Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

May 3, 1999

Get ready: crappie bite is on

The walleye and northern pike opener is only 13 days away, water temperatures are warming, and the spring crappie bite is finally on and in full swing.

I hope your gear is ready, license is bought, and you have at least a little time set aside for fishing. If you don't, it's time to get out of the stands and get in the game.

Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: The weather has been good for fishing and anglers after crappies and sunfish have been out in good numbers.

Lakes Mary and Big Waverly have been producing crappies, and anglers heading to Howard have been nabbing sunfish in good numbers.

Other reports from the area have Lake Waconia and a few bays on Minnetonka producing crappies. Kids fishing the Crow River are picking up carp and a few pre-season northern pike, and Winsted Lake is starting to give up a few crappies to anglers fishing from shore.

Other good bets for angling successes this spring include Swan Lake, the South Fork of the Crow River near the dam in Hutchinson, and lakes Granite and Washington.

Casting another line

The other night I heard a great idea from a caller to a radio talk show.

The show was about the outdoors and fishing. The caller, from the Spicer area, noted the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should start a program similar to the Adopt-a-Highway program sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The new program, would be called Adopt-a-Landing, and like the Adopt-a-Highway program would entice groups and organizations to put a particular boat landing or lake access under their wing and keep it clean and free of garbage and debris.

The participating organization or group would get a sign posted at the landing to make the public aware of its efforts.

The idea does have a few questionable points. However, the fact the DNR does not maintain or provide garbage cans or waste facilities at landings makes the idea a great one.

Also, the DNR should take a good look at any idea that helps them solicit more support and participation from the public.

In our area, the boat landing and access at Lake Mary is owned, managed, and maintained by the Winsted Sportsmen's Club.

The access is open to the public, and from experience and many visits to various landings in our area, the Lake Mary landing is one of the best. It's well maintained and has been in good order every time I have used it.

The Adopt-a-Landing program would not go as far as conveying ownership and complete maintenance responsibilities of landings like the one at Lake Mary. But, from that example, the DNR should take a good and hard look at starting, or at least testing, an Adopt-a-Landing program.

The Winsted Sportsmen's Club also helps to clean and maintain other landings in the area making the club an excellent model for the DNR to look at.

If you think it's a good idea, give the DNR a call at 1-888-646-6367.

Outdoor notes

  • The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the clubhouse.
  • The 1999 Minnesota Fishing opener for walleye and northern pike is set for Saturday, May 15.
  • The spring crappie bite is off and rolling on our area lakes. Fish shallow flats with small jigs and crappie minnows for best results. If minnows aren't the ticket, try casting a small Beetle Spin.
  • Gnats are out and mosquitoes are on their way making it time to get your dog checked for heartworm and started on a heartworm preventative medication. For more details, give your vet a call.
  • Trees are budding and will be green and full of leaves very soon.

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