Another Gorgeous Day on the Gunflint Trail

Gunflint Trail Beauty

Seagull River from Seagull Lake

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Fishing Opener Coming Soon

Saturday, May 9th is the Minnesota Fishing Opener. I know I won’t be out fishing on Saturday but possibly for Mother’s Day on Sunday; that would be a real treat.  We have cabins available at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters if you’re looking for a place to stay this weekend. Usually the opener isn’t too hot for catching walleye but I bet the lake trout will be biting.  I can’t wait to wet a line but I’ll have to wait even longer to be able to fish from the dock.

Here’s the usual list of areas closed for spawning…

* Sea Gull River from Sea Gull Lake through Gull Lake to Saganaga Lake about 1/3 mile north of the narrows; closed through May 22.

* Saganaga Falls on the Minnesota-Ontario border where the Granite River enters Saganaga Lake; closed through May 31.

* Maligne River (also known as Northern Light Rapids) on the Ontario side of Saganaga Lake; closed through May 31 by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

* Unnamed channel between Little Gunflint and Little North Lakes on the Minnesota-Ontario border; closed through May 31.

* Cross River (inlet to Gunflint Lake) from the Gunflint Trail to Gunflint Lake; closed through May 22.


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Boundary Waters are Liquid Once Again

The ice is officially off of Saganaga and most all of the other Boundary Waters Lakes. I’m guessing it is off of all of the lakes since Sag is usually one of the last to go.  The big sheet disappeared sometime late Saturday or on Sunday so if you guessed May 2nd or 3rd for ice off of Saganaga then you were right.

Vehicles with canoes could be seen on the Gunflint Trail on Saturday already and I wonder how many of the paddlers saw ice they weren’t expecting?

BWCA paddling season

Open water on BWCA lakes

In any case, the paddling season has begun.  The Boundary Waters beckons and begs for you to come camping. If you have a free weekend in May or a few days off then you might want to come up for a quick trip. I know I would love to get out and do some canoeing. It will most likely have to wait as Josh plays baseball, Abby plays softball and she’s going to her first Prom this weekend.  I need to capture photos of these moments so I’ll be waiting awhile before I can get out.

Hopefully you can make some time to come visit sooner rather than later, we’d love to see you at Voyageur.

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Walleye Spawn is On

While at Trail’s End Campground this weekend for the Ham Run I checked to see if the walleyes were spawning and they were! Stacked in the rapids like cord wood the walleyes were struggling to make their way up the river. Sometimes they are difficult to see but you can usually pick out their white tails and then see the whole fish. It’s neat to see all of the different sized fish and dream about catching them later this summer.

Trail's End Campground

The spawn is on

Gunflint Trail

Walleye Spawn

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Hottest Ham Run in History

It was a sunny beautiful day for the 7th Annual Ham Run Half-Marathon and 5k Fun Run on the Gunflint Trail.  It was definitely the hottest Ham Run we’ve ever had with the high temperature reaching 76 degrees. It might have been a little warm for the runners but the spectators and volunteers were happy for the wonderful weather. Everyone had smiles on their faces but it’s hard not to when you’re on the Gunflint Trail.

Gunflint Trail

Gunflint Trail Half Marathon


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Happy May Day

Hannah and Tony took a look at Sag today and found very little ice on the American side of Saganaga. The corridor up to Canada and up to Munkers  Narrows looked pretty much like liquid. It will take a few days for the big part of Saganaga to lose its big sheet of ice, but not too many if temps stay in the 70′s. Now that is a happy May Day!


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Gorgeous Weather on the Gunflint Trail

Sunshine, sunshine and more sunshine. Who could complain? Tomorrow is the Ham Run Half-Marathon and 5k Fun Run and the temperature is expected to reach the 70′s. If it was that warm during the race we might have a few runners complaining but I’m guessing most would prefer 70 degrees over 30 degrees.  It will be the nicest day we’ve ever had for the run.

It’s gorgeous on the Gunflint Trail, come see for yourself.

