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Field reports: Peregrine Watch begins

Peregrine Watch 2010 is up and running -- or flying -- at Duluth's Lake Place Park on the Lakewalk.

Naturalists with Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory will be available with spotting scopes and binoculars from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday through Sunday, weather permitting, between now and July 11.

The free program allows anyone who stops by the chance to view two adult peregrine falcons and their four chicks living in a nesting box near the roof of the Greysolon Plaza building in downtown Duluth.

And it's official: The adult falcons have three male chicks and one female. The young were banded on Tuesday.

The male chicks have been named Evan, Tobias and Mickey, said Julie O'Connor, a naturalist and educator with Peregrine Watch. The female is Darla.

"The birds are about 30 days old and are about three-fourths feathered," O'Connor said in an e-mail Wednesday. "So, so cute. We expect they'll fledge (begin flying) in 10 to 14 days."

The chicks are visible from the street and can be heard at feeding time from Lake Place Park, O'Connor said. A new monitor in the nest box allows Hawk Ridge naturalists to watch the birds as they mature.

For daily Peregrine Watch reports, send a blank e-mail to Or read updates at

DNR wins grant to work on access to North Shore streams

The French River fisheries office has secured a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant that will lay the groundwork for North Shore stream protection and increased access to those streams by anglers.

The $200,000 grant was written by Don Schreiner, Department of Natural Resources Lake Superior area fisheries supervisor. The money will be used to identify and plan easements on private land along North Shore streams. The easements, once signed by willing landowners, would prevent development along the streams and allow anglers to fish from shore along the streams, Schreiner said.

This grant won't be used to actually secure the easements, but to prioritize areas where the easements should be sought and to identify land ownership. Money to acquire the easements from landowners would come later, probably through projects recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and approved by the Legislature, Schreiner said.

The grant was awarded through the National Fish Habitat Initiative of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Schreiner said.

Red Lake walleye slot more generous

Anglers who fish Upper Red Lake may keep larger walleyes now.

For the remainder of the open-water season, all walleyes from 20 to 26 inches must be immediately released. Throughout the open water season, the four-fish bag limit remains in effect; only one fish longer than 26 inches is allowed.

The walleye size limit will revert back to the 17- to 26-inch protected range on Dec. 1. The winter adjustment is necessary because winter angling pressure has been consistently higher than open-water pressure.

Wisconsin turkey harvest down

Wisconsin hunters registered 47,539 turkeys during the 2010 spring turkey season, a 9.6 percent decrease from the 2009 harvest of 52,581 birds, according to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources news release.

A total of 217,444 permits were issued for the spring hunt, according to licensing officials. This was a decrease of 689 permits compared with the 2009 spring hunt.

Hunter success rates also fell slightly to 22 percent in 2010 versus 24 percent in 2009. As in past years, success rates were generally highest during the early and middle hunting periods.