Seagull River Scene

Peaceful, easy feeling!

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Posted in Gunflint Trail

Old Fish, Big Fish

Hopefully it survives even longer!

Nearly half-century-old fish caught and released during fish surveys on Lake Superior

(Wisconsin DNR)

BAYFIELD, Wis. — State fish biologists conducting spawning surveys on Lake Superior hauled in a lake trout earlier this month that hatched when Richard Nixon was president.

The fish was originally caught and released during the Wisconsin DNR‘s spawning assessments for lake trout in 1981. It was caught and released again Nov. 2 in the same fish refuge, the Gull Island Shoal of Lake Superior.

“We often think of a fish’s life span being relatively short, maybe 10 years,” says Terry Margenau, DNR fisheries supervisor. “But lake trout are slow growing and have a longevity that will rival that of the ancient sturgeon.”


To help assess the condition of lake trout on Lake Superior, the DNR has been conducting spawning lake trout assessments since 1951. Part of the assessment includes tagging the fish caught and releasing them so biologists can monitor their growth and movement in future years.

The fish caught Nov. 2 had first been tagged in 1981 when it was 27.3 inches during a DNR spawning assessment on Gull Island Shoal of Lake Superior. The same fish was handled again in 2017 during the same spawning assessment and measured 35.5 inches, Ray says.

“This lake trout grew about 8 inches over 36 years, or less than a quarter inch per year,” he says. “So very slow growing. Its age is also interesting.

“Considering this fish was likely 10 to 12 years old when it was tagged in 1981, this fall it would have been at least 46 years old.”

The same fish would be caught by DNR seven more times during surveys, Ray says.

In all of those instances, the fish was captured in the Gull Island Refuge.

“The spawning site fidelity of this fish, and many others we have sampled, emphasizes the importance of the refuges and the protection it affords the spawning stock of lake trout,” he said.

Anglers who catch a tagged lake trout and intend to release the fish are asked by the DNR to write down the tag number and contact the Bayfield DNR office to get the capture history.

Posted in News

Hoods in the Woods, I mean Hoodlums

Every week I read the Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer reports and every week I am surprised.   The number of people who are cited for violating game laws including hunting and fishing regulations seems unreal to me. I like to think people who enjoy spending time in the great outdoors are people who respect the great outdoors, especially the animals that live there. IF a person enjoys hunting you would think that person would want what is best for the wildlife they are hunting.  It makes me wonder why they are out in the woods hunting in the first place. Do they need the meat so badly they have to hunt over baited stations in front of their cabin? Do people just want to kill something?  Because I don’t think it is really hunting if you’re driving around in your vehicle and shooting at something from the roadway.

When I deer hunted I did it to spend time in the woods. I saw a few deer from my deer stand but never shot one. I just liked sitting up in a tree watching other wildlife and being out in nature. What other time of the year is it OK to just go sit by yourself in the woods for 8 hours?

I’m not sure why there are so many violations but I do hope these people aren’t passing these bad behaviors on to the next generation.

Weekly Conservation Officer’s report

District 6 – Two Harbors area

Last updated: 2017-11-13

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports deer hunting activity continued to be high over the second weekend of the regular firearms deer season. Unfortunately so was the violation rate. Investigations included trespass, litter, and several deer shot off the roadway.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) found the deer season to be slow for a lot of people. There has been a lot of shooting from the road complaints, and it is completely amazing that some people are actually surprised that it is against the law to shoot from the roadway. The deer hunting trespass incidents seem to be on the increase as well. Take the time to read the laws before you hunt.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that some hunters have ditched the gun for the ice rod as the CO checked his first ice anglers of the year. He also patrolled by snowmobile for the first time this season. Some of the hunters that are waiting for the big buck, don’t believe the rut is in full swing quite yet as some have seen many does with nothing following behind. Other hunters report that wolves are responding to grunt and bleat calls thinking it?s the dinner bell. One person described what he saw as a fight between a doe and a wolf, but the fight soon ended as other wolves joined in. The CO has never heard it described this way.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) worked a snowy week of deer season. The officer investigated a trespass case involving deer hunters and took calls on wolf depredation. While there is some snow on the ground, conditions are not good for snowmobiling in most places and the lone group of sledders seen was towing a broken down machine down the road back to the cabin.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports numerous cases resulting in deer violations with several noteworthy incidents over the past week. One individual was caught hunting from the same baited stand twice in seven days with a citation and seizure of equipment both times. Enforcement action was taken against two people who shot deer off the road, one of which was transported untagged in a vehicle. Two people were apprehended for killing deer over baited areas, one of which was shot right next to a cabin over a feeding trough. Numerous other deer hunting violations were charged as well. A TIP call led the officer to an individual who had illegally cut balsam boughs along the edge of hole #2 green at the Ely golf course, with enforcement action taken. Ice fishermen are out on several area lakes.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) checked grouse hunters, trappers, ATV riders, ice anglers, snowmobilers, bough collectors, and deer hunters. CO Schottenbauer did not see the partridge in the pear tree, but still assumes Christmas is around the corner.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked multiple hunters with success rates varying. Hunting and trespass complaints were handled. Enforcement action was taken for hunting, state park and trespass violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a cold and wintery second week of deer season. Most area lakes were completely frozen this week but are not safe for travel yet. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and illegal ATV use.

