Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

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

Jan. 7, 2002

Fish biting, ice conditions vary

Reports from Joe's Sport Shop and Hardware in Howard Lake, Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle at the Porthole Bar and Lounge in Lester Prairie, and anglers from around the area say that fish are biting in good numbers on certain lakes, and that in general the fishing has been good.

Those reports also indicate that ice conditions on local lakes are varied and somewhat inconsistent from lake to lake, and from one spot on a lake to another.

Many have noted that where there is a snow drift or a build up of snow on a particular location on a lake the ice is much thinner than where there is no snow. In certain areas there may be up to 11 inches of ice, while in other locations there may only be four to six inches of ice.

Joe's Sport Shop and Hardware noted most anglers are saying there is about 10 inches of ice on Howard. Another angler stated that when he drilled the holes in his fish house there was 10 inches of ice on one end and only six on the other end of the 10 foot long house.

Joe's concluded its report with a little fishing news ­ modest to good crappie action on the south bay of Howard Lake with a few small walleyes mixed in; good walleye action on Lake Ann and a fast sunfish bite on Granite Lake.

Dave Groff of Lil' Angies Bait and Tackle in Lester Prairie reported good walleye action on Lake Ann, and fish in the 14 to 15 inch range and the Eagle and Winsted Swan Lake very slow.

Dave also described reports on varying ice conditions throughout the area. He stated the standard seems to be about 11 inches, with certain parts of a few lakes having only three to four inches.

Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle now open at the Porthole

Lil' Angie's Bait and Tackle of Lester Prairie has moved. The bait and tackle shop, which was located at the Treasure Hunt, in now open and selling a full line of bait and tackle from the front of the Porthole Bar and Lounge in downtown Lester Prairie.

Owner and operator Dave Groff stated they opened up at the new location just after Christmas, and everything has been going well.

The shop offers a full line of tackle and bait, including sucker and shiner minnows and is open regular Porthole hours except for Saturdays, when they will open sometime around 8 a.m.

Volunteer needed for water management task force

The county board of commissioners is seeking applications for a volunteer to sit on the Wright County Water Management Task force representing "citizens-at-large." The water management task force is a nine-member advisory body to the County Board of Commissioners and works with the lead administrative agency, the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District.

The task force is charged with creating, updating, and implementing the water management plan to protect and enhance both surface and ground water resources and related land resources.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a resident of Wright County and be approved by the County Board of Commissioners. The term is for three years after which the appointees has the option to be reappointed.

Regular meetings are on the third Monday of March, June, September, and December at 7:30 p.m. Special meetings may be held at the call of the chair or County Board. Task Force Members receive per diem and mileage reimbursements.

If you are seriously concerned about the water resources of Wright County, have a desire to learn about resource issues, and are willing to be an active participant in the water management process, call the SWCD office at 763-682-1970 to apply.

Applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. Jan. 31, 2002

Corn giveaway set

The Wright County Chapter of Pheasants Forever will have a corn giveaway for pheasants and wildlife Saturday, Jan. 12, 8 to 11 a.m. at Lampi's Auction, located at Hwy. 55 and Wright County Highway 6.

Quantities may be limited due to demand. For additional information, call 320-274-CORN (2676).

Wright County youth snowmobile safety courses scheduled

Register at the Sheriff's Office during office hours, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Note: Proof of applicant's age must be provided at time of registration. No Birth Certificate needed if you have a current Minnesota Drivers License or Identification Card.

Cost of class is $10. The money is due at the time you preregister. This money is non-refundable, so don't miss the class that you are registered for.

Class size is limited to 100 students.

Age requirement: Open to Wright County residents only, 12-years of age or older.

Class dates: Saturday, Jan. 12 and Feb. 9

Class will run from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Front lobby doors to the court house will be open by 7:30 a.m.

Location: Enter at the front lobby doors of the Wright County Government Center, located at 10 Second Street NW, Buffalo, MN.

Students need to bring:

· Warm winter clothing for a test ride

· Bag lunch

· A self-addressed stamped envelope

· Helmet (we will have a limited amount on hand)

The students will use snowmobiles provided by the Wright County Sheriff's Reserves. For more information on these classes or for a booklet titled Minnesota Snowmobile Safety Laws, Rules & Regulations, call the Wright County Sheriff's Office at 763-682-7622, or 763-682-7620.

LP snowmobile course Wednesday

The Lester Prairie Sportsmen's Club will host a snowmobile introductory course beginning Wednesday, Jan. 9.

This is an approximately 11 hour introductory course for youth and young adult, designed for the snowmobiler with little or no experience in snowmobile operations sponsored by the Lester Prairie Sportsmen Club

The couse includes a hands on operating field day. It is available to students ages 12 to 17, and may be taken by individuals over 12 years of age who desire to take an introductory snowmobile course.

The course begins Wednesday, Jan. 9, with registration beginning at 6 p.m., class starting at 6:30 at the Lester Prairie Sportsmen Club

Additional classes will be Wednesday, Jan. 16, and 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 26, TBD (includes testing and driving).

Cost is $6 for material and mailing, and a parent or gardian signature.

For more information, call Sheldon Ehrke at (320) 395-2344.

HL fishing derby set

The 56th annual Howard Lake Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Howard Lake Sportsmen Club, is set for Saturday, Feb. 9, 2 to 4 p.m. on Howard Lake.

Grand prize is a 6 1/2 foot by 12 foot King Crow deluxe fish house. Additional prizes are a power ice auger, Ducks Unlimited print, and a framed print.

Proceeds will be used for conservation in Howard Lake area.

Outdoor notes

­ The pheasant season review not complete yet. In order to do an honest job of evaluated Minnesota's 2001 pheasant hunting season certain information needs to be obtained and I'm still in the process of collecting it.

Hopefully, I get it done and we'll have a good comparison of hunter success vs. DNR roadside counts, surveys and preseason hunting prospects.

­ Although it's early January, the ice conditions on our local lakes are more like early December. Ice conditions are varied and we should all remember that no ice is ever completely safe.

­ For ice fishing success try fishing at dawn and dusk. Those times of day are always the best for nabbing a few fish.

­ Reports from a few spear anglers in the area indicated that conditions and water clarity have been great for spearing. Spear angling though the ice for northern pike is a wonderful angling experience, and I recommend that if you have never tried it, you should. You may experience buck fever all over again.

­ Get off the couch this winter and have a little outdoor fun. Fishing, skiing, skating or just a walk along the Crow River are great winter time activities.

If you don't like the cold, pay a visit to the Prairie Archery Club above Angvall Hardware in Lester Prairie. The club recently hosted an open house and is open during the winter for indoor archery shooting.

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