Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

June 18, 2007

Howard Lake GND Fishing contest Sat.

The annual Good Neighbor Day’s fishing contest on Howard Lake is set for Saturday, June 23.

To register, stop at Joe’s Sport Shop and Hardware in Howard Lake, or contact Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.

‘Ladies Only’ shooting to begin in Waverly

“Ladies Only,” shooting practice will begin in June, taking place once a month, on the second Tuesday of every month, sponsored by the Waverly Gun Club.

The program runs from June to October with the first practice taking place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, June 12 at the Waverly Gun Club shooting range.

Those interested may bring their own gun and ammo, or it will be provided for them. A league is being set up as well. Those with questions may call Allan Moy at (763) 658-4636.

Keg’s Bar fishing league

• League night was cancelled last week due to high winds.

DNR issues safety reminder for boaters to stop that prop
From the DNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds boat operators to make sure they turn off their engines when people are in the water near the back of the boat.

This safety message comes after an accident on Monday in the Twin Cities where a man was injured by a boat propeller.

“Even a slowly turning propeller can inflict serious or fatal injuries to anyone caught by its spinning blades,” said Tim Smalley, DNR boating safety specialist.

“Sometimes the propeller can be turning even when a motor is in neutral, or someone can bump the shift lever into gear accidentally, and injure or even kill anyone in the water near the stern of the boat,” he said.

The DNR has a new sticker available that warns boaters to shut off their engines when picking up or dropping off skiers or tubers.

A “Stop that Prop” sticker can be obtained for free by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll free at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

Computer users may e-mail the DNR at info@dnr.state.mn.us.

Fur trapper receives hefty state sentence, now faces federal charges
From the DNR

A northeast Minnesota trapper’s legal nightmare may just be beginning. Roderick “Rick” Kottom, sentenced June 4 in St. Louis County District Court on a bevy of state charges for illegal trapping activity, now faces federal charges.

The long-time trapper from Chisholm was found guilty of state charges of possession of a prohibited wild animal, misdemeanor failure to check traps/snares, petty misdemeanor failure to provide identification of traps/snares, and misdemeanor unlawful storage of protected wild animals.

State conservation officers had been tracking Kottom’s activities since 2002.

In 2004, conservation officers using a search warrant seized a number of fisher and pine marten pelts from his home.

Kottom was convicted of possession of a prohibited wild animal and received one year in jail, $3,000 fine, two years supervised probation, $962 fine and surcharge, $200 restitution (two fisher at $100 each).

Kottom also agreed to report as directed to probation authorities, remain law abiding, and be subject to random searches.

For the misdemeanor failure to check traps/snares, Kottom was fined $320.

Kottom was also fined $132 for petty misdemeanor failure to provide identification of traps/ snares and $362 for misdemeanor unlawful storage of protected wild animals.

Both are to run concurrent to the $962 fine and surcharge.

However, Kottom’s legal problems may be far from over.

A 2003 Internet sting lead a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent to an advertisement on the Web placed by someone calling himself “Papa Fisher.”

The person was offering to sell fisher and pine marten pelts that had been trapped in Minnesota.

E-mail and telephone calls led the agent to Kottom, who now faces federal charges of illegally buying and selling animals over the Internet and a violation of the endangered species act for possessing a Canada lynx.

The federal court proceeding is scheduled to begin in July in Duluth.
Area lakes fishing report

Locally, the fishing has been about as good as it can get. Great reports have been coming from Waconia, the western bays of Minnetonka, Ramsey, Francis, and Howard Lake.

Personally, I have fished Howard and Waconia a few times in the past week.

On Waconia, the panfish action has been excellent with crappies and good sized sun fish biting fast and hard on wax worms and small leeches in three to five feet of water.

The walleye action in 14 to 16 feet of water has also been good.

On Howard, largemouth bass have been hitting just about anything you toss into shallow water.

The sunfish bite on Howard has also been very good. In two evenings of fishing we landed 15 largemouth bass and four walleyes.

Moving on, the sunfish spawn and bite is still on with anglers finding the best action of the year on many lakes in our area.

The best reports have been coming from Minnetonka where anglers are using the word big when they talk about sunfish.

According to one local angler half pounders are common.

On Francis, the northern pike fishing as been great with many anglers reporting great fishing on three to five pound fish with a few lunkers mixed in.

DNR seeks watercraft inspector applicants
From the DNR

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking watercraft inspector interns to help inform and educate the public about aquatic invasive species.

During the boating season, these inspectors are stationed at public accesses on lakes and rivers infested with invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.

“We’re looking for enthusiastic young adults interested in doing important environmental conservation work,”said Heidi Wolf, DNR watercraft inspection program coordinator.

Other duties include assisting with access posting, conducting invasive species plant removal and other natural resource projects.

These are full-time temporary internships that start in late April and run through the end of October, with flexibility for students still in school.

Positions are available in the Rainy River, Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods areas. Applicants must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license and be eligible to receive school credit for the position.

For more information or to request an application, contact Heidi Wolf at (651) 259-5152 or write to: DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025.

Applications and a complete job description can be found on the DNR’s Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

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