Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

June 19, 2006

Howard Lake GND Fishing Contest Saturday


It’s here again – the annual Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days Fishing Contest. I’ll be there and so will many other anglers.

The event typically draws a pretty good crowd and more often than not some pretty nice fish are caught.

Last year my boat didn’t win any prizes, but did catch a few good sized largemouth bass.

The contest is set for Sat. June 24 on Howard Lake. Registration and pancake breakfast at Lions Park on the south east corner of the lake begins at 7 a.m. with shotgun start for the fishing contest at 8 a.m.

The competition, especially from the Decker brothers, can be tough, but for the most part the contest is just a lot of fun.

To participate, stop in Joe’s Sport Shop and Hardware in Howard Lake and pick up an entry form.

Keg’s Bar Fishing League

Bass & Walleye
Week 4 - Collinwood Lake
Results
1 Mike and Kimberly Moy
2 walleye, 1 bass 5 lbs. 2 oz.
2. Dave Grof and Todd Prudent
1 walley, 1 bass 2 lbs. 14 oz.
3. Steve Sherman and Neil Syvertson
1 bass 1 lb. 8 oz.
Week 3
Name Pts PtsTotal
Woody Langenfeld 1 61
Dave Fiecke 1 41
Gus Schuenfeld 1 30
Marcus Halverson DNF 16
Corey Zitzloff 1 17
Dick Langenfeld DNF 20
Mike Moy 20 62
Kim Moy 20 62
Tom Schoenfeld DNF 24
Eric S. (Gus) 1 15
Mark Kieser 1 14.5
Jason Kieser 1 14.5
John Lambrecht 1 23.5
Brian Hankomp 1 23.5
Tim Thul DNF 14
Russ C. DNF 14
Kyle Kulinski DNF 9
Gaylen Schoenfeld DNF 8
Bonnie Schoenfeld DNF 8
Todd Prudent 16 17
Dave Groff 16 18
Steve Sherman 14 14
Neil Syvertson 14 14

To participate, stop in at Keg’s Bar in Winsted, or call (320) 485-4250. Tournament runs Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Lake is chosen at 3 p.m. on day of fishing. Twelve weeks total with different lake each week.

Fish die-offs common in spring
From the DNR

In May and June of each year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) receives reports of dead crappies, sunfish and bullheads washing up on the shore of some lakes. This year is no different.

The die-offs are frequently caused by rapidly warming water temperatures, which trigger an outbreak of columnaris disease, a naturally occurring fish disease caused by a bacteria that poses no threat to humans.

“Minnesotans get very concerned when they see dead fish on the shore,” said Ling Shen, DNR fish health specialist. “Rightfully, they call us. Most times we’re able to reassure them that it’s a natural occurrence that doesn’t affect the overall fish population.”

Columnaris frequently occurs when water temperatures rise above 55 degrees.

When fish move into shallows in spring, they are more concentrated and more susceptible to contract the disease from other fish. Shen said it is not clear why some lakes have outbreaks of the disease and others don’t.

Columnaris is not known to cause any harm to humans. It usually affects the skin and gills of fish. The flesh is not affected and is safe for human consumption.

People who notice large numbers of dead fish in a lake or stream are asked to report the event to the DNR at (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

Can you hear Minnesota calling?
From Tom Conroy of the DNR

She’s only five years old but she gives me reason for hope. And regret.

One recent evening she was happily helping her grandmother pick maple tree seeds from flower containers.

Her grandmother plucked a seed with a root attached and handed it to the little girl. For a long while she sat mesmerized, earnestly studying the marvel in her hands.

When I dig in the garden, she’s underfoot, searching the dirt for anything that moves.

She excitedly discovered a millipede once, promptly named it Millie, then cried when she lost it in the grass.

I’m running out of containers to hold her collections of snails, frogs, butterflies and worms. She examines the game birds I bring home with the thoroughness of a pathologist.

She’s just a little kid but she gives me hope because she is proof that nature has not lost her ability to amaze and engross.

The regret is that we have treated it with such disrespect. When we pass it on the little kids of today, will it be better or worse?

Many of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, forests, prairies and wetlands have been sliding downhill for years.

It’s not the first time in Minnesota’s history that our natural resources have been in trouble.

Previous generations, however, rose to the challenge. As one example, our northern forests were nearly exhausted by the late 1800’s.

In response, citizens and civic organizations banded together and created the nation’s first congressionally authorized national forest - the Chippewa National Forest.

Minnesota can be proud of the way previous generations stepped to the plate to respond to natural resource threats.

Today, the need to continue that proud heritage has never been more urgent.

If the trees, water and prairie could talk, they would not speak kindly of how they have been treated. Instead, concerned people must speak for them, hopeful that others will listen.

The Minnesota Campaign for Conservation, a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations, is doing just that. And while what they have to say is alarming, they also offer hope.

In a report entitled “Minnesota Calling: Conservation Facts, Trends and Challenges” the case is made that “The very things we love best about this state are under threat as never before.”

Organizers of the campaign are intent on developing and funding long-term conservation strategies to combat those threats.

To do that, it will first be necessary for Minnesota citizens to understand that this is not Chicken Little screaming about a falling sky. And then to cultivate a public will to follow in the footsteps of previous generations over the past 150 years and do something about it.

Consider the following from the report:

• Population growth poses the greatest challenge to our state’s natural resources. It is projected that by 2030, Minnesota will have nearly 2.5 million more people than it had in 1970.

As the population increases, so do the pressures on already stressed natural resources.

• Between 1982 and 1992, Minnesota lost 23,400 acres per year to development.

From 1992 to 1997, the rate jumped to 46,400 acres per year. At the present rate, another 1,029,408 of land will be converted to urban/developed land by 2030.

• Forty percent of the lakes and rivers that have been tested in Minnesota to determine if they meet pollution standards of the Clean

Water Act do not meet the criteria.

Currently 199 rivers and 916 lakes are on the Minnesota Impaired Waters list. New data indicates another 97 rivers and 166 lakes are polluted.

• Areas in Minnesota with lakes, rivers and forests will continue to see an influx of people – and the problems that come with that.

Demand for recreation land and lakeshore is moving further north. The Ely area is now one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

• The average Minnesotan is being pushed out of the state’s traditional recreational opportunities.

What was once public land or open space is now becoming privately owned or leased.

• Conservation spending in the past few years (as a percentage of the state budget) has dropped to the lowest level in 30 years.

Over the past three decades, the share of the state general fund going to conservation and environment has average 1%.

Organizers of the Campaign for Conservation are hopeful that enough of us will take the threats seriously. If we do, a lot of little kids will one day thank us. If not, then more regret and disappointment.

Minnesota is calling. If you’d like to consider answering the call, check out www.campaignforconservation.org

Outdoor notes

• The first day of summer is Wednesday. On Wednesday take note where on the horizon the sun sets and remember that spot next winter.

• The sunfish are spawning and biting like crazy on many lakes in our area.

• Put new line on your fishing reels.

• Ladies only nights at the Waverly Gun Club begins Tuesday, July 11.

Open line shooting is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and .22 cal pistols, rifles, targets, and ammunition will be provided.

For more info contact Al Moy at (612) 889-4423, or Russ Johnson at (763) 675-3527.

• Conditions for nesting pheasants and pheasant chicks have been near perfect this spring.

The hatch could be a good one, which would lead to a great season of pheasant hunting this fall.

• Take a kid fishing he or she will have fun and so will you.

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