Minnesota state parks make all campsites reservable and begin taking same-day reservations

Gooseberry Falls State Park, Tettegouche State Park and other Minnesota state parks on the North Shore are currently “full” for Memorial Day Weekend, but if people don’t have reservations yet there’s another opportunity next week, when hundreds of previously unreservable sites become reservable. The additional sites will open up not just for Memorial Day weekend, but for the entire camping season at each park.

Starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 3, the additional campsites will be made available in three “batches,” based on Minnesota’s tourism regions.

Tuesday, May 3: State parks in southern Minnesota and Twin Cities metro area.

Wednesday, May 4: State parks in central and northwestern Minnesota.


Spring comes to Superior National Forest

Signs of spring can be seen across the Superior National Forest. Snow is gone from most of the west and central parts of the Forest and disappearing quickly in the east. Lakes and streams are breaking free of winter’s icy clutch. Tree buds are swelling and fringes of green are rapidly expanding in grassy openings. Other sure signs of spring include the re-opening of campgrounds and the beginning of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permit season.


End of the portage

END OF THE PORTAGE into the Kawishiwi River near Three Mile Lake in this picturesque photo by Snotty Moose Studio photographer Ken Hupila.


New, $1.5 million ecology hall now open at North American Bear Center

by Tom Coombe for Ely Echo PROGRESS EDITION


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.


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