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Watching the Ice Melt

Who predicted the ice on Saganaga would go out when? We can never remember but we know it will disappear eventually.  The temperature is still dipping below freezing on most nights but the daytime highs have been balmy.  The sun is eating away at the ice as you can see in the photo taken by Tony and Hannah on a recent boat ride. How about May 7th? Sounds like a good guess to me!

Waiting for water

Ice on Saganaga Lake

Temperature for 14 days // Apr 16, 2015 – Apr 29, 2015
Local Hour of Day Apr 16 Apr 17 Apr 18 Apr 19 Apr 20 Apr 21 Apr 22 Apr 23 Apr 24 Apr 25 Apr 26 Apr 27 Apr 28 Apr 29
00 50° F 34° F 42° F 41° F 37° F 32° F 24° F 24° F 21° F 35° F 27° F 28° F 34° F 37° F
01 51° F 31° F 39° F 42° F 38° F 32° F 24° F 21° F 20° F 34° F 24° F 28° F 33° F 34° F
02 51° F 29° F 34° F 41° F 38° F 32° F 23° F 20° F 22° F 34° F 22° F 26° F 38° F 31° F
03 50° F 28° F 31° F 41° F 38° F 31° F 23° F 16° F 24° F 34° F 20° F 25° F 34° F 29° F
04 48° F 27° F 30° F 42° F 37° F 30° F 22° F 14° F 23° F 34° F 20° F 25° F 32° F 28° F
05 47° F 26° F 31° F 42° F 35° F 29° F 21° F 19° F 23° F 32° F 18° F 24° F 31° F 26° F
06 49° F 24° F 30° F 40° F 33° F 28° F 21° F 15° F 24° F 33° F 18° F 23° F 31° F 25° F
07 50° F 28° F 32° F 36° F 32° F 28° F 22° F 20° F 27° F 33° F 27° F 32° F 35° F 33° F
08 53° F 35° F 37° F 35° F 32° F 28° F 22° F 27° F 34° F 34° F 35° F 42° F 48° F 42° F
09 55° F 53° F 42° F 37° F 32° F 28° F 24° F 31° F 39° F 36° F 42° F 48° F 50° F 46° F
10 60° F 57° F 48° F 37° F 33° F 28° F 25° F 32° F 43° F 41° F 48° F 53° F 50° F 49° F
11 62° F 60° F 52° F 39° F 33° F 29° F 28° F 35° F 42° F 45° F 50° F 55° F 54° F 51° F
12 60° F 63° F 57° F 40° F 34° F 31° F 29° F 36° F 44° F 48° F 52° F 58° F 58° F 54° F
13 63° F 65° F 56° F 39° F 34° F 31° F 30° F 38° F 44° F 50° F 54° F 60° F 62° F 55° F
14 59° F 67° F 57° F 39° F 35° F 30° F 31° F 39° F 47° F 52° F 57° F 63° F 65° F 57° F
15 55° F 69° F 56° F 39° F 34° F 30° F 31° F 41° F 47° F 54° F 59° F 65° F 62° F 59° F
16 59° F 69° F 55° F 39° F 33° F 29° F 30° F 42° F 46° F 54° F 60° F 66° F 63° F 59° F
17 60° F 69° F 56° F 39° F 33° F 28° F 30° F 43° F 45° F 56° F 60° F 67° F 63° F 59° F
18 59° F 68° F 50° F 40° F 32° F 27° F 30° F 42° F 43° F 55° F 59° F 66° F 60° F 58° F
19 57° F 65° F 50° F 39° F 31° F 26° F 30° F 41° F 41° F 54° F 57° F 63° F 55° F 55° F
20 53° F 61° F 44° F 39° F 31° F 25° F 29° F 36° F 40° F 45° F 52° F 57° F 51° F 50° F
21 48° F 56° F 41° F 38° F 31° F 24° F 29° F 28° F 38° F 38° F 43° F 46° F 47° F 46° F
22 42° F 50° F 40° F 37° F 31° F 24° F 27° F 25° F 37° F 34° F 35° F 39° F 45° F 38° F
23 39° F 45° F 41° F 37° F 32° F 24° F 25° F 23° F 36° F 30° F 31° F 37° F 41° F -
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Governor Says, “No More Moose Collaring!”

