Outdoors

Fri
11
Mar

DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobile riders this past week. Most of the fish houses have been removed and slush continues to be a problem in some areas. Fishing has been slow but seems to be picking up.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked remote trout lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails. He instructed a snowmobile safety field day in Grand Marais. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports another busy snowmobile week in Cook County. No violations were seen. Hill took part in Exploratory Day for Cook County Middle School students. Hill watched a group of avid young anglers try their luck at catching rainbow trout on a local lake. Between snowball fights and hotdogs over the fire, the kiddos landed a few nice fish.

Sat
26
Feb

Ancient Native American cooking vessel found in Superior National Forest

Superior National Forest archaeologists recently received lab results revealing that an ancient Native American cooking vessel discovered in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness dates back to 1,750 – 1,600 years ago (254-403 common era).
In partnership with the Forest Service, scientists at a lab in California conducted radiocarbon dating on carbonized food residue found on the interior of a sherd (broken piece of material) from the ceramic vessel.
The sherd’s decorative elements are associated with the Laurel Cultural Tradition, which was prevalent in the Upper Midwest and Canada approximately 2,100-1,200 years ago.

Sat
26
Feb

Kids snowmobile oval racing on Fall Lake March 5

Snowmobile oval ice racing returns to the area on March 5 with races being held on Fall Lake by the Longbranch.
The Kids Championship Power Racing Organization has races for kids ages four to 14 and will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 5.
The event is free for spectators with 11 different classes of races starting at 10 a.m.
Registrations begin at 8 a.m. with hot laps at 9 a.m. and racing action set to begin at 10 a.m.
For those interested in racing, but not quite ready to commit, KCPRO-East has a race-ready sled available to rent (for free) for a day on the ice with the club, or even just a lap around the track for fun.

Sun
20
Feb

California judge’s ruling restores federal protection of gray wolves

by Jesse White
Mesabi Tribune
And just like that, the gray wolf has made the list.
The endangered species list, that is.
Again.
Last Thursday, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White in California ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States and other wildlife organizations against the U.S. Department of the Interior in January 2021, reversing a 2020 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule removing wolves from the list in 45 states.
According to a story in the Iowa Capital Dispatch, that decision “relied too much on thriving gray wolf populations near the Great Lakes and in the Rocky Mountains, without studying populations in the rest of the contiguous United States,” wrote White, who was named to the federal bench by President George W. Bush.

Fri
11
Feb

DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports that fishing activity continued to slow over the week and weekend. Although some success was seen on several lakes, overall most reports were poor. Snowmobiling activity was high over the weekend and trail conditions were good, although falling snow made for low visibility. Violations included angling without a license in possession, failure to display current snowmobile registration, and no state trail sticker.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush continues to be a problem on many area lakes. Velsvaag found several spots with litter from fish houses. Velsvaag took several calls about the pike regulations.

Fri
04
Feb

DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) lake trout angling pressure stayed high over the week and into the weekend. Less success was found on the local designated trout lakes but a good amount of fish were seen. Violations included: angling without a license in possession, failure to register fisher, and excessive snowmobile speed.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush is still bad on many of the lakes in the area and fishing was slow. Snowmobile trail conditions are very good and several calls came in about snowmobilers not stopping at road intersections and operating on the road.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking remote trout lakes and lakes along the border. The officer assisted in teaching a snowmobile safety class to the US Forest Service. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.

Fri
28
Jan

New way to groom

by Nick Wognum
The Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club has a new way to groom area trails.
The club purchased a 2022 John Deere Gator with tracks and has modified a drag to smooth out trails.
“I hope it works out, it’s been working good,” said club president Rico Mondati.
“It’s got a lot of pulling power, I just hope it lasts. It will sure help out for going to Lake Vermilion,” he said.
Club member Corey Keen has used the new machine to groom local trails around Ely as well as to Lake Vermilion.
“When I was researching it, other clubs using UTVs say the Gator holds up the best,” said Keen. “Being a John Deere it’s more heavy duty.”
The rig cost the club around $39,000 plus $2,000 to modify a drag to pull behind it.
The club was able to pay for the equipment with a combination of savings and monies from charitable gambling operations.

Fri
28
Jan

Trout stocking via helicopter means more fish for anglers

Anglers will have the opportunity to catch trout on remote lakes in northeastern Minnesota following helicopter-based fish stocking efforts last fall.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources typically uses trucks to stock fish, but traditional methods can’t be used in some of the state’s difficult-to-reach lakes. In those waters, airplanes have been used for years to provide aerial stocking.
But recently, pilots in the DNR Enforcement Division’s Aviation Unit – which assists other agency divisions with creel counts, wildlife-population surveys and habitat-improvement efforts, in addition to its typical enforcement work – created and constructed a helicopter-based system that makes stocking more effective and efficient.

Fri
28
Jan

DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports there was very heavy snowmobile activity during the warmer parts of the weekend. Angling activity was steady, although success was low. Violations included untagged trap, and possessing live bait on a designated trout lake.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions are getting worse on many lakes and snowmobile trail conditions are very good. CO Velsvaag also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking area trout lakes. The Officer assisted the Use of Force team teaching firearms tactics at Camp Ripley.

Fri
21
Jan

DNR seeking public input on deer population goals including Ely area

Beginning Monday, Jan. 24, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for public input on deer population goals in 28 of 130 deer permit areas (DPAs).
“We’re continuing with an online questionnaire this year and adding webinars for those who wish to connect directly with area wildlife managers on this topic,” said Barbara Keller, DNR big game program leader. “We’re excited to have people participate and encourage anyone who has an interest in deer management to give feedback on deer population trends in the areas where they live, work and recreate.”
The DNR establishes deer population goals — how much of an increase or decrease is desired in a deer population in a particular DPA — as part of managing the state’s wild deer.

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