With the recent snowfall, and following warm weather, travel on our area lakes is extremely difficult at this time.
Last week, anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of slush and water could be found under the snow and above the ice.
This makes travel on the lakes nearly impossible without a plowed road, and there aren’t many of those currently on the lakes.
So, if you are heading out to one of the area lakes to do some fishing, look for plowed roads, and be extremely careful.
Also remember that no ice is ever completely safe, so take care whenever you travel on the ice of any lake.
64th annual HL Fishing Derby is Feb. 13
The 64th annual fishing derby on Howard Lake is set for Saturday, Feb. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m.
There are plenty of chances for extra cash and prizes.
In addition to cash awards for the biggest northern, walleye, bass, and panfish; other awards include the grand prize of an Ice Castle fish house (6-1/2 foot by 12 foot V front, on wheels), first prize of FL-8 Vexilar Depth Finder, and framed prints for second and third prizes.
Raffle tickets are $2 each, and can be purchased at Joe’s Sport Shop or The Country Store in Howard Lake.
Prairie Archers to offer archery lessons
Archery lessons will be offered at Prairie Archers in Lester Prairie at their indoor range (412 Central Ave.).
The lessons will be Tuesday evenings starting Tuesday, Jan. 5, and will include six, 1-hour sessions.
For more information, contact Jim Richardson at (320) 395-2721.
Spring turkey hunting application deadline is Friday, Jan. 8
From the DNR
Hunters who want to get in the field early for the 2010 spring turkey hunt must apply by Friday, Jan. 8, wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.
Adult hunters may apply for one of nearly 57,000 permits to hunt a five- or seven-day season in one of 77 permit areas.
Youth 17 and younger no longer need to apply for the lottery.
They will be able to purchase a spring turkey permit for any permit area and any time period directly from a license agent.
Applicants choose one of eight time periods in which to hunt.
A new rule effective in 2010 allows hunters not selected in the permit lottery to purchase a permit in any area for one of the hunt’s last two time periods.
Additional details are available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/turkey.
$3,740,000 awarded for conservation projects in Minnesota
From the DNR
Fish and wildlife habitat in Minnesota will receive a major shot in the arm with $3,740,000 in Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants that have been awarded to fund 35 conservation projects around the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Funding comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, created when Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.
A total of 127 applications totaling $16.5 million were received during the first round of the CPL grant program for projects designed to restore, enhance or protect fish, game and wildlife habitat.
The program is an initiative of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC).
“The volume of applications we received and the energy around these efforts has been impressive,” said DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten. “The scope of the projects we selected and the great partners we’ll be working with are as diverse as the state itself. These grant awards really kick off a new era of conservation work in Minnesota.”
Local, state and federal non-profit organizations, along with governmental entities, were eligible to apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $400,000.
Twenty-seven of the 35 projects funded are under $125,000, accounting for 49 percent of the total awarded funds, according to Leslie Tannahill, DNR Grant Program coordinator.
Tannahill called the task of selecting the grant recipients “a difficult but gratifying challenge. The high number of applications we received was a real testament to the deep appreciation Minnesota citizens have for our state’s natural resources.”
“The success of the program is very important to the Council and to the hunters and anglers of Minnesota,” said Bill Becker, LSOHC executive director. “This grant process provides a way for local hunters and anglers to participate in significant conservation projects around the state.”
A complete list of the successful grant applications can be found at www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/habitat/cpl.
Question of the week
From the DNR
Q: What does it take to get the state snowmobile trails ready for riding?
A: In the late fall trail maintenance begins with clearing the right of way of fallen trees, debris and encroaching brush so that there is a safe running surface of at least 12-15 feet wide and 10-12 feet overhead clearance for the groomer.
Also, signs need to be checked for clarity and proper placement.
Swamps need to be packed down so the base will freeze.
The swamp grass insulates the ground and needs to be knocked down with a tracked unit.
After the trail has had its base set and cleared we need six to 12 inches of packable snow to do the first base packing runs.
Light fluffy snow falls contribute little to the snow base that is required.
This first packing run is with the grooming tractor and the trail drag using primarily the packing pan and the cutting blades raised up to not to stir rocks/ dirt and leaves to the surface.
To set a good base they need to go slow and try to fill in holes with snow and if possible create a hard snow-ice base that will stay throughout the snowmobile season.