Annual conference welcomes waterfowl enthusiasts

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Waterfowl conservation efforts in the upper Mississippi River Flyway, hunter use of state wildlife management areas and efforts to increase hunter numbers are some of the topics planned for the Minnesota Waterfowl Symposium – a conference for hunters, outdoor enthusiasts and wildlife professionals.

This event provides an opportunity for the public to speak with waterfowl experts from state and federal agencies and conservation organizations.

A tour of wetlands in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge opens the event 1-5 p.m. on Friday, April 5, at 3815 American Blvd. East in Bloomington. The next day, conference sessions fill the agenda 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the wildlife refuge.

“This year we’re looking closely at hunter numbers and how we can get more people out into the marsh,” said Steve Cordts, waterfowl specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “As always, the event is a great chance to talk face-to-face with anyone who cares about wetlands and waterfowl.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Waterfowl Association and DNR partner to present the event, now in its 21st year. Attendees will find information booths, a Junior Duck Stamp display, a wild-game cooking demonstration, and a gunsmith who can answer gun fitting and repair questions. The event is free to attend and no registration is required.

Presenters include:

James Burnham, Minnesota DNR, hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation.
David Fulton, Minnesota Cooperative Research Unit, Mississippi Flyway research.
Kelsie LaSharr, University of Minnesota, hunter use of WMAs.
Mary Stefanski and Vicki Sherry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota Valley and Upper Mississippi River national wildlife refuges.
Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin, migratory habitat with the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
Mike Johnson, University of Minnesota, canvasback research in Canada.
Bruce Davis, Minnesota DNR, mallard telemetry project.
John Maile, Minnesota DNR, understanding hunting habitat.
Ken Higgins, retired from U.S. Geological Survey.
Question and answer session with Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen.
More details are available at bit.ly/WaterfowlSymposium2019.

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