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S.F. No. 943 - Game and Fish (Fourth Engrossment)
Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Date: May 10, 2011

SF 943 contains various game and fish law changes, including many recommended changes suggested by the administration and other changes added by committee members.
Section 1 [Compensation for elk damage] adds fence damage and destruction by elk as eligible for compensation under the elk damage compensation program.
Section 2 [State contract restrictions; aquaculture exception] provides that the $100,000 limitation on annual contracts does not apply to a private aquaculture business involved in state stocking contracts.
Section 3 [Containment facility definition] modifies the definition of “containment facility” for the purposes of the aquaculture laws to include species on the viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) susceptible list.
Section 4 [Fish collector definition] adds a definition of “fish collector” for the purposes of the aquaculture laws.
Section 5 [Fish health inspection definition] broadens the definition of “fish health inspection” for the purposes of the aquaculture laws to include aquatic animal diseases.
Section 6 [Fish health inspector definition] broadens the definition of “fish health inspector” for the purposes of the aquaculture laws to broaden the term to include a person certified as an aquatic animal health inspector.
Section 7 [Fish sample collecting] provides for fish collector training and certification.
Section 8 [Fish health inspection] adds a fish health inspection requirement for species on the VHS susceptible list when there is a discharge to public waters.
Section 9 [Sales of fish eggs and fry by the state] removes the two percent cap on fish egg and fry sales and expands the program to allow barter.
Section 10 [Sucker eggs] removes the licensed water acreage requirement for obtaining sucker eggs; establishes criteria for the commissioner to allocate distribution of sucker eggs to licensed individuals.
Sections 11 and 12 [Fish and wildlife planning] eliminates obsolete language relating to fish and wildlife planning requirements.
Section 13 [Harvest of bait from infested waters] expands the permits to harvest bait from infested waters to include ones with certifiable diseases of fish and to allow certain taking of cisco and rainbow smelt.
Section 14 [Game birds definition; sandhill crane] adds sandhill crane to the definition of “game birds.”
Section 15 [Small game definition; gray wolf] adds gray wolf to the definition of “small game.”
Section 16 [Undressed bird definition] clarifies the definition of “undressed birds” for the purposes of transporting the bird under the game and fish laws.  For all birds, other than ducks, the bird may have only a fully feathered wing intact.  For ducks, the definition will continue to be one with both a fully feathered wing and head attached.  For pheasant, Hungarian partridge, or wild turkey the definition also allows only one leg and foot intact.
Section 17 [Unprotected birds definition; Eurasian collared dove] adds Eurasian collared dove to the definition of “unprotected birds.”
Section 18 [Wild animal definition] clarifies that definition of “wild animal” includes dead wild animals.
Section 19 [Emergency deterrent materials assistance] allows for emergency deterrent materials assistance for destruction of crops or pasture by elk within the native elk range.  This section also increases the maximum amounts of assistance under the program.
Section 20 [Walleye stamp revenue] specifies that all of the revenue from walleye stamp sales will be used for stocking walleyes purchased from the private sector.
Section 21 [Minnow harvest in designated wildlife lakes] allows the taking of minnows to be restricted on lakes designated for wildlife management purposes.
Section 22 [License refunds] provides that license refunds may be issued for requests made within 90 days of purchase and adds another criteria for refunding license fees if the applicant is not required by law to purchase a license to participate in the activity.
Section 23 [Civil penalty; dog mortally wounding big game] provides for the elevated civil penalty when a dog mortally wounds a big game animal.
Section 24 [Gross misdemeanor penalty for hunting big game while under revocation] makes it a gross misdemeanor to take big game during the time a person is prohibited from obtaining a license to take big game.
Section 25 [Pictorial stamp purchases] removes the statutory $2 price to purchase a pictorial stamp and allows the DNR to set the price to cover the cost of producing and mailing the stamp.
Section 26 [Game and fish license transfer] allows a game and fish license transfer to a person with a severe disability or critical illness who is participating in a special program sponsored by a nonprofit.
Section 27 [Dealers, tanners, and taxidermist reports] allows the DNR the option to approve report forms for dealers, tanners, and taxidermists instead of supplying the forms.
Section 28 [Elk license selection] requires the commissioner to hold a separate drawing for 20 percent of the elk licenses issued each year for previously unsuccessful applicants who have applied at least ten times.
Section 29 [Turkey license issuance] clarifies authorities of the commissioner for issuing licenses to take wild turkeys.
Section 30 [Ice fishing without a license in state parks] expands authorization to fish in state parks without a license to include ice fishing.
Section 31 [Preference for service members; Purple Heart Medal] provides for a preference for service members with a Purple Heart Medal or 100 percent disability for game and fish drawings.
Section 32 [Nonresident fishing license surcharge; youth exemption] provides that nonresidents under age 16 who purchase a fishing license will not be assessed the nonresident fishing license surcharge.
