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Muskrat Trapping Season Extended Through April 1 For Trumbull Lake

February 13, 2018
Emmetsburg News

RUTHVEN - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is extending the muskrat trapping season on Trumbull Lake from Feb. 1 to April 1, 2018 to reduce the muskrat population and preserve the beneficial vegetation in the marsh. This extension is only for muskrats and only for Trumbull Lake.

Iowa's trapping season for all furbearers except beaver closes statewide on Jan. 31.

Trumbull Lake covers about 1,200 acres, offers excellent habitat for wetland wildlife.

Muskrats are the aquatic version of cottontail rabbitstheir population runs in cycles; they have 2-4 litters per year and in the food chain, serve as prey to mink, otters, hawks, owls and coyotes.

Muskrats primarily use emergent vegetation (plants that grow up out of the water) to build their huts. The current population on Trumbull Lake is high and they require a lot of vegetation for hut building.

"Muskrats are an important part of a healthy marsh, or shallow lake and this year, we have a surplus here locally. We would like to lower the population by removing additional muskrats to preserve some of the beneficial vegetation thereby keeping the marsh in a healthy balance and to offer additional trapping opportunities for a temporarily abundant resource.

This is an excellent opportunity for our trappers to extend their season and utilize the surplus of muskrats. We don't feel that the additional harvest will reduce the numbers to the point of overharvest.

Trappers participating in this special extension will be allowed to place their traps directly into the muskrat dens, which is a change from the regular trapping season.

Trappers are allowed to place their traps in the muskrat house (in-house trapping only) to reduce the chance for catching a non-targeted animal.

Parking lots surrounding Trumbull Lake will have signs alerting visitors to the special trapping season extension.



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