There’s some big fish being caught on Saganaga and most of them are being released. Only the big ones that won’t survive have been kept.
There’s some big fish being caught on Saganaga and most of them are being released. Only the big ones that won’t survive have been kept.
Memorial Weekend is like fishing opener for those of us who live at the end of the Gunflint Trail. From the Trail’s End Landing through the Seagull River and all of the way out to Saganaga Lake the water is closed to fishing until Midnight on Friday night of Memorial Weekend. This is to protect the spawning area for walleye. It used to be a really big deal when Josh was too little to take the boat out and go fishing beyond our dock but it isn’t as big of a deal now. Still, there are quite a few folks who like to fish this area as soon as the clock strikes twelve.
Anglers have been rewarded for their efforts this weekend on Saganaga. They have been catching smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye but unfortunately the walleye they are catching aren’t the right size. Walleye must be a minimum of 17″ and only one may be over 20″ with a three fish limit this year.
The weather has been a little wet but the temperature has been warm. It has been in the 60’s and thankfully most of the rain has fallen at night. More clouds and rain are predicted for tomorrow but Monday the sun is expected to shine with temperatures in the 70’s.
We shall see what the rest of the weekend brings for weather and fishing.
Whether you didn’t have time to get your gear together or you couldn’t find anyone to go with you the fact remains, you’re not going camping this Memorial Weekend. That would be sad but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to happen any other time this summer. How can you make sure you get out camping and paddling as much as you want to this summer? Follow these simple steps below and don’t spend another weekend sleeping in a bed when you could be camped beneath the stars.
Don’t put off the things in life you really want to do. Your garage can wait to be cleaned, the lawn doesn’t have to be mowed but you need to go camping, make it a priority and make it happen.
I hope you have a great Memorial Weekend and I hope you’re camping, fishing, hiking or spending most of your time outside!
The early spring in most parts of the state prompted earlier ice out dates than normal. With the ice off of the lakes the water has had more of a chance to warm up than it usually does by Memorial Weekend. While most people don’t spend much time swimming over this holiday weekend here’s something to keep in mind for a little later in the summer.
Blue-green algae: If in doubt, stay out
For release: May 26, 2016
Contact: Risikat Adesaogun, MPCA, 651-757-2056 or Doug Schultz, MDH, 651-201-4993
St. Paul, Minn.—With Memorial Day right around the corner, the unofficial start of summer is here. While water enthusiasts and pets enjoy swimming and boating when the weather is calm and sunny, these conditions are also perfect for growing blue-green algae, which can be harmful to both people and animals.
Last summer, blue-green algal blooms were reported in lakes across the state, from near the Iowa border all the way to the Canadian border. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) staff jointly investigated two reported human illnesses and multiple dog deaths following exposure to blue-green algae. Blooms typically begin to form in June when the weather warms, but with the mild spring weather this year, blooms may already be present in Minnesota lakes.
People and pets at risk
The appearance of a blue-green algal bloom and the unpleasant smell that occasionally accompanies a bloom typically keep most people out of the water. However, people can become sick after they swim, boat, water ski or bathe in water that has toxic blue-green algae. During these activities, people are exposed to the toxins by swallowing or having skin contact with water or by breathing in tiny droplets of water in the air. “In most people, symptoms are mild and may include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, eye irritation, cough, sore throat and headache,” said MDH Epidemiologist Stephanie Gretsch.
Dogs are at particular risk, as they are more likely to wade in the areas of a lake where algal scum accumulates and humans avoid. Dogs are usually exposed to larger amounts of toxins from algae because they tend to swallow more water than humans while swimming, especially when retrieving toys from the water. They also lick their coats upon leaving the water, swallowing any algae that may be on their fur. Dogs exposed to blue-green algae can experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, difficulty breathing, general weakness, liver failure and seizures. In the worst cases, it can cause death. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms after visiting a lake, seek veterinary care immediately.
