Whitefish, cisco sport netting dates announced for Shagawa, Ojibway and Bear Island lakes

Additional opening dates have been set for whitefish and cisco (tullibee) sport netting on area lakes, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Tower area fisheries office.

Lakes open to whitefish and cisco sport netting Saturday, Nov. 7 through Monday, Nov. 30:
• Shagawa Lake* (St. Louis County) requires a 3-1/2 inch or greater net stretch measure.

Lakes open to whitefish and cisco sport netting Friday, Nov. 27 through Monday, Dec. 28:
• Ojibway (Lake County) requires a 1-3/4 inch or greater net stretch measure.
• Bear Island (St. Louis County) requires a 1-3/4 inch or greater net stretch measure.


Teamwork separates two tangled bucks

On day one of the MEA break, Minnesota Conservation Officer Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) returned a call from Babbitt, MN police chief Chad Loewen who was hunting pheasants in the Delft, MN area with his two sons and wife. They had encountered an eight point and a ten point buck tangled up by their antlers. The Loewen family made attempts to free the animals with sticks that they found in the area, but because the sticks weren’t rigid enough nor long enough, they couldn’t get the leverage they needed to complete the task. Later in the afternoon Gruhlke responded to the area, with a two piece ice chisel and a canoe paddle. With those two tools the Loewens and Gruhlke went to see if they could help the two bucks. After a short search the deer were found, still tangled, but nearly exhausted. They all worked cautiously at separating the two deer. When the antlers were pried apart, almost immediately the ten pointer jumped to his “feet” and left the area.


Area youth learn in the field about their ecosystem

Mason Davies releases the banded bird while his classmates look on, l-r: Jon Hakala, Gracie Pointer, Cora Olson, Jacob Towley, Gabriel Pointer, Mason Davis, and Dave Grosshuesch of the U.S. Forest Service.


Sara Hext wins 2015 Angler resort stay

In the Ely Echo’s North Country Angler Fishing Contest every year, any and all fish entries are eligible for the grand prize of a three-day stay at Zup’s Fishing Resort, no matter what the size of the fish. And no matter what the size of the angler.

This year’s vacation winner, Sara Hext of Wisconsin registered her nice bluegill at Spirit of the Wilderness and has been notified of her win.


Northern lights brighten night skies

NORTHERN LIGHTS this past week with the Ely water tower featured in this photo by Hailey Worth.


National Forest Survey starts today in Superior National Forest


October 1, 2015 - Duluth. Beginning today, and continuing through the coming year, you may see Forest Service employees wearing uniforms and bright orange vests in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along Forest Service Roads within the Superior National Forest. They will be near a sign that says "Traffic Survey Ahead". These folks are well-trained interviewers who want to know about your visit to the Superior National Forest. The information they are collecting helps the Forest Service understand visitor use on national forests.


Freemans set off for year-long BWCAW trek

by Tom Coombe

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is familiar ground for Dave and Amy Freeman.
But for the next year, the couple will also call it home.
Earlier this week, the Freemans paddled away from shore near Ely and began a 365-day trek through the wilderness, as part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about - and rally opposition against - proposed copper-nickel mining projects in the region.
For a full year, the couple will live in tents, stay at as many as 120 campsites...
While they’ll be roughing it for a year, the couple will have modern conveniences including a computer and satellite terminal that will allow them to communicate with the rest of the world.
The couple applied for and received one continouus, 365-day permit to be in the BWCAW,... The Freemans will spend about $45,000 on their adventure...

Read the complete article in this week’s Ely Echo


Forest Service warns about foraging bears

Bears are really active right now—the Forest Service has received bear reports from the old Service Center on Central Ave. in Ely, to the Passi Road on Burntside to the large island in the South Arm of Knife Lake and even Lakes One and Two in the BWCAW.

Now is the time to put bird feeders away, secure garbage, and be extra mindful when camping in the BWCAW. Please remember, coolers are NOT bear resistant containers. Take extra care when hanging a food pack.

Once a bear gets hold of food or garbage it will return many times to the same site looking for more food. Bears that have found a source of food may damage your property and be a risk to you, your family and pets, your neighbors, or the next campers to use your campsite. Save a bear by securing your food, garbage, and bird feeders until the bears start their winter nap.


Hunting forecast: Grouse numbers are up, deer herd finally recovering

by Nick Wognum

A week from today is the start of the small game and archery deer hunting seasons. Bear hunters have been in the woods since Sept. 1.
DNR wildlife manager Tom Rusch sat down recently to discuss what to expect afield this fall.

The season starts Sept. 19 but what kind of year it’s going to be is still up in the air.
“Here’s my take on it, August is too early to make judgements,” said Rusch.
Last year 11 inches of rain in June put a huge dent in the population. The weather this year was much better in May and June for grouse.
“Drumming counts were 1.3, the same as the year before,” said Rusch.
Pressed for a prediction, Rusch said signs point to a good season.
“You couldn’t have designed a better prescription for upland birds to survive this year. I’m still optimistic. We’re at mid-cycle from the crash in 2009 so we should keep building,” said Rusch.


Record paddle of 212 miles across BWCA in 100 hours

by Ann Raiho
Two women, Claire Jencks and Ann Raiho, paddled from Crane Lake near Voyageur National Park to Lake Superior along the historic border route in 100 hours from July 20 to July 24, 2015. The purpose of this adventure was to paddle a classic wilderness passage unsupported and as fast as possible to claim the first well documented canoeing speed record for the route and challenge other canoeists to attempt to do the same.
In 100 hours, Claire and Ann sailed across Lac La Croix faster than 8 mph and completed over 40 portages. They slept four hours a night (16 hours total) paddling the Pigeon River to the Grand Portage after dark encountering moose, beaver, the northern lights, and a surprise water fall. For more details about preparation and the trip itself see www.border-route200.squarespace.com.


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