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MN Anglers need stronger voice - - - 5 messages. Showing 1 through 5.
Bassville_Usa
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Joined 03/06/2008
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 01:00 PM 01/04/09 (CST)
By Vern Wagner, as published in Outdoor News, Jan. 2,2009

Coming soon is the Annual DNR Roundtable. A select group of hunters, anglers and environmentalists will meet with the Top DNR brass, legislators and other movers and shakers. Prominent on the agenda will be committee/workshop reports.

Angling is represented by many species specific groups and I haven’t heard the Lg and Sm Bass committee report but from my participation in the workshops; here is what I think you likely won’t hear about: Recommendations for growing Sportfishing!

Both Bass and Walleye anglers want an earlier opener in the southern half of the state. Spawning is usually over by the second weekend in May in half the State but, hasn’t even begun in many Northern lakes. An earlier season opener in those areas and one that matches neighboring states would go a long way toward growing Sportfishing here in Minnesota.

While the MN DNR admits and prides themselves on being one of the more conservative fish and game agencies in the U.S., the question I have; is this also a barrier to progress? Does being conservative equal wise conservation or does it mean being more political about making or amending policies and rules? Do the political leanings of our Governor and DNR Commissioner dictate the agenda?

Another issue that may not be addressed is the Fishing Contest Permit fee’s that the DNR and Legislature started in 2007. The fees were the brainchild of the DNR Budget Oversight Committee and the plan was to cash in on the organizations that were holding fishing contests and tournaments. While many anglers felt the DNR permits expenses were just as legitimate as any other DNR activity, apparently they decided not. Costing out the expense to issue permits came in around $108,000 and involved at least 51 DNR staff. So far the fee collection has netted about half of that. Interesting, is that many of the contests that were being permitted in the past aren’t applying for permits anymore or finding ways to stay below the threshold. Does this mean there are fewer contests and tournaments; likely not. Has this become a good idea that has resulted in the DNR tripping over dollars going to MN communities from these events? Has it been worth the ill will and added DNR administrative expense to collect the fees? What about the economic benefit from fishing tournaments?

Habitat, docks and invasive species reduction is still a top priority. Docks are getting more numerous and larger. Removing aquatic vegetation by lakeshore owners is contributing to a decline in available habitat. Zebra Mussels, Milfoil, Curley Pond Weed continue to spread. Now the Asian Silver and Bighead Carp have swam up the Mississippi to Lacrosse WI. Combine these invasive problems, with a 10% DNR budget cut brought on by the State Budget deficit and one wonders how we will solve these problems?


To summarize the 2006 DNR budget oversight committee report. The DNR needs to better understand its present and future constituency to shape relevant and meaningful management and protection goals. The demographics of the angling world, always dynamic and in flux, and should be looked at closely.

The “old attractions” of angling belong to generations that are disappearing. New models need to be created. Fishing needs to be seen as an adventurous hobby that has to do as much with honing a more satisfying lifestyle and a connection with conserving our natural world as it does with a stringer of fish.

Better ways of communicating with anglers, especially with young anglers, need to be found and utilized. The future in this regard will involve creative use of the Internet and more “intimate” and interactive ways of telling our stories.

As the Lessard Council is being formed, many of us anglers kept looking for an appointee that would make these goals priorities; someone to represent the fishermen and women of Minnesota as an advocate for Sportfishing. We as anglers need a voice, without one our future may only grow dimmer.

WebDude
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 07:26 AM 01/05/09 (CST)
Thanks for contributing, Bassville_Usa!



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David Cindrich
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 12:06 PM 01/08/09 (CST)
Great article BassVille U.S.A.


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JCU
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 06:44 PM 01/13/09 (CST)
Great article and so on the money.......



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DAO
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Daily Subscription Msg 5 Posted: 01:32 PM 01/26/09 (CST)
Fishing is too good in Minnesota. Anglers are not the least bit threatened so they won't vote or speak up. With 1.5 million anglers you would think we would have a huge impact but it just doesn't happen. Oh sure we'll fight amongst our selves about regulation, fees or stocking but we won't fight for our sport. That's why there are no angling representatives on the Lessard committee and only anti angling representatives on the lottery oversight committee.

The MN DNR has said for decades the most gains can be made in angling is by protecting and improving fish and shoreland habitat. Most anglers don't even concern themselves with habitat. Another area where huge gains can be made is addressing the stunted northern problem on many of our lakes. All other species are affected by too many stunted northerns. The MN DNR has pioneered ways to address the stunted northern problems but need angler support to implement them. MN DNR has some of the best fishing biologists in the country but need anglers to get behind them and help out.

We don't seem to appreciate the high quality diverse fishery we have in Minnesota. But we need to understand that this is the good old days and it took hard work and money to get here and to maintain it. Dave
MN Anglers need stronger voice - - - 5 messages. Showing 1 through 5.
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