Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

Feb. 5, 2001

A short break from winter

Winter is definitely starting to take its toll on my mind and body.

I'm getting crabby, my kids are already crabby and we could sure use a break from ice, snow, overcast skies and windchills. However, there are no plans for a trip to warmer destinations and spring is still a long way off.

We're kind of at that winter breaking point where you either crawl into a shell and just survive, or find something other than a trip south to turn the tide.

Last week, by surprise I found just that thing. The thing was a greenhouse.

Warm, moist air, the smell of soil, and hundreds and fresh and blooming plants. The atmosphere was so refreshing I didn't want to leave.

Before I did leave, I told one of the owners, Jane Holasek of Holasek and Sons Greenhouse in Lester Prairie that I would be coming back with my kids and that we may spend the night or may the rest of winter.

Fun on the ice

Holes will be drilled, pails will be flipped, many prizes will be given away, and to top it all off, a few fish will be caught, too.

It's all in an effort of conservation and winter fun for the Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club. This Saturday, Feb. 10, the club will host its annual fishing derby.

The event, with fishing, prize drawings, and best angler on the ice contests runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Howard Lake.

This year's top prize in the raffle is a deluxe King Crow fish house on wheels.

Funds raised at the event are used for local fish and wildlife conservation efforts.

Outdoor notes

­ The ice storm we got last week may have a large impact on area wildlife and wildlife throughout the midwest. The ice coats the ground, lodges cover, and in general makes survival for wildlife mor difficult. Pheasants are very susceptible to the ice. The sheet of ice and hard snow makes it very difficult for them to dig or scratch for food and diminishes their available cover. They are forced to spend more time in the open looking for food and then become easier prey for predators.

Also, some experts believe the type of ice we received last easily becomes clogged in the nostrils or beaks of pheasants and may suffocate them.

­ The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the clubhouse.

­ The walleye and northern pike season on lakes in our area closes Sunday, Feb. 18.

­ Remember to purchase your new 2001 fishing license by March 1.

­ The 2001 Minnesota fishing opener is set for Saturday, May 12.

­ Several area lakes have been declared open for liberalized fishing by the DNR. In those lakes, which are low in oxygen and a large fishkill is likely, anglers may take fish in any quantity. In our area, the lakes include Silver Lake and Otter-Campbell in McLeod County, and Fountain Lake in Wright County.

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