The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in partnership with the Minnesota Waterfowl Association and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, hosts the 17th annual Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium, Saturday, February 1st, at the Mall of America Ramada, 2300 East American Boulevard, in Bloomington. The one-day conference is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A host of hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and natural resource managers are expected to attend and celebrate Minnesota’s waterfowl and wetland resources. The Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium is geared toward giving Minnesota’s waterfowl hunters and enthusiasts the opportunity to interact with waterfowl biologists and managers representing various conservation agencies and organizations.

This 17th symposium will focus on blue-winged teal, an important species to Minnesota hunters as well as wild rice, which is an important food for migrating waterfowl. Steve Cordts, a waterfowl biologist with the Minnesota DNR, and Ron Gatti, Wisconsin DNR, will present information about the biology, ecology and harvest management of blue-winged teal. Peter David, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Ann Geisen, a shallow lakes specialist with the Minnesota DNR, will discuss the ecology and restoration of wild rice and what management is currently occurring in Minnesota.

Organizers have also scheduled a variety of other interesting presentations throughout the day to appeal to a wide audience. Renowned wildlife photographer Michael Furtman will be on hand to give a presentation about photographing waterfowl and capturing in photos your hunting experiences. U.S. Geological Survey Wildlife Researcher Josh Stafford will discuss using weather radar to track duck migrations and antique decoy collector Robert Sauer will give a presentation about collecting decoys for profit and pleasure. The day concludes with a question and answer session with Minnesota DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.

In addition to the presentations, the symposium will feature a series of informational and demonstration booths covering topics such as waterfowl carving, cooking with wild rice and wild game, gun repair and fitting, and various habitat management projects going on throughout the state. Attendees will also have the opportunity to check out the Minnesota Decoy Collectors Association Annual Decoy Show that is hosted at the same location as the symposium.

Following the symposium, the Minnesota Waterfowl Association will hold its 5th annual Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame Banquet where significant contributors to Minnesota’s waterfowl legacy are recognized. For more information about the symposium or to register for the Hall of Fame Banquet please call the Minnesota Waterfowl Association at 763-767-0320.

Logo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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