Tips to protect yourself and your pets
Not all blue-green algae are toxic, but there is no way to tell whether a bloom is toxic by looking at it. Harmful blooms often look like pea soup, green paint or floating mats of scum and sometimes have a bad smell. However, harmful blooms aren’t always large and dense and can sometimes cover small portions of the lake with little visible algae present. Before you or your children or pets enter the water, take a closer look at the lake and check for algae in the water or on shore to help determine if a bloom recently happened.
“If it looks and smells bad, don’t take a chance. We usually tell people: If in doubt, stay out,” said Pam Anderson, MPCA Water Quality Monitoring Supervisor. “If you’re not sure, it’s best for people and pets to stay out of the water.” If you do come into contact with blue-green algae, wash off with fresh water immediately, paying special attention to the areas your swim suit covered. Rinse off pets with fresh water if you think they swam in water where blue-green algae were present.
Addressing the algae problem
There are currently no short-term solutions to fix a blue-green algal bloom. Once a bloom occurs, the only option is to wait for the weather to change to disrupt the algae’s growth. “With intermittent rain, followed by high temperatures, blue-green algal blooms will be common on many Minnesota lakes this summer,” said Steve Heiskary, an MPCA Research Scientist.
The key to solving algae problems is to improve overall water quality by reducing how much phosphorus gets into lakes. Phosphorus is a nutrient that encourages plant growth, and it is present in soil and plants. Runoff from urban and agricultural land contains phosphorus. Excess phosphorus in lakes provides the food necessary to produce algal blooms. Aside from limiting applications of fertilizers that contain phosphorus, homeowners can help protect our lakes by sweeping up lawn clippings and soil off sidewalks and pavement, and cleaning up pet waste, so that rain storms don’t wash the material into nearby lakes and rivers.
More information on blue-green algae, including how to report a possible human or animal illness, is available on the MDH Harmful Algal Blooms website.
Will you be taking a kid fishing this Memorial Weekend? There’s fish to be caught in the Boundary Waters and we can put all of the gear together for you, just give us a call, we’d love to see you at Voyageur!
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
How do you introduce a kid to fishing?
Being part of the excitement when kids catch fish can form memories that last a lifetime. But taking kids fishing can present some unique challenges.
Jeff Ledermann knows all about the joys and challenges of taking kids fishing. He was able to start his own daughters fishing when they were just over the age of two. When they were older he helped form a girls’ fishing club after hearing one daughter say after school that “Girls don’t fish.”
Now, Ledermann works with educational programs that help teach kids and others about fishing. As the angler recruitment, retention and education supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, he’s glad to share some wisdom on how to connect kids with the outdoors through fishing.
What can adults do to make fishing fun for kids?
For the first times out with kids, focus on short and successful outings. Do some research to find a place where fish populations are high and other opportunities exist when kids get bored, such as playground equipment, rock hunting and climbing, or chasing bugs. It’s even better if there are bathrooms close by. Don’t forget to bring snacks and a camera to capture the excitement of that first fish.
How important are those first few times a kid goes fishing?
The first few times are critical. If a child has a really bad experience, it may take a lot of effort to overcome those memories and anxieties. Make it fun and keep outings short. Don’t be afraid to call it a day if they start to get bored, the bugs are bad or the weather is not good.
What are some of the biggest mistakes parents and others make when taking kids fishing?
The biggest mistake I see is that parents lose focus on the kids. As much as we all relish the opportunity to wet a line, fishing with young kids means you may have to give up some of your own fishing time.
What fishing skills do kids need the most help with?
New anglers of all ages need lots of help figuring out how to use fishing equipment. Be sure to demonstrate to them how rods and reels work and give them lots of opportunity to practice. Casting in the yard at hula hoops or other targets is a great way to get kids excited about fishing. The biggest mistake that young anglers make is not keeping a tight line while playing a fish. Teach them to keep their rod tip up. You can make it easier for kids by giving them a rod that is the right size for them. A rod that has a lighter action or more flex also provides more room for error and kids will be less likely to break off. Also be sure to check the drag on the reel so they can manage a larger fish if they catch one.
What safety pointers should people remember?
