Bear hunt applications available; deadline is Friday, May 6

Applications for Minnesota bear hunting licenses are being accepted now through Friday, May 6, wherever Minnesota hunting and fishing license are sold, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236.

A total of 3,850 licenses are available in 13 permit areas. Bear licenses cost $44 for residents and $230 for nonresidents, and there is a $5 application fee. The season is open from Thursday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 16.

Notification to lottery winners will be made by June 16. The deadline to purchase licenses awarded by lottery will be Monday, Aug. 1. Any remaining unpurchased licenses will be available over the counter starting at noon on Friday, Aug. 5.


Be aware of bears emerging this spring

Anyone living near bear habitat is reminded to be aware of bears this spring and check their property for food sources that could attract bears, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.
“With a warm spring so far, we’re already getting calls about bears out rummaging for food,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife animal damage program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “However, leaving food out in yards that can be eaten by bears sets the stage for potential property damage and presents dangers to bears.”
As bears emerge from hibernation, their metabolism gradually ramps up and they will begin looking for food at a time when berries and green vegetation can be scarce. Bears may be tempted by dog food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage.


On Earth Day, Vernal Equinox

By Bill Teftt. Photography by Ken Hupila of Snotty Moose Studio.

On Earth Day, Vernal Equinox, 1970, attention was drawn to humans as residents and caretakers of the Earth. Recognition and knowledge...

North Country Wildlife is a regular feature of the Ely Echo. Great photos and interesting explanations.


March 21 deadline approaches for ice fishing shelter removal from northeastern MN lakes

Ice anglers in northeastern Minnesota are reminded of ice shelter removal dates on lakes located north of Highways 200 and U.S. Highway 2, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said. Because of rapidly deteriorating ice conditions, anglers may need to remove their shelters early and not wait for the deadline.

Dark houses, fish houses and portable shelters must be off the ice of inland lakes no later than 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 21. For Minnesota–Canada border waters, the deadline for removal is March 31. Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier if ice conditions warrant.

Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadline. Anglers who don’t remove their shelter can be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or dispose of it. It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access.


White-nose syndrome, a disease that can kill bats, confirmed in Soudan Underground Mine

White-nose syndrome (WNS), a disease that is harmful and usually fatal to hibernating bats, has been confirmed at Lake Vermilion - Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
Starting in late January, several hundred bats have been found dead near the main entrance to the mine. Subsequent testing of bats sent on Feb. 12 to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center confirmed the bats were infected by WNS.
First documented in North America in 2007 in eastern New York, WNS has since spread to 27 states and five Canadian provinces, killing more than 5.7 million bats. The disease is named for the fuzzy white growth of fungus observed on infected bats. It is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.


Fishing Report by Captain Russ

As another walleye/pike season draws to a close, most dedicated anglers will turn their attention to trout fishing. There are a good number of folks who have been reaping the reward of great trout encounters all winter long, and this couldn’t be a better time to get your share. Though ice conditions aren’t the greatest, there are still a wide array of lakes with fishable ice.
Whether it be stream trout, or lake trout, the Ely area has you covered. While we can’t mention all the lakes, some of the most popular and productive ones are within a twenty mile radius of Ely. Burntside, Snowbank and Basswood are the three of the most productive lakes for lake trout in Northeast Minnesota.


Possibility of better moose health, desire for more deer prompt permit area changes in northeastern Minnesota

Reducing the passage of parasites and possible disease from deer to moose and increasing the number of deer in areas adjacent to the moose range are the goals of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources proposed plan to re-align some deer permit area boundaries in northeastern Minnesota.
Complete details and additional information about the proposal will be on the DNR website on Friday, Feb. 26. Online comments on the proposal will be accepted beginning Feb. 26 and continuing through Sunday, March 13. People without Internet access may send written comments to MNDNR, 500 Lafayette Road Box 4025, St. Paul, Minn., 55155-4025.
Comments will inform a DNR decision on whether to move forward with the proposal, which at the soonest could go into effect for this fall’s 2016 deer hunting season.


MDA planning gypsy moth eradication treatment for Ely area in 2016

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and partner organizations are planning to tackle a gypsy moth infestation in Ely this spring. In anticipation of the treatments, the department is inviting people to learn about the effort at an open house to be held February 22.

Ranked among America’s most destructive tree pests, gypsy moth has caused millions of dollars in damage to forests as it has spread from New England to Wisconsin in recent decades. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate large sections of forest. The pests are common in Wisconsin and are now establishing themselves in Minnesota.


Public meetings, one in Ely, set on ATV use on St. Louis County Roads

St. Louis County engineers are developing an ordinance that potentially will allow all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to be used on some County Roads.
Prior to drafting the ordinance, they would like the public to weigh in on the matter, and so have planned a series of informational meetings throughout the County to gather input and answer questions. Three meetings have been scheduled:
• Thursday, February 11, 6 p.m., Midway Township Town Hall, 3230 Midway Road
• Monday, February 22, 6 p.m., Vermilion Community College, (Room CL 104) 1900 East Camp Street, Ely
• Thursday, February 25, 6 p.m., St. Louis County Public Works Office in Virginia, (downstairs large training room) 7823 Highway 135
Each meeting will include a short presentation, a question and answer period, plus time to fill out a comment card.


Fishing Report by Captain Russ

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


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