Outdoors

Fri
28
Oct

Whitefish, cisco sport netting opens on Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood, Fall lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Tower area fisheries office has set the whitefish and cisco sport netting dates on Lake Vermilion, Newton, Basswood and Fall lakes. The lakes will be open to whitefish and cisco (tullibee) sport netting from Saturday, Oct. 29, through Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Vermilion, Newton, Basswood, and Fall lakes are all listed as infested with spiny waterflea. Nets and equipment in infested waters may not be used in any other body of water unless they have been dried for ten days or frozen for two days. As a precaution, the drying or freezing practice is recommended for anyone netting in non-infested waters. Nets should be transported in sealed or watertight containers to a location away from the water where they can be frozen or dried.

Aquatic invasive species transport laws apply to netters during the fall and winter months just as they would for anglers during warm season angling.

Fri
21
Oct

Seen a moose lately?

’TIS THE SEASON - Seeing a moose in the woods is no easy task these days. Ken Hupila of Snotty Moose Photography was able to capture this young bull on camera.

Mon
17
Oct

Volunteers sought for helping to flag / clear the Kekekabic Trail

The Kekekabic Trail Chapter (KEK) of the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) will be holding a work weekend on the Kekekabic Trail (the “Kek”) on October 21st and October 22nd and is looking for additional volunteers to assist with the work. The Kek was significantly damaged by the July 21st windstorm and its western-most 12 miles are currently closed to hiking along with loop trails. U.S. Forest Service staff and KEK volunteers are working to re-open the trail. Last weekend, Vermilion Community College’s Wilderness Club members volunteered to clear 3 miles of the Kek in from the west trailhead on Snowbank Lake Rd. Next weekend’s workdays will continue that effort.

Fri
14
Oct

DNR to hold open house in Ely on state forest trails in northern St. Louis and Lake counties

State forest trail use and management in northern St. Louis and Lake counties will be the topic of an open house, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m., at Vermillion Community College, Room NS111, Ely.
During the open house, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff will provide maps of existing trails, answer questions and take comments and suggestions from the public.
Between 2003 and 2008, the DNR inventoried all routes and designated trails for various types of recreation within state forests.
This current project will reevaluate the designations made during the initial review of the Bear Island, Burntside, Insula Lake, Lake Isabella, Lake Jeanette and Sturgeon River state forests in St. Louis and Lake counties.

Wed
12
Oct

Cub Scouts visit Bear Center

BEAR CENTER VISITORS (l-r) Tyler Forsberg, Connor Brennan, John Cooper Schiltz, Jaymes Scholz, Blake Hegfors, Jack Rintala, Jayden Zemke, Hunter Halbakken. The 3rd Grade Bear Cubs Scouts from Ely took an adventure to the North American Bear Center. They went on a short hike to identify things that could be found in nature such as, bones from an animal, a feather and what bird it may belong to, deer tracks, different tree species and how a habitat changes in seasons during our walk along some of the trails behind the center. They then displayed their best behavior while inside the center’s building and looking at all the displays being able to recognize owls, martin, lynx, moose to name a few mammals and learning about different animals around our homes. The scouts were able to have some time and interaction with all four bears residents at the center, Ted, Holly, Lucky and Tasha.

Mon
03
Oct

DNR to hold open house on state forest trails in northern St. Louis and Lake counties

State forest trail use and management in northern St. Louis and Lake counties will be the topic of an open house, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m., at Vermillion Community College, Room NS111, 1900 East Camp St., Ely.

During the open house, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff will provide maps of existing trails, answer questions and take comments and suggestions from the public.

Between 2003 and 2008, the DNR inventoried all routes and designated trails for various types of recreation within state forests.

This current project will reevaluate the designations made during the initial review of the Bear Island, Burntside, Insula Lake, Lake Isabella, Lake Jeanette and Sturgeon River state forests in St. Louis and Lake counties.

Wed
28
Sep

Visit Minnesota state forests near Ely for fall color driving tours

Finland State Forest

Driving a scenic route through a state forest is a great way to view fall color, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Routes through hilly or rugged areas dominated by deciduous trees tend to have the best mix of color,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist. “And the dark green needles of conifers accent the yellow, orange and red leaves of deciduous trees in mixed forest.”
Northeastern Minnesota comes alive with fall colors each year as chlorophyll retreats from leaves to reveal underlying bursts of yellow, orange and red. With abundant public land and so many options for great fall color viewing, Minnesota’s scientific and natural areas (SNAs) are sometimes overlooked as a place to enjoy fall colors.

Fri
09
Sep

Ely Echo’s North Country 2016 Angler season ends

So many fish - So many anglers from all across the United States enjoyed the fishing and CATCHING in the Ely area. The Angler season ended with Labor Day, but there's lots of good fishing and hunting days ahead.

Here are the top catches from the 2016 Angler:

Catch & Release - Largest in 2016
BASS
24” Steve Kummer, Chicago, IL LaTourell’s Resort & Outfitters
WALLEYE
30.5” Jim Haenke, Gilbert, MN Timber Trail Resort & Campground
NORTHERN PIKE
51” Dan Tomczyk, Ely The Great Outdoors
LAKE TROUT
40” Ryan McLean, Hayward, WI Babe’s Bait & Tackle

Fri
26
Aug

Forest Service green lights Prospector Loop ATV trail

The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday it has approved the proposed Prospector Loop ATV Trail where it crosses federal land.
“This is a big step forward for the Prospector Loop,” said Prospector Alliance President Nick Wognum.
“This allows us to start preparing for future construction work on the section from Ely to Mattila’s Shelter. Once completed, that will connect Ely to Babbitt and to the North Shore,” said Wognum.
Kawishiwi District Ranger Gus Smith said in a letter he decided to approve the project “after considering public input and a thorough environmental analysis that occurred throughout the development of this project.
“This…will best meet the project’s purpose and need to accomplish safe and environmentally sound long-distance riding opportunities in this area of the forest.”
No objections were received during the 45-day objection period.

Tue
23
Aug

Rusch gives annual hunting forecast: Area deer herd now on the rebound

by Nick Wognum
Cooler nights are here already, a sure sign fall is right around the corner.
DNR wildlife manager Tom Rusch sat down last week to discuss what to expect afield this fall.
Weather
For the first time in 10 years we had back-to-back mild winters. Last winter our snow depth was never a significant factor on wildlife with less than 15 inches on the ground most of the winter.
This followed the winters of 2013 and 2014, both severe which put a hurt on the area deer herd.
With two mild winters, the number of fawns per doe is increasing, a main factor in rebuilding the herd.
“We have a lot of young deer out there but we don’t want to hit them too soon,” said Rusch.
Hunters can apply for antlerless permits in northeast Minnesota. For permit area 118, however, there are only 100 permits available.

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