Walleyes, Pollinator-Friendly Solar and TIP coming up on Prairie Sportsman
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Dustin Kotrba and Host Bret Amundson
Dustin Kotrba and Host Bret Amundson fishing for walleye.

Download a photo of Dustin Kotrba and Bret Amundson

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — The next episode of Prairie Sportsman celebrates the annual Governor’s Fishing Opener, explores pollinator-friendly solar and checks out the Turn In Poachers program.

Walleyes and Solar Honey will air on Pioneer Public Television Sunday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m.; on Lakeland Public TV Saturday, February 16 at 2:30 p.m.; on KSMQ Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 pm; and will be rebroadcast on TPT MN. Check local listings.

Host Bret Amundson is fishing for walleye with Dustin Kotrba in the Willmar lakes area. Viewers will learn about Dustin’s opening day traditions and find out what he uses to trick those tasty fish into biting.

Then, Prairie Sportsman visits the 1200-acre North Star Solar Array that is planted with native grasses and forbes rather than turf grass. The idea was hatched by Kevin Mixon and Megan Benage in the DNR’s New Ulm office and they designed a native plant mix that would provide pollinator habitat while not obscuring the panels. Beekeepers such as Bolton Bees and Bare Honey of St. Joseph are raising bees and pulling honey from solar farms that are being used and promoted by cideries, breweries and restaurants. For example, one of the nation’s top restaurants, Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, is using the honey in desserts and cocktails.

On the final segment, Bret gets a history lesson on wildlife crime prevention in Minnesota as the Turn In Poachers program continues its fight against illegally taken game. TIP executive director Dennis Mackedanz gives a tour of their Brainerd headquarters and shares stories from the biggest poaching cases over the years, including what would have been a world record whitetail buck.

About Prairie Sportsman

Prairie Sportsman celebrates our love of the outdoors – to hunt, fish and enjoy recreation provided by our vast resources of lakes, rivers, trails and grasslands – while promoting environmental stewardship.

Prairie Sportsman’s team includes Cindy Dorn, producer/writer; Bret Amundson, host/assistant producer; Dylan Curfman, editor/videographer; and Max Grabow, assistant videographer/editor. The 2019 season is made possible by funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, SafeBasements of Minnesota, Diamond Willow, Live Wide Open and Western Minnesota Prairie Waters.

About Pioneer Public Television

Established in 1966, Pioneer Public TV is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. For more information visitwww.pioneer.org.