Safety should be your highest priority. Be mindful of the dangers of being on or near the water. Wearing a lifejacket is the law for kids under age 10 and a really good practice for everyone when in a boat. The other big safety concern while fishing is hooks. That risk multiplies when lots of people are casting. If I have lots of kids in a boat, I minimize casting by having them fish right off the side of the boat or slowly troll the weed edges with small spinners and jigs. For older kids, spinnerbaits are great for casting as the hook is less exposed. I would avoid any casting with treble hooks until kids have more experience.
Any tips for what kids of fish to try for and what gear to use?
Catching bluegills or bullheads is a great way to start fishing with kids. In many lakes these fish are very abundant, but also very small. If you use light line and small hooks with live bait, you will have a good chance at success.
How do you choose where to fish with a kid?
Ask at bait stores, surf the many fishing blogs on the web or ask other anglers where they would recommend taking kids fishing. In the Twin Cities, the DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood program manages and stocks several lakes and ponds to increase fishing opportunities. Check out www.mndnr.gov/fin for details.
What should you pack to bring a kid fishing?
Bring enough items so that you’re prepared for all kinds of weather, and distractions if fishing gets tough or kids get bored. We want kids to eat healthy, but I’m not against making the outing special by bringing a favorite treat or stopping by the ice cream shop on the way home. Bring what you think will help make the outing fun. A positive attitude is probably the most important. Your enthusiasm for fishing will rub off on them!
Where can people learn more?
Adults who want to learn more before taking a kid fishing can find answers to common fishing questions, download a beginner’s guide to fishing, and find a place to fish at www.mndnr.gov/fishmn. Resources for educators can be found at www.mndnr.gov/minnaqua.
I think it is really odd a USFS spokesperson would say, “Part of the area burning was scheduled to undergo a prescribed burn anyway.” I wonder if the costs to fight a wildfire are the same as the costs associated with a controlled burn? Or what the people that have been called away from their “normal” life to go to fight the wildfire think about that statement? I also wonder if that’s what the USFS thought about the Pagami Creek Fire they started.
That statement makes me angry. Just because no lives or structures have been lost doesn’t make it “OK” to let a fire get out of control. It isn’t a good excuse for starting a wildfire during a very dry and dangerous time of the year.
The person who started the Ham Lake Fire by accident was held responsible for all costs associated with fighting the wildfire. Will the USFS person who signed off on the prescribed burn be held to the same standards? Or because “part” of the over 1000 acres was scheduled to be burned does that make it fine and dandy to torch the rest of the area?
We all make mistakes and most of us are held accountable for them. Will they be?
Although virtually all of the fire is in the BWCA, and the Crab Lake entry point is closed, officials said all other entry points are open and vacationers are going in regularly.
Part of the area burning was scheduled to undergo a prescribed burn anyway, said Rebecca Manlove, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire is burning over 1,008 acres, she said. About 279 firefighters are working on the burn, although that number is expected to drop Tuesday, as two volunteer departments are no longer needed, she said.
Be careful with fire, it’s dry out there.
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Be safe with campfires
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone to be safe with campfires this Memorial Day weekend and into the summer.
“Spending time with family and friends around a campfire is a popular Minnesota tradition,” said Linda Gormanson, DNR wildfire prevention supervisor. “You can take simple measures to make your campfire safe.”
Gormanson recommends all campfires should be:
Clear of any burnable material 5 feet in all directions around the fire.
Built within a designated fire ring 3 feet or less in diameter.
Kept to 3 feet or less in height.
Legal—check if to see if local municipality requires a permit.
For people who don’t have a campsite with a designated fire ring, select a safe place for the campfire. Choose a level area away from dry grass, shrubs or logs that is free of overhanging branches. Then scoop out a depression in the center of the area and put a ring of rocks around it.
An adult should attend the fire at all times – even a light breeze can cause the fire to spread. Always have a shovel and water available at the campfire to extinguish it. Stir the embers repeatedly with water or dirt until every ember is out cold.
Discover more by visiting Smokey Bear’s campfire safety website at www.smokeybear.com/campfire-safety.asp.
We all know how awesome it is to spend time in the Boundary Waters but I’m not sure everyone knows how fun it is getting to the BWCA from the Gunflint Trail. When you choose an entry point off of the Gunflint Trail(all of which Voyageur outfits to) you get to see the most amazing scenery in the state of Minnesota.
