DNR reopens burned areas of Roseau River WMA

The Department of Natural Resources has reopened the portions of the Roseau River Wildlife Management area that were closed during the recent “Juneberry” wildfire in northwest Minnesota.

“Even though some of the WMA is black, there are still plenty of good hunting spots available,” said Randy Prachar, manager of Roseau River WMA. “This time of year, Roseau River WMA is a destination for waterfowl hunters, and we’d like to assure all users that plenty of opportunities still exist.”

The Roseau River WMA is a 75,000-acre public hunting ground located along the Minnesota-Manitoba border in northwestern Roseau County. Prachar said the fire will improve habitat and nesting and breeding cover in the long run.

Here is updated information the DNR released Thursday afternoon for those deciding on whether to include Roseau River WMA in their fall hunting or wildlife viewing plans:

• Campsites and other facilities are safe to use.

• Pool 2 did not burn, so hunters should expect to find it in its usual condition. Though the campgrounds associated with Pool 2 did burn over, they are still functional (some soot present).

• Pool 3 did burn, but much of the pool that is navigable for hunting, and its associated cattail cover did not burn, thus hunters should be able to hunt their usual spots. As with Pool 2, the Pool 3 campsite burned, but the site is functional.

• The Roseau River south of Pool 3 burned, but fire was kept from the most popular areas. The major campsites north of Greenbush were not burned. Hunters should note that the drought has made navigating a boat difficult in the shallow river water.

• There was significant disturbance to waterfowl on Pool 3 and along a portion of the Roseau River due to consecutive days of helicopter traffic. Hunters should expect the influence of this disturbance to wane as we get farther into October and as new birds arrive in migration that were not there to experience the disturbance.

• The wooded areas of the WMA that were burned will be black until snow falls. Already, bear, deer, ruffed grouse, woodcock and snowshoe hares have been observed along the perimeter of the burned area.

More information on Roseau River WMA is available here:

Map of Roseau River Wildlife Management Area:

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