Outdoors

Fri
29
Jan

Fishing Report by Captain Russ

Aaron Naime of Ely caught this nice pair of lake trout while fishing Basswood Lake with an Airplane Jig.

Fri
22
Jan

Spraying from air set for June in Ely

by Joe Domich

Tue
12
Jan

Citizens can apply to serve on Lake Vermilion Fisheries Input Group

Citizens interested in discussing Lake Vermilion fish and habitat can nominate themselves as volunteers on a newly forming Lake Vermilion Fisheries Input Group.Applications must be completed by Sunday, Jan. 31, and are available at www.mndnr.gov/lakevermilion.

“We will use the input from the group as we update the Lake Vermilion Fisheries Management Plan,” said Edie Evarts, Tower area fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We reserved some seats to be filled by volunteers who apply though the self-nomination process, and some members will be invited from groups interested in Lake Vermilion issues.”

Group members will meet six or seven times between March and October to cover topics including management of walleye, northern pike, muskie and bass; double-crested cormorant control; the Pike River walleye hatchery; habitat, water quality and aquatic invasive species.

Sat
09
Jan

Canoe festival proposed to be Ely’s newest event

by Tom Coombe

Thu
31
Dec

Wet swamps, trees down slow snowmobile season

The snowmobile season in northeast Minnesota is off to a slow start.
Area clubs and the DNR have been out trying to get swamps to freeze and remove thousands of bent over trees and brush.
A wet and heavy snow stuck to branches and has caused major havoc for trail clearing forces.
Compounding the problem is not being able to access areas because the swamps are not frozen.
Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club President Rico Mondati said sections of the Tomahawk Trail may need heavy equipment to open.
“Just the section from the softball fields to Silver Rapids is a mess. We may have to bring a bulldozer in there to clean it up,” said Mondati.
Club Trail Administrator Roger Skraba was out in the Isabella area Wednesday. He said clearing the trail has been a slow process and that some swamps have open water in them.
“We just need some cold weather to get these swamps to freeze,” said Skraba.

Thu
31
Dec

Kids snowmobile oval racing in Winton Jan. 9

Oval ice racing returns to Fall Lake Jan. 9 for kids ages four to 14.
After successful race last February, the KCPRO Ice Racing circuit will make a stop at the Longbranch on Fall Lake.
The event is free for spectators with 11 different classes of races starting at 10 a.m.
This year there will again be at least one Ely connection with Brant Gruba, age 7, who’s in his third year of racing.
Brant is the grandson of Rod and Sheila Gruba of Ely.
The race date was moved up six weeks from last year, mainly due to poor ice conditions elsewhere.
“We’re the only place that has good ice right now,” said Rod Gruba. “We were able to get out over a week ago and plow the area off with four wheelers so it could freeze.”
With areas in the south part of the state still having open water, Gruba expects a good turnout here.
“It looks like we could have a lot of racers from the south coming up here that weekend,” said Gruba.

Mon
28
Dec

Conservation Officer weekly report December 21

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports most of time was spent following up on cases from deer hunting and trapping seasons. Ice conditions remain poor on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama; people have been patient so far and are reminded not to push their luck as moderate temperatures have not been conducive to making ice. A report of a deer falling through the ice on Rainy Lake was successfully rescued with the help of the Int’l Falls Fire Department. A few more snowmobiles have been observed with recent snow fall.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) reports monitoring angling, small game, and snowmobile activities throughout the area. For most of the snowmobilers, these were the first rides of the season. Few trails are open and grooming parties have been seen on the trail system. The ice conditions on area lakes still remain poor. Time was also spent on ongoing investigations and nuisance animal complaints.

Sun
20
Dec

- Closing the shackHook and Bullet Club

At the end of muzzleloader season, every hunter fires their gun. Some shoot at deer, others an unsuspecting tree branch, but everyone shoots.
Your only other option is to unload the gun by pushing the bullet back out. That’s no fun at all.
Sunday at dark my gun was still loaded even though I had every intention of knocking down a deer that day.
Hunting in the state park I had seen at least one deer every trip I made there. Except Sunday. Not only did I not see a deer, I didn’t see a deer track.
So much for whipping up a batch of deer track soup for supper.
We were supposed to get four to eight inches of snow on Sunday and of course that didn’t happen.
But knowing that could happen, it was time to go the shack and close everything down while we could still drive in.
Stands were dismantled out in the woods, canned goods were packed up in the shack and for good measure the sauna was fired up one more time.

Fri
11
Dec

County residents urged to take steps to protect septic tanks from freezing

The unusual mix of weather conditions affecting St. Louis County could cause a new sort of problem for rural residents. The St. Louis County Environmental Services staff is warning that low snowfall amounts and approaching winter temperatures could lead to potential freezing problems for septic systems.
Some common reasons septic systems freeze include: a lack of snow cover during cold weather, cold air entering the system, compacted soil, compacted snow on top of the system and irregular use of the system.
Residents are encouraged to protect their septic systems from freezing through proper homeowner or commercial owner maintenance. Recommended precautions to take now:
• Add a layer of mulch (eight to 12 inches of hay or straw) over the pipes, tank and soil treatment area. Keep the mulch loose to form air pockets, which act as insulation. This is particularly important if a system is new and vegetative cover has not been well established.

Fri
04
Dec

Final deer harvest up 19.4%

by Nick Wognum
The final numbers are in and the result is an increase in the harvest after two years where numbers dropped each year by more than 25 percent.
In 2013, the harvest was down 25 percent and in 2014 the numbers were down 30 percent for the firearms season.
Compared to 2010, the buck harvest in 2015 was still down over 37 percent (8,697 compared to 5,471).
But the DNR believes the area deer herd is on the road to recovery after some tough winters.
“When you get two tough winters in a row, that’s the kiss of death because you get a bad fawn crop,” said DNR area wildlife manager Tom Rusch.
“But last year was decent and the year before wasn’t too bad. Now if this winter is predicted as very mild we should get a very good fawn crop.

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