Outdoors Briefs: April 16Outdoors funding debated, VHS found at Apostles, Fishing, mom don’t conflict, Stream trout season opens
Outdoors funding debated
Seventy-three outdoors projects ranging from producing geologic atlases to restoring wetlands to getting urban children outside would get funds under bills Minnesota senators considered Tuesday.
The two measures, from citizen-legislator committee recommendations, would spend $85 million. Similar bills are making their way through the House process as well.
Included in one of the bills is $4.2 million to buy more state park and other land, which brought strong opposition from Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook.
“I don’t think this is the year to be buying land,” Bakk said. “I think this is the year we should be creating jobs.”
VHS found at Apostles
The fish-killing VHS disease has been found in a lake herring netted off the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
It’s the third confirmed discovery of the virus in Lake Superior after announcements in January that fish from the Duluth harbor and near Whitefish Bay in Michigan had traces of the disease.
“We now know that, without a doubt, VHS is present in Lake Superior and thus in all five Great Lakes,” said Mike Staggs, Wisconsin fisheries director.
Fishing, mom don’t conflict
In a twist of calendar fate that occurs every few years, Mother’s Day will not fall on the fishing opener this year. Minnesota’s fishing opener is May 15. Mother’s Day will be celebrated May 9.
The Minnesota fishing opener, as decided several years ago by the Legislature, is always two weekends before Memorial Day weekend. Often, Memorial Day weekend is early enough that it pushes the fishing opener back to Mother’s Day. But not every year. This year, Memorial Day weekend is the last weekend in May.
It means anglers will be able to honor their mothers on a weekend that is not diluted by the fishing opener.
Stream trout season opens
Stream trout season in Northeastern Minnesota opens Saturday. In many years, that’s a moot point because most of those streams are still ice-covered or running too high.
“That’s completely different this year,” said Paul Eiler, assistant area fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at Grand Marais. “And the streams are not particularly high, either. It’s still going to be cold, but it’s going to be fishable.”
Ice is out on nearly all streams, he said, although fish may not be as active until water temperatures rise a bit.