Public meeting on Forest Service changes to BWCA permits set for Nov. 13 in Ely

The U.S. Forest Service will now hold a public meeting following concerns raised over changes to the BWCA permit system, specifically the elimination of the lottery system for motor permits.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Kawishiwi District Ranger Office conference room.
Both Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Rick Nolan have questioned the changes after Ely area businesses and residents have raised concerns.
Beginning Oct. 1, recreation reservation services on the Superior National Forest were upgraded within the nation-wide recreation.gov website.
These include stronger security controls, better protection of Personally Identifiable Information, and increased fraud protection.
The new system also enables real-time notification of availability and reservation of campsites in Superior National Forest developed campgrounds as well as Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) quota permits.


2018 Tower DNR area deer season forecast

The 2018 16-day firearms deer season will begin Saturday, Nov. 3 and end Sunday, Nov. 18.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Office in Tower is forecasting a deer population that is recovered from the severe winters of 2013 + 2014 in Northern St. Louis and Northern Lake Counties.
Wildlife managers report the deer herd has rebounded nicely and is now within the population “sweet spot” established for our area.
The last four winters have been mild to moderate, as measured by the DNR Winter Severity Index. As a result, fawn production has been excellent with twin fawns the norm in the better areas.
Winter severity, predation and antlerless deer harvest are the most significant mortality factors in northern forest deer management.
The 2018 deer season framework is much more liberal, in response to the growing population.


Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Shagawa, Bear Island, Ojibway lakes

Dates have been set for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on Shagawa, Bear Island and Ojibway lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

These lakes are Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, and are opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website.

Schedule I Lakes (48 hour notice)

· Shagawa, open to netting Thursday, Nov. 1 through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 (minimum 3.5 inch mesh size)

· Bear Island & Ojibway lakes, open to netting Saturday, Nov. 17 through Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018 (minimum 1.75 inch mesh size)

Shagawa Lake is designated as infested with spiny waterflea so netters are encouraged to review rules that help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.


Ely and Whitefish, tullibee sport-netting to open on Tower area lakes

Recreational netting dates for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) have been set on several Schedule I Lakes in the Tower fisheries work area, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Schedule I Lakes, which are more susceptible to sudden changes that impact water temperatures, will be opened and closed on a 48-hour notice posted at lake accesses, other public places, and the DNR website.

Schedule I lakes (48 hour notice)

The following Tower Area lakes will be open Saturday, Oct. 20 through Sunday Nov. 11:
• Vermilion (all except Pike Bay, south and west of a north-south line at narrowest portion between Echo Point and Punchers Point) - 3.5 inch mesh.
• Fall – 1.75 inch mesh.
• Basswood – 1.75 inch mesh.
• Newton – 3.5 inch mesh.


Minnesota’s wolf population remains stable

Minnesota’s wolf population estimate was 2,655 wolves and 465 wolf packs during the winter of 2017-2018 within Minnesota’s wolf range, an estimate that is statistically unchanged from the previous winter, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
“Subtle changes in wolf population numbers year to year indicate that Minnesota supports a healthy wolf population and the long-term trends demonstrate that the wolf population is fully recovered,” said Dan Stark, large carnivore specialist for the DNR.
The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus about 700 wolves and makes the estimate statistically unchanged from the previous winter’s estimate of approximately 2,856 wolves and 500 wolf packs.


Trout Whisperer - September

Where I belong
It worked out good for me, I was late coming off the stream and he was late getting his haybales off the field. I could choose from several, I picked an easy one, one between me and a set of wheels that would carry me home, eventually.
I know where I am, I know where I should be, and I know I don’t want to miss right now this place. Don’t have any idea what’s to come of it, but I like it, I like where I am now.
The bale was long on the north side, I sat down benched against it, watching the sun slowly slide over tree tops, me foot tired, and, maybe, it tired of summer leaves.
The evening air wasn’t too cool, but the hay’s insulation, warm against my back, was surprisingly comfortable.
Three crows came from the east, flap, flap, floated over the field, nothing in the way of noisy caws, no hurried wing beats, they were just headed the way of sun.
I quit watching them when a lone doe slipped out onto the fresh mowed field.


Prospectors Alliance holds fall ride up Echo Trail

A TOTAL OF 25 ATVs left Ely Sunday morning for a 131-mile round trip to Crane Lake on the Echo Trail including a stop at Ed Shave Lake and Vermilion Falls. The ride was organized by the Trail Prospectors Alliance. Photo by Nick Wognum.


2018 hunting outlook for the Ely area

by Nick Wognum -


Volunteers Are Making Progress to Restore the Powwow Hiking Trail in BWCAW

Presentation by Boundary Waters Advisory Committee
Date: Thursday, September 13, 2018
Time: 7 PM – 8 PM
Place: Frost River, 1910 W Superior St, Duluth, MN 55806

While most people think of the Boundary Waters as a haven for canoeists, fewer are aware that BWCAW has more than 200 miles of backpacking trails. One such trail is the 30 mile long Powwow Hiking Trail near Isabella. Although most of the trail burned down in the August 2011 Pagami Creek Fire, it is making a comeback thanks to volunteers working with the US Forest Service.

After the fire, the Powwow Trail was cleared by the Forest Service and the Minnesota Conservation Corps in 2012. Since then thousands of dead, charred trees fell over the path. In seven years, hundreds of young jack pines have grown five to eight feet tall, obscuring rock cairns and making the Powwow Trail impassable by even expert hikers.


North Country Angler reaches end of season

This week’s Angler brings to a close the Angler as a separate section of the Echo. Next week is the wrap-up which appears inside the Ely Echo in a different format. The winner of the mini vacation will be announced at that time. Thanks to all the anglers and the advertisers for another great summer!

Laken Ott and his Dad Radley, Chico, CA display the Northern Pike caught and released on Lake Ella Hall. Reported to Packsack Canoe Trips & Log Cabins.


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