Ducks Unlimited reports that despite northern Minnesota’s late, cool spring, wild rice is doing well. There is widespread coverage of wild rice on shallow lakes throughout the state’s northern counties, with several excellent stands of wild rice reported, according to a DU news release Wednesday.
Wild rice harvesters should find good opportunities, DU officials say, although some lake water levels are low due to the recent dry weather.
According to Rod Ustipak, Ducks Unlimited’s wild rice lake management consultant, wild rice maturity this year was about two weeks behind at the aerial leaf stage in early July, but will probably mature only a week or so later than normal. The late spring also means some rice will mature at a lower height than usual, which can be problematic for harvesters on some stands, but not for ducks, which feed on rice.
Ustipak and his team of technicians monitor and manage the outlets of more than 90 wild rice lakes throughout northern Minnesota to keep them free-flowing and clear of beaver dams and debris.
DU manages the lakes in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.