Today Governor Mark Dayton announced there will be no more collaring moose in Minnesota. With the exception of Grand Portage Band of Chippewa who have their own study no calves nor adult moose will be collared.

This is good news. Too many moose died as a result of the collaring and it was obvious calves were being killed primarily by wolves.  Here’s a link to an article about the decision.

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Release, Recycle, ReUse a Growler!

Want to do something good for the environment? Buy a growler from Voyageur Brewing Company to bring on your next fishing trip!
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       April 27, 2015

Resource recycling: It’s important in fishing, too
By Brad Parsons, DNR central region fisheries manager

Most anglers I know enjoy a cold beverage after a busy day on the water. And whether that beverage comes in plastic, glass or aluminum, they also know the importance of recycling the container to conserve resources.

But “resource recycling” is important while actually fishing, too. With catch-and-release increasingly common, anglers should know the right way to practice it so the fish can swim off and live to grow bigger and be caught another day. That’s especially important on lakes with special or experimental regulations where some fish have to be released.

Extensive research by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and others demonstrate conclusively that most fish will survive the catch-and-release experience if anglers focus on four key factors that affect mortality: water temperature, hooking location, depth, and time out of water.

When it comes to temperature, the warmer the water, the more stress on the fish and the higher the mortality. Fish are cold-blooded animals, but most people like to fish in the summer months.  While anglers can’t control the weather, they can be prepared. Set the hook quickly, reduce the amount of time it takes to land a fish, and handle it firmly but carefully. It’s also important to minimize the time out of water for the fish. Pictures are wonderful, but have the camera ready. Invest in some long needle-nose pliers for hook removal, and the ones with a bend at the end are even better. Cutting the line and leaving the hook is also a viable option.

Hooking location is also part of the equation. Fish hooked in the mouth almost always survive.  How do you increase the odds of that? Use active baits, such as crankbaits. Hook type also matters. Several studies have shown that circle hooks are better for hooking the mouth rather than the stomach or gills. Jigs are less likely to become deeply hooked than plain hooks. Barbless hooks or pinched barbs also can help, but where a fish gets hooked is far more important than the presence or absence of a barb, so set the hook quickly.

The DNR also encourages anglers to practice some restraint when the fish are really biting, especially during the summer or when fishing deep water. Scuba divers know that once you get below 33 feet, you have another full atmosphere of pressure on your body, so you have to re-surface slowly. Similarly, fish pulled up from deep water can experience stress and injury, so it’s important to avoid deep water if you plan on catch-and-release. The injury may be apparent, such as a distended swim bladder, but unseen internal injuries can and do happen as well. Remember to never “pop” a swim bladder, it is not only illegal in Minnesota, but often does more harm than good.

Here are a few more tips for successfully releasing fish:

Play fish quickly to minimize their exhaustion.
Wet your hands before touching a fish to prevent removal of their protective slime coat.
Rubberized nets help, too.
Unhook and release the fish while it is still in the water, if possible, and support its weight with both hands or with a net when removed from the water. Never lift them vertically
from the water.
Hold a fish firmly but gently. Don’t drop it. And don’t hold a fish by the eyes.
Do not place fish you plan to release on a stringer or in a live well.
Revive a fish by cradling it under the belly and gently moving it back and forth in the water until it swims away.
Do not release a fish that can be legally kept if it is bleeding heavily or can’t right itself.
No good angler wants to see a released fish die. In fact, an impetus for this article was the concerned members of our citizens’ Walleye Workshop. By following good catch-and-release techniques, anglers can recycle this valuable resource. This allows all of us to continue enjoying our sport – and it reduces impacts to the fishery, ensuring similar opportunities for others, now and in the future.

I think anyone could hoist a cold beverage (in a recyclable container) to that.

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