Stopping the Spread of Invasive Species

I hadn’t thought about decoys and other hunting items spreading invasive species but it makes sense.


Trappers and waterfowl hunters reminded to avoid spreading invasive species

With hunting season in progress, it’s time for waterfowl hunters to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Without the proper precautions, invasive species such as purple loosestrife, faucet snails, Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels could be transported in waterfowl hunters’ boats, decoys or blind material.

Invasive species can damage habitat for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife, and even cause die-offs of waterfowl.

“After hunting, take a few minutes to clean plants and mud and drain water from duck boats, decoys, decoy lines, waders and push poles,” said Allison Gamble, DNR invasive species specialist. “It’s the key to avoiding the spread of aquatic invasive species in waterfowl habitat.”

The DNR has the following recommendations to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species:

Use elliptical or bulb-shaped or strap decoy anchors.
Drain water and remove all plants and animals from boats and equipment.
Remove all plants and animals from anchor lines and blind materials.
Check compartments or storage in boats or kayaks that aren’t in use the rest of the year.
Waterfowl hunters should also remember that they must cut cattails or other plants above the water line when using them as camouflage for boats or blinds, if they want to move them from lake to lake.

The DNR is also reminding trappers to clean their equipment before moving them to another body of water.

“Trappers of muskrats and other furbearers should also keep the ‘Clean in-Clean out’ mantra in mind,” said DNR invasive species specialist Tim Plude. “All traps, lines, boots, and waders should be cleaned to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.”

To kill or remove invasive species seeds or young zebra mussels that are difficult to see, the DNR recommends that boaters use a high-pressure spray or a hot water rinse before launching into another water body (120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 seconds). Air drying can also be effective but may require more time due to cooler weather.

Less than five percent of Minnesota’s 11,842 lakes are on the infested waters list, and it’s up to sportsmen and women to help keep it that way.

“If the sporting public can help us by acting as our eyes and ears on the water, it can help us catch a problem before it’s too late,” said Gamble. “And that is invaluable,” she said.

A short video showing what waterfowl hunters can do is available at Additional resources on aquatic invasive species are available at

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Wilderness in the News

If you’re looking for some good reading then here it is.  Oh and here too! Boundary Waters and Quetico Park are getting some ink, enjoy!

BWCa and Quetico Park

Quetico Park and Boundary Waters

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Northern Lights Tonight?

Here’s hoping for a clear sky tonight!

Space Weather News for Oct. 25, 2016

STRONG GEOMAGNETIC STORM: A strong “G3-class” geomagnetic storm is underway on Oct. 25th as Earth enters a fast-moving stream of solar wind. The arrival of the solar wind stream was predicted, but the intensity of the resulting storm is greater than forecast. Tonight, Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle should be bright, and the glow could descend t

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Moose Party by David Johnson

I love these photos! He has videos on Facebook too if you are interested.


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Seagull Lake Nature Trail

BWCA entry point into Seagull Lake

Trail’s End Campground

One of my favorite hikes is the Seagull Lake Nature Trail. The trailhead is at the entry point 54 landing into Seagull Lake at the Trail’s End Campground. There’s a brand new sign at this entry point that was just erected within the past month.

It’s a relatively short and easy hike through the 2007 Ham Lake Fire burn. It ends at the opening to Seagull Lake and provides a beautiful view of the BWCA.  The little set of rapids provide the perfect backdrop for sitting on a rock enjoying the solitude of the surroundings.

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Beautiful Day for a Paddle

Seagull Lake entry point

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

When the sun is shining and it’s 57 degrees outside at the end of October it’s a perfect time to go for a paddle. And where’s the perfect place to go when you’re at the end of the Gunflint Trail? I know, there are many places to choose from but one of my favorite places to go when I’m short on time is the Seagull Lake palisades.

It’s a short paddle from the Seagull Lake landing to the palisades. It only takes about thirty minutes of canoeing past pine studded islands to reach the bottom of the cliffs. Then it’s a quick hike to the top for an amazing view of Seagull Lake and the surrounding shoreline.

BWCA canoe trip

Solitude in the BWCA

Once you are at the top is when you wish you had more time. Time to take in the scene, ponder life and relax in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. But when the sun begins to dip beneath the trees it’s time to leave. And hope there will be another beautiful day to paddle the BWCA.

