BWCA land swap out for comment

The Forest Service has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed land exchange with the State of Minnesota.
As proposed, the Forest Service would acquire approximately 31,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust lands in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).
In exchange, the Forest Service would convey federal lands on the Superior National Forest outside the BWCAW.
The amount of federal lands conveyed would be equal in value to the acquired lands, and would be selected from a pool of federal candidate parcels of up to 39,000 acres.


DNR seeking citizen input on Lake Vermilion management plan update

There is an updated draft management plan for northern Minnesota’s Lake Vermilion, and the Department of Natural Resources is seeking input on it beginning Monday, July 17.

The new six-year plan (2017-2022) retains the walleye regulation implemented in May 2017 and is more specific than the previous plan about management goals and activities for individual fish species including walleye, muskellunge, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass and panfish.

Other changes include new stocking guidelines for walleye and muskie, evaluation of the northern pike regulation, and adjustments to fish survey methods and the timing of sampling.

The plan was developed in partnership with the Lake Vermilion Fisheries Input Group comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders representing local, statewide and tribal perspectives. The 20-member group held eight meetings over eight months in 2016.


30 inch walleye prize for visiting angler

HAPPY ANGLER Scott Loe, Minnetonka MN and his 30” walleye caught on Gun Lake (Mudro lake area). “We took some quick pics and released it. It was 30.5 inches and caught ‘by the trigger’ on Gun Lake. I caught it at dusk jigging. Fought it for about 10 minutes. We did not have a net so I tired it out and my canoe partner Joshua Dirlam grabbed it and scooped it in the canoe. Fish of a lifetime! So much fun!” Registered at Voyageur North Outfitters. Appears in this week’s North Country Angler in the Ely Echo


Owl rescued by Ely couple

A Great Horned Owl with a broken wing was captured and brought to a rehabilitation center by an Ely couple.
Lexy Worth and Casey Fenske noticed ravens circling in the woods near the house off Highway 21. Fenske went out to see what the ravens were circling and found the owl.
Worth brought her camera and Fenske brought a fishing net to rescue the owl which could not fly.
With some definite bravery on Fenske’s part, the large bird was captured and later transported to a rehabilitation center.
“If all goes as planned to be released back on our property,” Worth wrote on FaceBook. “This was once in a lifetime. We’re so thrilled to have been able to save it!”


Another rescue in BWCA

Rescuers were again sent into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
On Tuesday evening a group of three young males from Duluth called for help after attempting to run rapids in the Lake One and Lake Two area.
Some guests staying at Kawishiwi Lodge heard the calls for help, called 911 and then paddled over to the area where Lake Two flows into Lake One.
They located three young males in the water. The boys did not have personal floatation devices on and their gear was noticed floating in the lake. The people got the boys to shore.
According to Kurt Erickson with the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, the three young men had been trying to paddle/walk a canoe up a set of rapids when one of them slipped and washed downstream.
“This one apparently reported after, that his leg briefly became entangled in a tree and rocks in the rapids. He felt luck to have not drowned,” according to Erickson.


Couple rescued in swamp

by Tom Coombe -


Woman rescued after getting lost near Angleworm

A lost woman in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area led to an extensive search effort on May 27.
Rachael Cay Lehman, 49 of Aurora, MN was found by rescuers on the east side of Angleworm Lake. She was reported as being lost at 6:20 p.m. by her husband. Lehman was located at 11:40 p.m.
Angleworm Lake is located off four miles from the Echo Trail road in a remote area. Cell phone and radio coverage is spotty at best.
Rescuers were told the Forest Service Beaver floatplanes were not available. A State Patrol airplane from St. Paul was dispatched to assist with locating Lehman.
On the ground, two teams were sent in from the Echo Trail and found tough going on the trail around Angleworm Lake.
The teams found an orange water bottle. The husband confirmed she was carrying an orange one. They ended up pushing thorough some wet lowlands, crossing a beaver dam and climbing some steep hills in the dark.


DNR sees boatload of state record fish applications

Interest has ramped up this spring in the state record fish program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, with five applications for four species including everything from shortnose gar, lake sturgeon, golden redhorse and the quillback carpsucker.

“This is by far the wildest, craziest spring we’ve ever had. We’ve never had so many record submissions and so much interest in such a short span of time,” said Mike Kurre, state record fish program coordinator. “They’re are all impressive catches and show interest in the program is growing and that there are some huge fish out there in Minnesota.”

There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: One for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish.


Take the kids fishing

Nick Gazelka, Shoreview, MN (R), and cousin Sam Gazelka (L) teamed up to net this big one on Snowbank Lake Opening Day, using a smelt from Babe’s Bait & Tackle. The trout was 31 inches and had orange fillets like a salmon. Strong fish.


Anglers can boost chances fish survive after release

Stories of multiple anglers catching the same fish are more than fishing lore – they’re the real result of anglers practicing catch-and-release fishing. Anglers can take several actions to boost the chances a fish survives after being released, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Catch-and-release fishing is an important topic, especially in recent years with expanded catch-and-release seasons in Minnesota for lake sturgeon, trout and bass,” said Al Stevens, fisheries survey and systems consultant. “What’s more, anglers often choose to release large fish, and are required to release fish that aren’t of a legal size to keep.”
Fish can be injured by hooks, stress and being pulled from deep water. Being hooked in the mouth does little damage to the fish, and setting the hook quickly helps avoid hooking a fish in the stomach or gills.


Subscribe to RSS - Outdoors