Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

June 25, 2007

Taking a look at Lake Ann

This spring, I noted in my column that I was planning to run a series of articles on Lake Ann. Since then, I have received many phone calls regarding Lake Ann and when I would be starting the articles.

With the intent being just to share some information about a tremendous local outdoor resource that is in the midst of controversy from time-to-time and bring some of the lake’s issues to a greater light, strap on your life jacket and get in the boat because here is my start to whatever information I can come up with on Lake Ann.

A little of my history with Lake Ann:

It was June, 1979, I was 13 years old and immersed in fishing. My dad, in his mid 60s, had semi-retired from dairy farming a year or so earlier and like many dairy farmers, moved off the farm and into town. A big part of that retirement was a 14-foot Lowe Line boat with a 15-horse Chrysler outboard.

In June of 79, the lake of choice was Ann. At that time, Ann was considered one of the premier walleye lakes in the area and received a fair amount of fishing pressure.

We weren’t walleye anglers. Northern pike and sunfish were usually what we were after and that year, Ann produced them in big numbers, especially big sunfish.

You have to understand that catching big sunfish put a fire under old farmers like nothing else could.

Looking back after 28 more years of fishing, that spring and summer on Lake Ann was the best sunfish action I’ve ever had.

To this day, I could still take you to that exact spot on the lake where we nailed them in 1979.

In fact, I’ve tried that same spot many times since, but have never found the big ones like we did that year.

We also netted a 14-plus-pound northern pike on Ann that year. I still have the Dare Devil, missing one hook, hanging in my garage.

Today, and since 1979, my fishing stories on Ann haven’t been as good, and the lake seems to be continually in the midst of controversy and concern.

Everything from algae, too much run-off, the flood, pelicans, nesting cormorants, and carp have embodied the lake.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll take a greater look at Lake Ann.

Here are a few basics on Ann:

The lake is 386 acres in size and located about three miles south of Howard Lake.

The maximum depth is 18 feet.

The access is located on the west side near the intersection of County Roads 6 and 30.

Lake Ann also has a sister to the east, Lake Emma. The two are connected by a narrow channel.

Keg’s Bar fishing league

The Keg’s Bar fishing league was at Buffalo Lake last week, its fourth week of competition.

Below are the overall standings after four weeks of fishing:

1. Troy Gille and Scott, 49.
2. Jason Kieser and Mark Kieser, 44.
3. Mike Moy and Kim Moy, 34.
4. Woody Langenfeld and Dave Fiecke, 32.
4. Tom Schoenfeld and Tonia Radtke, 32.
6. Gus Schoenfeld, 31.
7. Tim Thul and Russ Chapek, 22.
8. Cory Zitzloff and Marcus Halverson, 15.
9. Jon Lambrecht and Brian H., 13.
9. Mike Rathmaner, 13.
11. Justin Johnson, 12.
12. Bill Fiske and Tom Schlafer, 4.

DNR officers to focus on invasive species during Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Week
From the DNR

As the Fourth of July approaches, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking boaters and anglers to keep up the good work of minimizing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

To increase awareness about this important statewide issue, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has proclaimed June 23-30, as Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Week in Minnesota.

“Public action is key to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species that hitchhike on boats and equipment,” said Jay Rendall, DNR invasive species program coordinator. “The potential to spread aquatic invasive species increases each year and Minnesotans need to continue with their high level of action.”

DNR conservation officers will be working extra hours enforcing the invasive species laws during the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Week.

“Boaters and anglers who have aquatic hitchhikers on their boats and gear can be cited with penalties from $50 to $1,000,” according to Maj. Al Heidebrink, operations manager for the Division of Enforcement.

It is illegal to transport aquatic plants, prohibited invasive species such as zebra mussels, and water from infested waters on public roads.

Boaters are required to drain water when leaving infested waters and to remove the drain plugs when leaving zebra mussel and spiny waterflea infested waters.

By taking a few simple steps when leaving a lake or river, boaters and anglers can do their part to help stop the spread of aquatic hitchhikers such as Eurasian waterrmilfoil and zebra mussels to the state’s water bodies.

Those steps include removing all aquatic plants from boats and trailers and emptying water from live wells and bait containers.

Those who leave lakes and rivers, which the DNR has listed as infested waters, need to be especially careful.

Anglers who have live bait and want to keep it should drain any infested water from the bait container and replace it with tap or spring water.

Boaters should also remember to dispose of unwanted live bait including worms and minnows in the trash rather than dumping them in the lakes and woods.

Signs are posted at public access points to identify infested waters.

More information about aquatic invasive species and a list of infested waters can be found in the 2007 Minnesota Fishing Regulations booklet.

A complete list of infested waters is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/ecological_services/pubs_invasives.html.

The aquatic invasive species vary in different areas of the state. Spiny waterfleas are in many lakes and rivers along the Minnesota and Canadian border.

Those waters include Lake of the Woods, Rainy River, Rainy Lake, Crane Lake, Namakan Lake, Kabetogema Lake, Little Vermilion, and Sand Point Lake

Inland waters known to be infested with zebra mussels include Lake Ossawinnamakee and Rice Lake near Brainerd, Mille Lacs Lake, and Lake Zumbro north of Rochester.

The Mississippi River from its confluence with the Pine River down to the Iowa border also contains zebra mussels.

New Zealand mudsnails, ruffe, round goby, and zebra mussels are present in the Duluth area.

Eurasian watermilfoil is present in 194 lakes statewide with most in or near the Twin Cities metro area.

Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! is a national branded campaign being implemented by DNR, USFWS, Minnesota Sea Grant Program and others in Minnesota.

The campaign Web site is at: www.protectyourwaters.net

DNR question of the week
From the DNR

Q: The Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) program uses money raised from the sale of the critical habitat license plates to purchase and develop important areas for fish and wildlife.

What sort of an impact has this program made in Minnesota?

A: The Reinvest in Minnesota Matching program was established in 1986 by a recommendation from the Citizen’s Commission to Promote Hunting and Fishing in Minnesota.

Since that time, the Minnesota Legislature has appropriated $27 million and the Critical Habitat Conservation License Plates have generated more than $19.5 million for acquisition and enhancement of critical habitat.

These funds have matched private donations of land and cash totaling more than $45 million.

The money has helped restore wetlands, improve forest habitat, plant critical winter cover, preserve habitat for rare, native plant and animal species and protect reproduction areas for fish.

The program has also created public places for hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife watching and other outdoor activities.

With the help of Minnesotans and other conservation-minded people, the RIM Matching Program has been able to acquire and protect more than 76,000 acres of land.

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