Seagull Lake Palisades

Paddle to the Palisades

canoeing the Boundary Waters

Seagull Lake

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Geocaching Fun

Voyageur Craft BeerSometimes people need a reason to go for a hike in the woods. I’m not one of those people. Spending time in the woods is enough incentive to get me hiking. Geocaching gets people walking in the woods and the more people who get out there the happier everyone will be. It’s because the benefits of spending time outside are so numerous that I have placed geocaches in numerous locations on the Gunflint Trail and in Cook County. is a great website that houses geocache locations all over. You can pull up a map and find out where nearby geocaches are located and if you want you can put caches out too. IMG_2722

Right now I’m having fun with four different caches for Voyageur Brewing Company. There’s the Boundary Waters Brunette, Palisade Porter, Trailbreaker and a virtual photo cache for Devil’s Kettle. People can search for these caches and earn a free beer by bringing in a business card from the cache container. Each of the beers have their GPS coordinates printed on the beer label.

Minnesota Craft BeerYou can read more about this on the Facebook Event Page. I’m hoping a little reward will get more people into the great outdoors. The next time you’re looking for a reason or excuse to get outside check out and go find a hidden treasure.

Wild Rice Brown Ale by Voyageur Brewing Company

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Weekend Fun on the Gunflint Trail

If you only had a weekend to spend on the Gunflint Trail then what would you do? Sometimes people ask us this question and we have a difficult time answering it. Of course, the most rewarding thing to do is to take an overnight camping trip in the Boundary Waters.

Some people are not ambitious enough to prepare and plan for a BWCA canoe camping trip so we suggest spending the night at Voyageur.  When guests stay overnight at our place they can take advantage of our towboat service and transportation to take incredible day trips into the Boundary Waters.

Sometimes the wind is an issue for paddling on the wilderness lakes. If that is the case then we suggest hiking in the Boundary Waters or on the Gunflint Trail. There are of course restaurants, gift shops scenic overlooks and many more incredible opportunities on the Gunflint Trail. There are way more things to do on the Gunflint Trail than there are hours in the day so come enjoy a weekend of fun on the Trail and plan to return again and again.

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A Great Drive on the Gunflint Trail

I’ve been a bit sad when I’ve driven the Gunflint Trail lately. While some trips on the Trail we’d see multiple moose we haven’t seen many lately. Today I talked to my neighbors who told me they saw not one, but two moose on the Gunflint Trail on their drive to town today. In addition to the moose they saw an otter crossing the road. This sounds like a great drive on the Gunflint Trail to me. I am hoping to see moose on my next trip on the Gunflint Trail. We hope you’ll see some on your next trip too!


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Loons are Loony, Bald Eagles are Crazy?

Crazy story!

A Bald Eagle Is Somehow Fine After Getting Stuck in a Moving Car’s Grille

The bird, nicknamed Matthew, miraculously escaped with no major injuries and should be released back into the Florida wild soon.

In life, sometimes you’re the grille, and sometimes you’re the Bald Eagle. Alright, so that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but it turned out to be true for an unlucky Bald Eagle in Florida this past weekend. 

According to a Facebook post by Florida’s Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, a Bald Eagle had to be rescued from the grille of a Saturn after the bird collided with the car and got stuck in the vehicle’s lower air intake. Fortunately for the eagle, members of the Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue were able to safely remove the raptor. “The bird is alive and was turned over to the B.E.A.K.S. Wildlife Sanctuary,” the post said.  “Great job by all involved.”

Perhaps what’s more amazing than the bird’s survival is the fact that the driver apparently didn’t notice hitting the bird in the first place.

Talking to CNN, B.E.A.K.S. owner, Cynthia Mosling, said that another driver at an intersection saw an “odd shape” in the vehicle’s grille and thought it was a decorative prop until the bird’s head moved. After chasing down the other car to notify its driver that America’s national bird was wedged in the front fascia, the good Samaritan dubbed the eagle Matthew for the Hurricane that had brushed Florida’s coast the day before.

In a follow-up interview with The Florida-Times Union on Monday, Mosling said that she was surprised that the bird, an adult male at least seven years of age, didn’t have any broken wings or a single broken bone. As of Monday, after having a bit of time to recover from the ordeal, Mosling said Matthew was eating and able to fly to some of the higher perches in his cage.

“He’s feisty now,” Mosling told The Florida-Times. “His wings are working.”

As soon as Matthew passes a flight test in a larger enclosure, Mosling says she’ll release him back to wild, where, if he believes in signs, he’ll immediately go buy a Powerball ticket. 

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  • Recognize this place in the #BWCA? It's just as beautiful in October as it is during the summer.

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