NICOLLET, Minn. (KEYC) - Hunters wasted no time hitting the lakes this weekend, as waterfowl season in Minnesota officially kicks off.
Local hunter Matt Horak and his group of four came back from Swan Lake just outside of Nicollet with 10 waterfowl.
“It was a good hunt this morning we had lot of good shooting in the first half hour and we ended up having a good trip, " said Horak.
Due to COVID-19 most waterfowl surveys in Minnesota were cancelled this year. But the Department of Natural Resources(DNR) says based on anecdotal field reports, most biologists felt breeding duck numbers and numbers hatched were good this spring due to favorable wetland conditions across the breeding range.
The DNR reports that on Swan Lake, they’ve seen an increase in numbers of blue-winged teal ducks in the past few weeks along with good numbers of local wood ducks and mallards in the Nicollet Area.
As the season takes off, hunters are urged to be safe with firearms and when in the water.
“Safety first. There is a lot of water out here on this (Swan) lake. In the last two years the water has been so high the blinds have uprooted out here. You can see a lot of open water where there used to be blinds and then all the cat tails have floated up against the shore lines and floated around so there is a lot of water out there and it’s deep so I would always safety first with your life jackets on," said Nicollet Conservation Club Director, Fred Froehlich.
In addition the DNR also reminds hunters to avoid spreading aquatic invasive species, that can be transported in waterfowl hunter’s boats, decoys or blind material.
“You still have to clean your trailers and make sure there’s no weeds of any kind hanging on your trailers when you come out of the lake," said Froehlich.
For more information on Minnesota’s waterfowl season follow this link to the DNR’s website.