May 2009

The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.





Safety is always a concern when out on the water fishing or just enjoying one of Minnesota's thousands of lakes and rivers. With the 2009 fishing season now open, what do boaters need to remember about early season boating?

When getting ready to go fishing, many people give more thought to what kind of sandwiches they should pack for lunch than they do about boating safety. It is important for people to remember that early in the season, although the air temperature may be 70 degrees, most of the bodies of water are still in the 40s and 50s. Even the strongest swimmer can become quickly incapacitated by cold water shock and suffer hypothermia within an hour. This means it is especially important to make sure everyone not only has a lifejacket but also wears one. Make sure navigation lights are all in proper working order, and be sure use them between sunset and sunrise. Also, be sure the boat registration decal is current and check air pressure on trailer tires, pack a spare and make sure the axle bearings are freshly greased. Finally, it is a good idea to leave the alcohol at home. Many of the boating accidents that result in injury, or worse, are the result of intoxicated boaters.

-Tim Smalley, DNR boat & water safety specialist


Spring is the time when wildlife babies are born. What should people do, if anything, if they find what appears to be an abandoned wildlife baby, or a baby bird that fell out of its nest?

The arrival of spring also means the arrival of newborns and just-hatched wildlife. These youngsters soon venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings. All too often, well-meaning people pick up animals, particularly white-tailed deer fawns and young birds, believing that these animals have been orphaned or abandoned and need to be saved. This is almost never the case because the parents are usually waiting nearby. In fact, a would-be rescuer is causing more harm than good to the young animal. Those early unsteady steps and flights are part of normal development, helping the young learn how to care for themselves. So, its important for people to remember that wild animals belong in the wild.

-Lori Naumann, DNR Nongame Wildlife Program



DNR Question of the Week Archive