The North Shore of Lake Superior is gorgeous even if you don’t get out of your vehicle to look around. You can take the Scenic Highway from Duluth to Two Harbors for even better views of the lake. If you do want to stop but not hike there are some places to see that offer beautiful vistas. Palisade Head, the Baptism River Falls in Beaver Bay or the Cross River Falls in Schroeder are just a few of these places where no effort is required.
Hiking to amazing scenery is an option to. From a quick 5 minute walk to a strenuous longer hike you have options galore to choose from. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities to see wonderful sites along the way and visit us this summer on the Gunflint Trail.
A wildfire is burning near Burntside Lake outside of Ely, Minnesota. It began as a prescribed burn conducted by the USFS that turned into a wildfire because it jumped the lines. Dry conditions, warm weather, wind and low humidity have been factors working against the USFS in the effort to suppress the prescribed burn/wildfire they started.
Foss Lake Fire Update Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
MNICS Team C, Brian Pisarek, Incident Commander
Phone: 218-208-4544 Location: US Forest Service office, 1393 Hwy 169, Ely, open 8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Size: 1008 acres Containment: 30 percent Fire Start Date: May 19, 2016
Resources: 6 crews, 2 helicopters, 2 engines, 1 water tender, 180 total personnel
There was little growth on the fire today. Accurate mapping resulted in the large increase in acreage. Crews on the southern half of the fire walked the perimeter with handheld GPS units and aircraft flew the northern half. Crews working north along the east side of the fire installed fire hose along a quarter mile of saw line. Crews on the west side of the fire continued saw-line construction from the wilderness boundary on the south to Clark Lake on the north. Aircraft dropped water on three distinct areas of heat within the fire perimeter on the northeast side and assisted ground crews elsewhere on the fire. Two crews will camp overnight in the wilderness on Crab Lake, eliminating a long morning commute and getting to the fireline early in the morning. Local firefighters from the Lake Vermilion Fire Brigade and Morse/Fall Lake Fire Department continued assessing residences on the west end of Burntside Lake.
Weather and Fire Behavior: Today’s red flag warning expired at 8:00 p.m., but conditions tomorrow will also be hot, dry, and windy. Winds will be from the south and southwest: sustained 10–15 mph, gusts to 25 mph. These high winds will start early and will continue overnight. Fire-behavior analysts say there is potential for significant fire activity tomorrow (for example, single-tree or group-tree torching and some quick fire spread). Smoke might be visible. However, smoke does not necessarily mean the fire is growing larger: smoldering “islands” of unburned fuel within the fire perimeter could burn more actively.
Safety Message: The towns of Ely, Winton, Tower, or Soudan are not threatened. Fire managers are planning for Sunday’s strong winds. Residents on the west side of Burntside Lake should be aware of changing weather conditions.
Closures: Currently, just one BWCAW entry point—Crab Lake entry point #4—is closed; all other entry points remain open. The following BWCAW portages and lakes/rivers, including campsites, are closed:
Closure signs are posted at normal access points to delineate the closure area. The closure order and map are located at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4740/#.
The Forest Service does not currently recommend BWCAW travel
south of Big Moose, Big Rice, and Bootleg Lakes.
|Current as of||5/21/2016, 5:54:27 PM|
|Date of Origin||Thursday May 19th, 2016 approx. 11:00 PM|
|Location||Near Foss Lake; ~10 miles SW Ely, MN|
|Incident Commander||Brian Pisarek|
|Incident Description||Escaped Prescribed Burn|
|Percent of Perimeter Contained||30%|
|Estimated Containment Date||Wednesday June 01st, 2016 approx. 12:00 AM|
|Fuels Involved||Timber (Grass and Understory)|
|Planned Actions||Secure, anchor, and continue to secure flanks, using aircraft to cool ahead of crews.|
|Projected Incident Activity||When rH and wind activity increases, fire activity will increase in /wilderness. Next 24 hours, Potential for run to the ENE with predicted winds.|
|Weather Concerns||Red Flag warnings today, similar weather conditions forecast tomorrow with a significant shift in wind direction|