By Chris Schultz Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake Herald, Minn. February 23, 1998
Mother Nature vetoes legislation
Interested or concerned persons can lobby and convince.
The state legislature can debate and decide.
The governor can can change people's lives with the sweep of a pen.
But none of them can turn or alter Mother Nature's intended path.
Although our state lawmakers did extend the current fishing season by two weeks to offset the effects of a late arriving winter on tourism and fishing, they could not get Mother Nature to cooperate with the plan.
The official 1997 fishing season for walleye, northern pike, muskellunge, sauger, largemouth, and smallmouth bass was extended because winter got here late and anglers couldn't get out on the ice and spend thousands of dollars in pursuit of their favorite fish.
Now, with the official season not ending until March 1, Mother Nature is again putting a halt to anglers getting out on the ice to spend thousands of dollars in pursuit of fish.
Winter got here late and no matter what we do, it sure seems like it's going to leave early.
Last week in our area, fish houses were coming off lakes by the tens and twenties. The weather was warm, small pools of water and slush were covering the ice, and anglers were in a dash to get their houses off the ice before conditions got worse.
Reports say there is still a good 15 inches of ice on most area lakes. But, if the weather continues to be this warm the ice could be gone before we know it and Mother Nature will make this years ice fishing season one of the shortest in recorded history.
Maybe the legislature can find a way to make a fish house float.
Cub Scouts enjoy archery
Den 6 of the Lester Prairie Cub Scouts spent an evening with the Winsted Archery Club recently.
The boys had a fun night learning about and participating in the sport of archery. Scouts participating were Beau Weise, Benjamin Machemehl, Jeff Fruetel, James Kiekhaefer, Tyler Bahrke, and William Pruden.
The Winsted Archery Club is promoting youth involvement. All youth age 14 and younger may shoot free of charge when accompanied by an adult, not including league or special events.
Fishing derby winners
On Saturday, Feb. 14 the Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club held its 52nd annual fishing derby on Howard Lake.
A good crowd was on hand to participate in or watch angling, augering, and chiseling contests.
Ryan Zitzloff landed the largest bass, a one-pound, eight-ouncer. Robert Bayerl nabbed a four-pound, 12-ounce northern for top prize in that category and Doug DeMarias caught the largest sunfish, a seven-ounce lunker.
Surprisingly, no walleyes or crappies were weighed in or entered into the contest.
The oldest angler on the ice award went to Jim Vinar.
Bob Gruenhagen was first through the ice with a chisel.
Dan Zachmann won the hand augering contest and Mike Zachmann won both the power auger competitions.
The top raffle prize, a deluxe King Crow fishhouse, went to Denny DeMarais of Howard Lake. Jerry Aurentz won the power auger and Todd Lange took home the portable fish house.
- A kids only fishing contest will be held on Howard Lake Saturday, Feb. 28. Kids wanting to participate should be at the ballpark on the southwest corner of the lake at noon for registration. The contest starts at 1 p.m. and ends at 2 p.m. After the tournament, prizes will be awarded and refreshments served at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) High School small gym. There are two age brackets for participants, five to 10 years of age, and 11 to 15 years of age. Wax worms are furnished and if ice conditions are not suitable for the fishing contest, the event will move to the small gym. For more information, contact Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake at 320-543-2715.
- 1997 Minnesota angling licenses expire Feb. 28, 1998. Buy your 1998 license today.
- The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will meet on Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at the clubhouse.
- Many weather forecasters and professionals are saying this winter could be the warmest in recorded history. Let's hope March doesn't prove them wrong.