Woman rescued after getting lost near Angleworm

A lost woman in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area led to an extensive search effort on May 27.
Rachael Cay Lehman, 49 of Aurora, MN was found by rescuers on the east side of Angleworm Lake. She was reported as being lost at 6:20 p.m. by her husband. Lehman was located at 11:40 p.m.
Angleworm Lake is located off four miles from the Echo Trail road in a remote area. Cell phone and radio coverage is spotty at best.
Rescuers were told the Forest Service Beaver floatplanes were not available. A State Patrol airplane from St. Paul was dispatched to assist with locating Lehman.
On the ground, two teams were sent in from the Echo Trail and found tough going on the trail around Angleworm Lake.
The teams found an orange water bottle. The husband confirmed she was carrying an orange one. They ended up pushing thorough some wet lowlands, crossing a beaver dam and climbing some steep hills in the dark.


DNR sees boatload of state record fish applications

Interest has ramped up this spring in the state record fish program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, with five applications for four species including everything from shortnose gar, lake sturgeon, golden redhorse and the quillback carpsucker.

“This is by far the wildest, craziest spring we’ve ever had. We’ve never had so many record submissions and so much interest in such a short span of time,” said Mike Kurre, state record fish program coordinator. “They’re are all impressive catches and show interest in the program is growing and that there are some huge fish out there in Minnesota.”

There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: One for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish.


Take the kids fishing

Nick Gazelka, Shoreview, MN (R), and cousin Sam Gazelka (L) teamed up to net this big one on Snowbank Lake Opening Day, using a smelt from Babe’s Bait & Tackle. The trout was 31 inches and had orange fillets like a salmon. Strong fish.


Anglers can boost chances fish survive after release

Stories of multiple anglers catching the same fish are more than fishing lore – they’re the real result of anglers practicing catch-and-release fishing. Anglers can take several actions to boost the chances a fish survives after being released, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
“Catch-and-release fishing is an important topic, especially in recent years with expanded catch-and-release seasons in Minnesota for lake sturgeon, trout and bass,” said Al Stevens, fisheries survey and systems consultant. “What’s more, anglers often choose to release large fish, and are required to release fish that aren’t of a legal size to keep.”
Fish can be injured by hooks, stress and being pulled from deep water. Being hooked in the mouth does little damage to the fish, and setting the hook quickly helps avoid hooking a fish in the stomach or gills.


FISH project reduces mercury in women on the Shore

Increased efforts to improve advice to women about eating fish are yielding positive results for the health of women on the North Shore.

Women involved in a follow-up group to a major project aimed at reducing mercury in women through changes in fish consumption were found to have decreased mercury levels in their blood, but they didn’t lower their consumption of healthy, low-mercury fish.

The Fish are Important to Superior Health (FISH) project started after a 2011 study by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) showed that 10 percent of newborns tested in the North Shore – Arrowhead region had mercury above levels of concern in their blood. Too much mercury can cause lasting problems with understanding and learning.


Forest Service to attempt to improve forest conditions through prescribed fire

If you are out and about the Superior National Forest in the next several weeks and smell smoke it very likely is a signal that fire crews are working to improve habitat for native wildlife and plants, to prepare sites for planting, or to reduce the threat of wildfire by reducing fuel build-up.
This management action is referred to as prescribed fire and it is a very important tool that forest managers use across the country in a variety of landscapes.
Prescribed fires are carefully planned far in advance with involvement from specialists in all of the resource programs on the Forest and are designed to be implemented under specific conditions to meet specific management objectives.
Several considerations go into planning a prescribed fire including vegetation types, presence of sensitive plants or animals, visitor use, moisture in the vegetation, winds, relative humidity, and predicted weather.


Eagles are active as spring breaks in the northland

TREE TOP LIFTOFF for this eagle looking for prey along Highway 169 in this photo by Bill Erzar.


Temporary Closure of Moose Lake and Ojibway Brush Disposal Sites

For public safety, the Moose Lake and Ojibway Brush Pile Disposal Sites managed by the USDA Forest Service east of Ely, Minnesota are closed for disposal of brush until further notice.
During this time, depositing more brush on top of smoldering piles is dangerous and may cause the fire to spread unnecessarily.
Ash and unburned debris may hold enough heat to cause injury to anyone approaching the smoldering piles. Smoke will be present and may be heavy at times as piles smolder or are rekindled.
Purpose: Fire crews began burning brush piles on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Each disposal site holds a large volume of debris from the July 2016 Blowdown. We anticipate crews will continue burning at these sites over the next month. Piles are smoldering and are being monitored daily.
Please Note:


Be aware of bears this spring; DNR lists tips for avoiding conflicts

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.

“Leaving food out in yards that can be eaten by bears can lead to property damage and presents dangers to bears,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife animal damage program supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Pet food, livestock feed, birdseed, compost or garbage can attract 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.

Only black bears live in the wild in Minnesota. They usually are shy and flee when encountered. Never approach or try to pet a bear. Injury to people is rare, but bears are potentially dangerous because of their size, strength and speed.


Bat disease white-nose syndrome now confirmed in 6 Minnesota counties

Following the pattern observed in neighboring states, white-nose syndrome, a disease that can be fatal to hibernating bats, has now been confirmed in six Minnesota counties, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The disease has recently been confirmed in Becker, Dakota, Fillmore, Goodhue and Washington counties. Minnesota’s first confirmed case of WNS was in St. Louis County last March.

The disease is named for the white fungal growth observed on infected bats. It is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock or other wildlife.

The recent DNR bat surveys have recorded declines in the annual bat count ranging from 31 to 73 percent in locations where WNS has been confirmed. The 73 percent decrease was observed at Soudan Underground Mine in St. Louis County, where the disease was first confirmed in Minnesota a year ago. DNR biologists think the sharp decline there may reflect how long the disease has been present.


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