Section 33 [Possession of unlawful fish taken in Canada] specifies that a person who possess unlawful fish from Canada may be charged in the same manner as if the fish were unlawful in Minnesota.
Section 34 [Game bird transportation] clarifies that doves may be shipped or transported in accordance with federal law. Current federal law allows doves to be shipped and transported fully dressed.
Section 35 [Parent or guardian responsibility; violation] makes it a violation for a parent or guardian to knowingly permit a person under age 18 to hunt in violation of specific license, permit, certification, or training requirements in the game and fish laws.
Section 36 [Apprentice hunter validation requirements] modifies the qualifying age for obtaining an apprentice hunter validation; and allows use of apprentice hunter validation for two years in a lifetime instead of one year.
Section 37 [Guns allowed while hunting by muzzleloader] provides that a person with a valid muzzleloader license may only have a muzzleloader and a handgun in possession.
Sections 38 and 40 [Medical evidence for disability permits] provides that certified nurse practitioners and certified physician assistants working under the direction of licensed physicians may complete the medical evidence information required for various disability hunting permit applications.
Section 39 [Hunting hours] removes statutory hunting hours for certain species.  Hunting hours will be established by the DNR by rule.
Section 41 [Possession of a firearm while hunting deer by archery] allows a person with a permit to carry a handgun to have a handgun in possession while hunting deer by archery.
Section 42 [Bear bait station identification] allows a person to mark their bear baiting station with their DNR license number.
Section 43 [Taking elk causing damage or nuisance] provides the commissioner with authority to issue licenses to hunters to take elk that are causing damage or nuisance from September 1 to March 1.  Licensees who are issued licenses under this provision are exempt from the “once-in-a-lifetime” restrictions.
Section 44 [Gray wolf open season] allows for an open season on gray wolves after they are delisted under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Section 45 [Shooting grouse near motor vehicles] prohibits the shooting of grouse near a motorized vehicle unless the person is at least ten feet from the vehicle.  This prohibition would not apply to a person with a disability permit to shoot from a stationary motor vehicle.
Section 46 [Waterfowl seasons] eliminates the prohibition on opening the duck season prior to the Saturday nearest October 1 and would continue to require the commissioner to prescribe waterfowl seasons in accordance with federal law.
Section 47 [1837 ceded territory fishing regulations adjustments] allows the commissioner to make midseason adjustments in daily possession or size limits on special management waters in the 1837 Ceded Territory by written order published in the State Register.  The changes are based on available harvest, angling pressure, and population data, and limited to those necessary to manage the fisheries in compliance with the court orders in Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa v. Minnesota, 119 S. Ct. 1187 (1999).  The written order is not effective until the commissioner attempts to notify persons and groups affected by the change.
Sections 48 and 49 [Fishing contests] clarify the fishing contest provisions.
Section 50 [Fishing tournaments; invasive species] specifies that fishing tournament organizers shall take preventive measures to reduce the spread of invasive species.
Section 51 [Sturgeon tag clarification] clarifies that only one tag application may be made per calendar year.
Section 52 [Transporting and stocking fish] authorizes the commissioner to prohibit transportation of live fish by youth for aquarium purposes to help prevent spread of an emergency fish disease documented to occur in Minnesota waters.
Section 53 [Price of game fish fry and eggs] specifies that the DNR may not sell game fish fry or eggs for less than the cost associated with their production.  This section also provides that the DNR must offer one quart of eggs or fry equivalent for every 86 pounds of walleye fingerlings purchased by the DNR.
Section 54 [Using aquatic life for bait] allows the commissioner to authorize the use of game fish eggs as bait and to prescribe restrictions on their use.  It also extends the current prohibition on “bait” being imported from VHS positive waters to include any bait used for taking wild animals and allows specific exemptions from this requirement for cisco and rainbow smelt.
Section 55 [BWSR powers clarification] clarifies that the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) has the powers to implement delegated purposes related to the acceptance of grants or gifts.
Section 56 [Coyote conflict management option] allows county or town boards to offer a bounty for taking coyotes.
Section 57 [Liability limits for walk-in program] specifies that land leased by the state for a walk-in access program is subject to liability protection afforded owners of land who give permission to use the land without charge.
Section 58 [Rulemaking] directs the DNR to amend rules to allow game farm operators to use approved report and sales receipt formats.
Section 59 [Shallow lakes management report] directs the DNR to complete a report on shallow lakes management by January 1, 2012.
Section 60 [Repealer] repeals Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections:
            84.942, subdivisions 2, 3, and 4, fish and wildlife planning requirements;
            97A.015, subdivisions 26b, 27b, and 27c, deer areas;
            97A.435, subdivision 5, wild turkey licensing; and
            97C.081, subdivision 2, fishing contests without a permit.
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