Friday, May 18, 2012

Minnesota Fishing Piers

Anglers in Minnesota now have access to 20 new and improved fishing piers across the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Minnesota DNR replaced 15 fishing piers and installed five new ones in 2011, paid for with funding from the Parks and Trails Fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

New fishing piers are operational at Grant Lake (Beltrami County), Big Lake (Carlton County), Sylvan Bay on the Mississippi River (Itasca County), Lake Shetek at Lake Shetek State Park (in Murray County) and Albert Lea Lake at Myre-Big Island State Park (Freeborn County).

The new Legacy-funded fishing piers, ranging from 34 to 84 feet long, are all wheelchair accessible.

The DNR also replaced fishing piers at:

Long Lake (Otter Tail County), Fish Hook River (Hubbard County), Straight Lake (Becker County), Spirit Lake (Wadena County), Hill Lake (Aitkin County),Tilson Bay on Rainy Lake (Koochiching County), Lake Bennett and Silver Lake (Ramsey County), Buffalo Lake (Wright County), Middle Spunk Lake (Stearns County), Lake Charlotte (Todd County), Lake Andrew in Sibley State Park (Kandiyohi County), Madison Lake (Blue Earth County) and Swan Lake (McLeod County).

Work to replace the fishing pier at Boy Scout Landing on the St. Louis River (St. Louis County) was underway as of May.
According to Nancy Stewart, fishing pier coordinator for the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division: "Fishing piers provide a safe and convenient place to fish, instead of from bridges or steep embankments or fragile shoreland areas".

"They can be the heart of a community or a main component of a state, county or city park, and are often used to facilitate fishing clinics that help introduce new participants to fishing".

Since the Minnesota fishing pier grant program was created in 1984, DNR has provided more than 350 fishing piers, platforms or shore-fishing sites statewide, with one-third of them in the Twin Cities metro area. The overall goal of the program is to improve fishing opportunities, especially to meet the needs of children, older adults, people with disabilities, and those without a boat.

Anglers can locate a nearby fishing pier online or by calling the DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What is Rock Snot?

Rock snot, also known as didymo, is an invasive algae that occurs in cold rivers and streams of Northeastern North America. Rock snot has been found in16 American states and Quebec, Canada. This invasive form of algae covers river and stream bottoms with dense mats and long strands.

Rock snot can be distinguished from other aquatic algae species by a number of characteristics:

 - coloration is brownish to white but not green

 - texture is similar wet wool

 - attaches firmly to rocks and stones

According to biologists, rock snot does not pose significant risks to humans but can have negative impacts on rivers and streams.

When rock snot blooms occur, the resulting mats are thought to be harmful to streams in a number of ways:

 - mats can entrap or block minnows, aquatic insects, crayfish, and other stream life such as caddis fly, may fly, stone fly, minnows

 - blooms make fly fishing difficult or impossible

 - rock snot is slippery

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lake Norman Hybrid Bass

In North Carolina, Lake Norman has experienced an increase in spotted bass populations. According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, introductions of spotted bass into the 32,475 acre reservoir may have been undertaken by well-intentioned anglers who want to "improve the bass fishery." Fishery managers discourage such measures, noting that introductions of non-native fish into waters where they are not found can have unintended effects.

According to biologists, spotted bass often compete with other black basses and alter their genetics when they interbreed. In some areas, spotted bass can replace a largemouth bass fishery. Kin Hodges, a biologist with the Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries, warned against private introductions of fish into state waters, saying:

"... we run the risk of seeing diminished black bass fisheries in the future unless anglers quit moving spotted bass into new lakes where they frequently have negative impacts on the existing populations of largemouth or smallmouth bass."

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the stocking of fish in public waters of North Carolina without a valid stocking permit is illegal.

source: N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tests Indicate LMBV in West Virginia Lakes

During the summer and early fall of 2011, fish health surveys conducted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) revealed the presence of largemouth bass virus (LMBV) in four West Virginia lakes.

The surveys were focused on monitoring overall fish health in water bodies where WVDNR staff collects broodstock for hatchery production. Several species of fish were collected from 10 water bodies and samples were sent to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lamar Fish Health Laboratory for analysis.

Test results indicated that LMBV was present at East Lynn (Wayne County), North Bend (Ritchie County), Stonewall Jackson (Lewis County), and Sutton (Braxton County) lakes. Several West Virginia fishing areas did test postive for LMBV including Mount Storm and Moncove lakes and Little Kanawha, Monongahela, Tygart, and New rivers.

Largemouth bass virus occurs primarily in the southern United States, but has been expanding throughout North America. When largemouth bass are infected with LMBV, they exhibit poor health, lack of growth and occasionally die. LMBV is more problematic during summertime and elevated stressful conditions. The spread of LMBV has been linked to increased stress, fish to fish contact , and movement of fish and water between water bodies.

To minimize the spread of LMBV and other fish pathogens, WVDNR encourages anglers not to transfer any live fish or water between water bodies, handle all fish with care prior to release, reduce stressful conditions especially during warm water months, and properly clean and maintain all boats, live wells, and tackle.

For more information, visit the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website at

source:  West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Saturday, May 5, 2012

2012 Pennsylvania Lake Erie Walleye and Yellow Perch Limits

Lake Erie anglers fishing in Pennsylvania waters will be allowed 30 yellow perch and six walleye per day for 2012. On April 20, 2012, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) released its 2012 Lake Erie yellow perch creel limits.

Earlier in 2012, PFBC adopted new regulations establishing adaptive creel limits for walleye and yellow perch based on the annual quotas established by the Lake Erie Committee, which consists of fisheries managers from Pa., Ohio, N.Y., Mich., and Ontario, Canada.

A recent assessment showed that both yellow perch and walleye populations remain stable. Based on this, the creel limits are being held at the 2011 limits.

source:  PFBC

2012 Ohio River Creel Survey

A cooperative survey of Ohio River anglers will be held through October 20, 2012. The survey will be conducted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR), the Ohio Division of Wildlife, and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources.

Anglers fishing along the three states’ common borders will be asked questions concerning fishing effort and the types and numbers of fish they have caught and harvested. The survey will also focus on residency and overall angling participation and experiences.

The Ohio River Creel Survey typically take approximately five minutes, according to researchers. Data from the survey will be in fisheries management along the Ohio River.

source: WVDNR