain closed to winter fishing.
Require a barb on arrows used for bowfishing.
Open Spring Lake in Itasca County to whitefish netting.
Restrictions placed on where nets can be placed for smelting on Grindstone Lake.
For border waters, changes simplify, provide additional opportunities, make rules consistent with Minnesota inland regulations,ormake consistent with bordering government regulations, as well as clarify the no-culling rule.
FAWNS BORN IN MAY—LEAVE THEM ALONE
Newborn fawns may appear abandoned and fragile but their best chance for survival comes when people leave them alone, especialy in spring according to the Minnesota DNR. Deer rear their offspring differently than humans. Most fawns are born in May and within hours of birth the fawn is led to a secluded spot so it can nurse. With a full stamack, the fawn is content to lie down and rest. If the doe has twins, it will hide the second fawn up to 200 feet away. Then the doe leaves to feed and rest herself, out of sight but withn earshot. In four or five hours, the doe will return to feed the fawns and take them to a new hiding place. Deer foolw this pattern for two to three weeks, and only then, when fawns are strong enough to outrun predators- do the young travel much with their mother.
Deer have evolved a number of special adaptations that make this approach to fawn rearing successful. Fawns have almost no odor so predators are less likely to smell them. Their white spotted coats provide camouflage when they are lying on the forest floor. For the first week of life, frightened fawns instinctively freeze, making full use of their protective coloration. Older fawns remain motionless until they think they have been discovered, and then jump and bound away. A deer’s primary protection from predators is its great speed. Newborn fawns are not fast enough to outdistance predators so they must depend on their ability to hide for protection. Although these adaptations work well against predators, they don’t work very well with people. For the first few weeks, a fawn’s curiosity may entice it to approach a person who comes upon it.
What’s the right way to handle an encounter with a fawn? Never try to catch it. If it’s hiding, admire it for moment and then quietly walk away. If the fawn tries to follow, gently push on its shoulders until it lies down and then walk away.
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