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Mr. Bull Moose

I was treated to a special kind of traffic jam the other day when I drove up the Gunflint Trail. Mr. Bull Moose was busy licking salt off of the road and after a brief retreat he returned to lick some more. He didn’t mind being photographed and I didn’t mind taking his photo!



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Vikings Volleyball takes 6th in State

It’s over. When my competitive playing volleyball days were over I thought it was the end of the world. No Olympics or pro-beach volleyball for this 5 foot, 4 and a half inch woman. The world continued, I continued to play recreational volleyball and then an entire new world opened up. A baby girl was born to me on November 10th, 1999! We talked about naming her after my idol, professional volleyball player Gabrielle Reece, but decided on giving her the name Abigail. Abigail means “Joy” specifically in Hebrew, “The Father’s Joy.” We haven’t been disappointed yet.

I’m not sure when we tossed the first volleyball to Abigail but I do know she spent quite a few hours in her car seat with mosquito net wrapped around it on the edge of the sand volleyball court at Voyageur. We would spend hours inside of the lodge passing the volleyball back and forth and when she got older we made her practice serving on the sand court.

Abigail grew to 5 foot 4 and a half inches tall, or according to her, 5 foot 5 inches tall.  While I dreamed of her becoming a professional volleyball player she turned into something even more amazing.  When she’s playing volleyball she’s always smiling and encouraging other teammates. She never gets rattled when the pressure is on and she remains calm, cool and collected. She’s a natural born leader on and off of the court who never gives up.  She’s a gracious winner, a good loser and a great sport. She doesn’t yell at referees or line judges and never blames them or anyone when her team loses a point or game. She doesn’t get down on herself or anyone on the team and moves forward with confidence. She has always been a standout player with the highest serve percentage on every team she has played on. She’s a scrappy, smart and talented player.

Over the years I’ve complained about sitting in the bleachers. She started playing volleyball for Cook County in 5th grade. The school volleyball season, being short, was never enough volleyball so she played volleyball in Duluth for Minnesota North from November through May for three years. We’ve spent countless hours on the bleachers watching her play. Now that she’s played her last High School volleyball game I’m of course sad it’s over.

What I can honestly say is that over the years of playing volleyball she has remained true to her name. She has always made us proud, never disappointed us and has given us constant Joy.


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Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling

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Veteran’s Day

I thought I would share this photo my cousin posted of his father, my Uncle. He’s no longer with us but I will never forget him or all of the times I asked him about his experiences in the military. Thank you to all of the Veterans on this day and always.

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May 1945
(On back of Photograph) Sgt. Arley Brakel, Goodrich,
N. Dak., member of Field Artillery Battalion, ST
U. S. Army, right, receives Bronze Star Medal from
Brig. Gen. Williston Palmer, commanding General, VII
Corps Artillery, 1st Army, at Ceremony near
Sangerhausen, Germany.
Passed for Publication 21 May 1945

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Record Low Temperatures on the Gunflint Trail

Clear skies made for record low temperatures Thursday night and early Friday morning. 13 below zero when the average temperatures are in the 30’s, brrrr.

Other lows reported in the region by the Weather Service on Friday morning included:

  • 17 below zero — Togo, Effie
  • 16 below — Embarrass, Birchdale
  • 15 below — Bigfork, Ash Lake
  • 13 below — Cook, Seagull Lake, Cotton
  • 12 below — Hibbing, Babbitt, Littlefork
  • 11 below — Orr, Isabella, Crane Lake
  • 10 below — Eveleth
  • 9 below — Grand Marais airport, Ely
  • 7 below — Grand Rapids, Twig, Minong, Sturgeon Lake, Aurora, Wright, Makinen
  • 6 below — Cloquet, Moose Lake, Silver Bay, Palmers
Posted in News

Iona’s Beach

Have you been to Iona’s Beach on the North Shore? I’ve used the port-a-potty at the boat landing before and I’ve hiked around to check out the beach but I haven’t explored the beach as much as I would like to. I would also like to go swimming here but it will have to wait until next year I’m afraid. It’s a neat stop that doesn’t see many visitors.

