A Minnesota Fishing Regulations publication put out by the Department of Natural Resources states that earthworms in Minnesota were introduced from Europe and are harmful to forests. This was news to me.

Are they saying that there were no earthworms of any type prior to the coming of the Europeans? How about nightcrawlers and manure worms? Your knowledge on this will be appreciated.

Since you’ve opened this can of worms, I’ll respond. But I’ll pass on the manure worm angle, thank you.

PB outdoors editor Eric Atherton confirms that the “slimy, slithering things you buy at the bait shop or dig out of your vegetable garden have foreign roots.”

The University of Minnesota Center for Hardwood Ecology says there’s no evidence that any species of earthworm is native to Minnesota. If worms ever were here, the glaciers that covered this part of the world 11,000 years ago would have wiped them out.

Atherton said that at least 15 species of earthworms now ply our dirt. Some arrived from across the Atlantic in dirt used as ballast in ships; others were stowaways in potted plants. The use of worms as bait in Minnesota lakes and rivers has hastened their spread.

Earthworms are no friend of wildflowers, ferns and seedlings in hardwood forests, and the DNR doesn’t want you to make the problem worse, so at the end of a day of fishing, put your bait container in the trash.

“Of course, you could just put the container in the fridge until your next fishing trip,” Atherton says. “But that’s between you and the people who might get a little surprise while looking for a late-night snack.”

Make that a late-nightcrawler snack. Mmmm!

There’s a sign along a Goodhue County road not far from Goodhue that says, “Former site of White Willow.” What was White Willow and when did it disappear?

The Goodhue County Historical Society is in the process of placing road signs at the site of one-time towns. Ghost towns is too romantic a word for some of them, where there’s virtually no remaining townsite. White Willow is one of these.

According to “Minnesota Place Names” by Warren Upham, the town in Zumbrota Township was established when the railroad was built between Red Wing and Zumbrota. It once had a general store, two grain elevators, a blacksmith and a cheese factory. When train traffic faded, the cheese factory closed, people moved out and the post office closed in 1905.

The historical society is raising money to install more signs around the county. For information, call (651) 388-6024.

Mr. Wizard is not infallible — in fact, on Monday he said the city of Rochester had no ordinances regulating garage sales. That’s not true.

According to the City of Rochester Zoning Ordinance and Land Development Manual, last updated in September 2016, garage sales are limited to no more than three sales per calendar year at any one property. And, each sale cannot exceed three consecutive calendar days.

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