Memorial Weekend Heatwave

We had a beautiful Memorial Weekend with plenty of sunshine. The temperature was in the 80’s and the water temperature heated up quickly into the 60’s. I haven’t been swimming on Memorial Weekend except for maybe one other time and I remember the water was freezing. This time it was a comfortable temperature and perfect for cooling off.

According to the Duluth News Tribune…

The Duluth airport reported a high temperature of 92 degrees — shattering the previous record high for May 26 of 85 degrees, set in 1978 and again in 2014, the National Weather Service reported.

There was relief near Lake Superior, with temperatures at the Duluth harbor only in the mid-50s as of mid-afternoon Saturday; the Grand Marais harbor stayed in the 40s much of the day.

The average high for Duluth at this time of year is about 65 degrees.

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The ice is gone!

It’s official! Saganaga Lake is ice free! These photos were taken this morning. Yipppeeee!You can see when other lakes in Minnesota became ice free by checking out the MN DNR website.


Saganaga Lake Ice Free

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Fire danger very high

According to the Minnesota Incident Command System, “Heads up NE : *Koochiching-St. Louis-Cook-Lake-Itasca-Cass-Itasca-Crow Wing-Aitkin-Carlton-Pine* Dry & breezy conditions N of Hwy 2 mean elevated fire Wx danger where developing fires may spread quickly.

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Saganaga holds onto its ice

An icy opener on Saganaga this year. Not enough to stand on but not enough to push through either. We’ll see what this week brings but we’re guessing it will be gone by next weekend!

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Hanging out hammocking

What else can you do on fishing opener in Minnesota? Hang out in hammocks with your friends in the woods!

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Some lakes are ice free

It’s a welcome sight to see blue water instead of white ice on some of our area lakes. The smaller and shallower lakes are ice free for folks to enjoy the Minnesota fishing opener. I have fond memories of a Mother’s Day spent out ice fishing on Saganaga but that won’t be the case this year.

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Fishing opener on Saganaga?

Not this year if you want to fish the whole lake.

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Interesting opportunity at Fort Ripley

Volunteer Actors at Conservation Officer Training Academy
Use your acting skills to bring some “reality” to officer cadets training to become Conservation Officers. The Enforcement Training Academy needs volunteers to act in various training scenarios during Academy 18 at Camp Ripley, Little Falls. These scenarios occur one day on a weekly basis during the academy going on now through August 14, 2018. You may volunteer for one or more days. Bring a friend! At least 25 volunteers are needed.

Volunteers will:

Act out various scenes of hunting, fishing, boating, ATV riding, etc.
Act like a real-life hunter, fisher, trapper, boater, etc.

This means as an actor you might:

Play it straight, as if they weren’t the violator
Try to help the violator by trying to talk the cadet “officer” out of writing a ticket
Hide extra game in another cooler under a tarp in your pickup and see if the cadet discovers it

For example, Game Enforcement Scenarios would have 5 or more sites set up with at least 2 actors at each site:

Site A is “Fail to Validate Site Tag” scenario

Site B is “Decoy Use/Shoot from roadway or motor vehicle” scenario

Site C is “Pheasant Hunter check / taking of a hen pheasant” scenario and so on.

Actors are encouraged to try to be realistic – sometimes you get to be antagonistic and rude, sometimes cooperative. The goal is to give the cadets a taste of “real life” duty. Acting experience is helpful, as is some experience with hunting, fishing, or boating, but are not necessary to participate.

Volunteers are provided with:

equipment to use for scenarios
refreshments and meals
bug spray and sunscreen
mileage reimbursement to and from Camp Ripley

Scenario training day happens 1 day a week each week of Academy 18 (May 2 through Aug. 14, 2018); days are approximately 12 hours long so officers can experience scenarios at various times of the day.

For more information or to sign up, contact Conservation Officer Mike Lee, Academy Director, 1501 Hwy 115, Nelson Hall, Little Falls, MN 56345 at 320-412-1176Call: 320-412-1176 or email

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BWCA open for business

Great news for people looking to head into the BWCA! Saganaga Lake is open all the way to Clark Island! OK, so it’s the first island on Sag but keep in mind there are campsites on Clark and in the narrows before you get to Clark. So, if you must camp in the BWCA, come on up to Sag and visit us at Voyageur!

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Northern Lights dancing in the sky

This time of the year is such a magical time with all of the birds and wildlife making appearances. The other night it was made even better by the northern lights.  Cassidy took the first photo at Voyageur and our local photographer took the other two.

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