10 Acres in Lake County and in the North Shore Highlands of the Ecological Classification System

Scientific Natural Area- Iona’s Beach SNA lies on a narrow strip of Lake Superior’s North Shore between Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse State Parks. This site is named after Iona Lind, former owner of Twin Points Resort (which previously occupied the current parking area).

Few beaches of significant size exist on the Lake Superior shore in Minnesota. This one begins at a northern shore cliff of pink rhyolite and felsite bedrock, and stretches over 300 yards nearly straight south to a cliff and headland of dark gray basalt. Prevailing storm winds and waves have gnawed slabs of pink rhyolite from the northern cliff, smoothed them into flattened pebbles or “shingles,” and tossed them down shore, high up on the beach, ultimately at the south end against the basalt formation. As the waves recede, the shingles come to rest with a tinkling sound unique to this beach.

Back from the beach, now 15 to 20 feet high, lies a moist swale of alder, paper birch, balsam poplar, currant, and dogwood. Waves hurl rocks, wind, and water ever higher into that vegetation, nibbling the earth away from a fringe of roots now exposed.

Established 2001/10/05

Lake Superior Scientific Natural Area

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More Snow on the Way

Event: Winter Weather Advisory
.An Arctic cold front will pass through the Northland tonight. 
Snow continued to progress south this evening into northwest 
Wisconsin but was starting to diminish over far northern Minnesota. 
This will be the coldest air yet seen this season. The large 
lakes across the region are still relatively warm, including Lake 
Superior, Lake of the Woods, Rainy Lake, and Lake Kabetogama. The 
dramatic temperature differences between the lakes and Arctic air 
is expected to result in significant snow enhancement and lake 
effect snow showers downwind of these lakes through the night and 
into Thursday. The heaviest snowfall, up to around 10 inches, is 
expected downwind of Lake Superior along and near the higher 
terrain of the Gogebic Range in Iron County in Wisconsin. Other 
parts of northern Wisconsin near Lake Superior, and parts of 
north-central Minnesota near the Canadian border, could get up to 
several inches of snow. Expect periods of difficult travel 
conditions with this snow. 
* WHAT...Snow and lake effect snow expected. Plan on slippery 
road conditions, including during the evening commute. Total 
snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches across parts of northern 
Koochiching County and the northwestern corner of St. Louis 
County. There could be isolated amounts up to 6 inches in 
those areas. 
* WHERE...Koochiching and North St. Louis County. 
* WHEN...Now through 9 AM Thursday. 
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Be prepared for reduced visibilities at 
A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will 
cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered 
roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. 
The latest road conditions for Minnesota can be obtained by 
calling 511 in state, or 1-800-542-0220. For Wisconsin, call 
511 in state, or 1-866-511-9472
Posted in News

Taking a Hike?

Here are some suggestions from Minnesota Nature.

Safe Hiking During Hunting Season: 3 Tips You Need to Know

MN Nature in St Paul, Minnesota, wants you to enjoy hiking all year round, including during hunting seasons. November is deer hunting season and the time when most activity happens, especially this year Nov 3-13.

How to stay safe in 3 steps you can remember:
1. Be Aware
2. Be Seen
3. Be Heard

Know where hunters are, call ahead before planning your hike. When planning your hike, be sure to call the owner of the land (state park, county park, etc.) during open hours and ask them if the park will be open on the day you plan to hike. Ask for a map of safe places to hike, or particular areas to avoid. Probably best to stay on the trails at this time of year.

Wear blaze orange. Have your dog wear it, too. This helps hunters clearly see you from a good distance away and even in bad weather.

Make noise–whistle, talk, raise your voice if/when you hear a shot. Generally, make your presence known. Don’t quietly walk through the woods in hopes of seeing wildlife during hunting season. Your priority is to be seen and heard by hunters, who may be over the next ridge–if they hear you, they may not take a shot at a deer that would run your direction.

Remember, do not hike on land you don’t have permission to hike on. This is true always, but especially important during hunting seasons. Even state parks and national parks have permitted hunt periods, so always gain permission to hike during November. It’s just a general precautionary step to take.

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