DNR seeks comments on Finland area lakes
North Shore residents interested in learning more about or commenting on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources management plan for lakes in the Finland area are asked to submit questions or comments on the strategies used by Feb. 28.
"All of our direct management, through DNR fisheries, relate to the individual lake management plan," said Dean Paron, DNR Finland area fisheries supervisor. "The amount of fish that we stock, whether we stock it at all, are all in the management plans. We use the plans to evaluate how the lake is doing compared to other lakes. It helps us understand the recent history of the lake and its overall history as it tells us the characteristics of the lake over the historical record."
The lake management plans implemented by the DNR involve nearly all aspects of the lake, including public access to the lake, the types of fish stocked, any special regulations on limits of fish taken as well as management of aquatic invasive species and climate change preparations.
"If a person has a particular concern or interest in a lake, this is an opportunity to join in," Paron said. "We take comments and look for input year round, but this is when we are looking at a particular lake and looking at changes in management, that we see these."
With more than 450 lakes with individual management plans and a couple thousand miles of streams in the area to oversee, the DNR isn't always able to make it to every lake on a regular basis. The department depends on local people who use lakes more frequently than they can visit to help gather information and take suggestions for future management strategies.
"It gives the opportunity for people to comment to provide us with additional thoughts and insights into the lake," Paron said. "On some of our lakes we are only able to get to on a very infrequent basis so anglers can be a great resource."
Many times, the management plans many times change little from year to year, but the public comment period allows the DNR to gather information from anglers and others using the lakes recreationally to provide input on how the lake is managed and learn more about the lakes they frequent. Paron said Finland area lakes are fortunate are mostly in a healthy watershed and the lakes are either undeveloped or in public ownership.
The public can review current draft plans for lakes in the area as well as recent fish population assessment information from 7 a.m to 4:30 p.m. at the DNR's Finland area fisheries office, 6686 Highway 1 Box 546. Individuals also may call (218) 353-8855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have an electronic copy of the management plan emailed to them.
"I encourage people to contact us and give us their comments and concerns," Paron said. "We manage our lakes year round, and welcome comments at any time on our water bodies."
Finland area lakes the DNR seeks comment on are:
• Comfort Lake
• Cross River Lake
• Hare Lake
• Hide Lake
• Norway Lake
• Sapphire Lake
• Scott Lake
• Short Lake
• Sink Lake
• Sundown Lake
• Twentythree Lake
• Wadop Lake
• Watonwan Lake
Lakes located in Cook County are: Elbow Lake (part of the Timber-Frear loop of lakes), Mesaba Lake, Phoebe Lake and Wine Lake.