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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New Canoes at Voyageur

A blustery day to unload canoes but it’s a sign the paddling season is coming soon!

Canoes to Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

Wenonah Canoe Delivery

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Look Who’s Back in the Neighborhood

Moose are on the loose and we’re so happy to see them back in the neighborhood.

Gunflint Trail Moose

Moose are Hanging Out

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Ham Run Fun

The Ham Run Half-Marathon and 5k Fun Run is coming up soon. It’s just a week from tomorrow on Saturday, May 2nd. It’s hard to believe it’s almost May.

If you need a place to stay then give us a call. This is a great time to visit the Gunflint Trail. It’s so quiet unless you go where the ice is tinkling on the shore. It’s a sound I love to hear. We take a boat ride up to the narrows and listen to the waves and the music they make with the floating ice.  I haven’t been out to hear it yet but a boat ride is in the near future.

Just like the Ham Run. There’s still time to sign up to run and/or walk. Hope to see you on the Trail Less Traveled.

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Boundary Waters Expo on the Gunflint Trail

The Gunflint Trail is hosting a Boundary Waters Expo June 12-14th at Seagull Lake Public Landing right in our backyard.  There will be exhibitors, speakers, demonstrations and much more.  Come listen to Cliff Jacobsen, enjoy a Shrimp Boil and spend some time on the Gunflint Trail.  Call us today to book your stay(1-888-CANOET) and find details about the event online.


Boundary Waters Expo on the Gunflint Trail

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Happy Earth Day

I hope you are able to get outside to enjoy Earth Day. Take a hike, picnic in a park or go for a short paddle to celebrate the day.  Do something nice for our earth today. The Minnesota DNR recommends trying to cut down on your water use.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  April 20, 2015

Minnesotans encouraged to conserve water for Earth Day

Everyone can act locally to protect the planet by taking simple steps to conserve water resources. The 45th anniversary of Earth Day, April 22, is a reminder of the many ways to make a difference.

“In the land of 10,000 lakes, we need to appreciate our great water resources and increase our concern for how we use water,” said Carmelita Nelson, Department of Natural Resources water conservation consultant. “Earth Day started because of dissatisfaction with how the environment was being treated. Although some aspects of our environment have improved since the 1970s, today we all need to focus energy on preserving water quality for future generations.”

As a first step, Nelson suggests that every family try to find ways to conserve water. Check home faucets, toilets, and pipes for leaks; even small drips can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Take shorter showers, turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving, and find ways to save water in the kitchen or laundry room.

“Toilets are the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water use,” Nelson said. Older toilets use up to 3.5 gallons per flush. Replacing them with new WaterSense labeled toilets will save water and reduce home water bills. This simpler, greener choice can save 4,000 gallons of water per person every year.

The second largest water user in most homes is the washing machine, with the average wash using 41 gallons per load. High efficiency, water-saving washing machines use nearly half that amount and have the added bonus of using 50 percent less energy per load. On store labels, the lower the water factor, the more efficient the washer is.

“As we Minnesotans start to get enthusiastic about spring, we should also think about ways to reduce water use outdoors this year,” added Nelson.

Water use peaks during the summer, putting increased demand on city water systems and individual wells. When picking out landscaping for a yard, select species that are drought-tolerant and well adapted to the soil. Consider reducing the amount of turf grass in some areas of the yard by planting butterfly or pollinator gardens, native prairie gardens, or rain gardens where appropriate. Consider putting up an easy and efficient rain barrel beneath a downspout.

“While it is not safe to be out on most lakes or rivers on April 22, get outside and splash in a puddle, walk along a shoreline or just enjoy a nice glass of water,” Nelson said.  “We all need to become more aware of what a precious resource we have.”

For more information on water conservation in Minnesota, got to  or to the new Metropolitan Council Water Conservation Toolbox at

For more information on Earth Day, visit

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Moose Collaring Update

Thanks to our summer neighbor Monica and some other key people Governor Mark Dayton is stepping in to put a halt to the collaring and killing of moose calves in Minnesota.

According to a Star Tribune Article yesterday, his office said that, “if humans are now the second-leading cause of death for collared calves, the additional risks to them aren’t worth the potential scientific gains. He has told the DNR that this spring’s calf collaring with be the last. And researchers say that even this next round will be cut short if calf deaths are too high.”

This is good news but it could be better news. We want the collaring of calves to be over now, we don’t want to wait until after this year after more calves have died due to collaring.  If you feel the same way then please voice your opinion to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources which is the appointed group of legislators and scientists who are controlling the funding for this project.  Susan Thornton is the chair.

I want to know what is killing our moose but I don’t feel we need to collar calves in order to do so.

Moose in Minnesota

Moose on Sag Lake Trail

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Voyageur Canoes on Another Expedition

It isn’t our Voyageur Crew who is paddling from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic but the crew of 6 is paddling Voyageur canoes complete with our logo stickers on the side.  They own the canoes and I’m thrilled they are on this incredible journey.

Voyageur Canoes

Modern Day Voyageurs

Four of the trip participants are from St. Cloud, Minnesota, just like Mike and I and the other two are from Iowa. They have a website and you can follow along on their journey and see some amazing pictures.



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A Loon!

I saw my first loon of the season today when I went for a drive around Trail’s End Campground. It was swimming in the bay of Gull Lake in front of the Saganaga Landing at the campground.  I didn’t hear him sing even though I tried to converse with him.

It was a rainy day on the Gunflint Trail and we received .61″ at the Seagull Guard Station.  Earl Falls, the tiny falls across from the Guard Station, is flowing nicely and Moose Pond is free of ice. The ice is pulling away from the shore on many of the smaller lakes and it won’t be long until the ice is off of Iron, Little Iron and Swamper. I’m guessing the ice will be off of Saganaga completely by May 2nd, but that’s just my SWAG Theory.

It’s muddy once again but we won’t complain.

Gunflint rainy day

Gunflint Trail waterfalls


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Sunny Skies

We’ve been blessed with beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures this past week. People are out and about without jackets and are wearing short sleeves and shorts. When the temperature reaches the 50′s up here we think it’s summer.

It doesn’t feel like April and everyone is wondering when Mother Nature will dump a foot of wet snow on us. Although it would make things muddy again and disappoint many we do need some precipitation. It looks like we might get some rain next week and that’s a good thing as I’m having a difficult time staying indoors.  When it’s nice outside I’m drawn outside to savor the sunshine on my face.

Temperature in degrees from the Seagull Guard Station on the Gunflint Trail.

  • April 11     65
  • April 12     71
  • April 13     55
  • April 14     63
  • April 15     68
  • April 16     60
  • April 17     69
  • April 18     57
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