The public has until 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, to send written comments on simplifying rules designed to control a contagious fish disease. The rule change would also better protect fish spawning beds and fish preserves.
Part of the rule change proposed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is about control and prevention of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). Currently, only Lake Superior is designated as being positive for VHS. Much of the rule content deals with commercial bait use, harvest, possession and transportation. Proposed changes would simplify the regulations.
The other part of the rule change would add other water bodies to the list of designated spawning beds and fish preserves and make technical changes in the legal descriptions of water bodies already listed. Spawning fish can be vulnerable to harvest and human disturbance when in these areas.
Details about the rule change are online at www.mndnr.gov/input/rules/vhs/index.html. A free copy of the rules can be made available by calling the DNR at 651-259-5589.