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.


Spraying from air set for June in Ely

by Joe Domich


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.


Canoe festival proposed to be Ely’s newest event

by Tom Coombe


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.


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.


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