Jan. 26 natural resources presentation updates the Minnesota Large Lake Program

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Tony Kennedy will provide the latest information from the Minnesota Large Lake Program during a 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, presentation at the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation.

Part of the Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium series, the 60-minute session is open to the public at no charge. The presentation will be held at the CRI’s off-campus facility located at 3801 Bemidji Avenue North.

“The presentation will outline the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Large Lake Program, which includes an annual sampling of the 10 largest walleye lakes in the state,” said Kennedy, who works out of the Bemidji Area Fisheries DNR office. “The program includes adult fish population assessments, juvenile and forage fish sampling, and angler creel surveys.”

The DNR began the Large Lake Program in 1983 to provide consistent data and trend information on Minnesota lakes with surface areas greater than 15,000 acres. The bodies of water, which also happen to be some of the state’s best walleye producers, are Leech, Mille Lacs, Winnibigoshish, Vermillion, Cass, Kabetogama, Rainy, Pepin, Upper Red and Lake of the Woods.

Before the initiative was started, fisheries biologists relied on snapshots of data or anecdotes about lakes to use when considering fish management options. Information collected over a longer period of time produces more solid and reliable data for use in the decision-making process.

“I will highlight some of the examples where the Large Lake Program’s intensive sampling has provided the DNR with invaluable information and research opportunities at a scale that would not otherwise be attainable,” Kennedy explained.

Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife management from Lake Superior State University and a master’s in fisheries and aquatic sciences from Purdue University. He worked one year at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Missouri River Field Station before accepting a position as a streams specialist in the Bemidji DNR office in 2006. In August, he was named the area large lake specialist who focuses on Upper Red Lake and Cass Lake as part of the extensive monitoring effort.

The presentation is part of an on-going series of Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium programs. While covering topics of general interest, the sessions are designed for professionals working in the natural resource area and may be technical in nature. Usually held on the third Monday of each month, the January presentation was shifted a week later due to the Martin Luther King holiday. Groups participating in organizing the consortium include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Chippewa National Forest, Leech Lake Division of Resource Management, Ainsworth, and the Red Lake Reservation.

Individuals who wish to be added to the Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium mailing list or have questions about this program should contact the Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation at (218) 755-4900; toll free, (888) 738-3224; e-mail, cri@bemidjistate.edu; or at http://www.cri-bsu.org.

FOR YOUR CALENDAR
Jan. 26
- 3 p.m. – Bemidji State University Center for Research and Innovation hosts Bemidji Area Natural Resources Continuing Education Consortium presentation on the Minnesota Large Lake Program. Presenter: Tony Kennedy, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Location: CRI; 3801 Bemidji Ave. N.; Bemidji, Minn. Cost: free. For information: (218) 755-4900; (888) 738-3224; http://www.cri-bsu.org.