The 65th annual Howard Lake ice fishing derby is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. on Howard Lake.
The derby is put on by the Howard Lake Sportsmen’s Club, and offers a grand prize of a 6.5’x12’ Ice Castle V-front fish house on wheels.
A FL8 Vexilar Depth Finder is first prize, with framed prints for second and third prize.
Additional prizes will also be awarded at the event.
Prior to the derby, The Country Store will have a wildlife art display with 25 or more wildlife prints available by silent bid followed by a Minnesota Cultivated Wild Rice Recipe Tasting from 11 a.m. to noon.
The Wild Rice tasting will serve until the supply is gone, and is free and open to the public all you need is a raffle ticket, which is available at the event.
For additional information on the ice fishing derby, contact Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.
A proposal for boat stickers to combat the spread of invasives
Last week, the Star Tribune reported that a proposal is being discussed which would require all boats that go onto water in the Watershed District, which includes Lake Minnetonka, to have stickers.
Bascially, the proposal would have boats that go onto lakes like Minnetonka, which have been infested with zebra mussels, Eurasian water milfoil, and other invasive species, to have a red sticker.
With boats using only clean, non-infested lakes requiring a green sticker.
In a nutshell, if your boat has a green sticker, and then take it out on a lake which has an invasive problem, it would be replaced by a red sticker.
In order for the boat to get a green sticker back and go out on lakes which do not have an infestation problem, the boat would need to be cleaned and certified.
For much more information on this proposal, go to www.startribune.com/local/west/114426859.html.
Da Shiver Ice Fishing Tournament Feb. 5
The Da Shiver Ice Fishing Tournament is back for a fifth year. The event, that includes ice fishing, skating, raffles, contests and many other activities, is Saturday, Feb. 5, from noon-3 p.m. at the west end of Lake Sarah.
The anglers who land the 10 biggest fish will receive top-10 prizes. The pile of prizes includes a Polaris Sportsman 500. Also to be given away in a raffle is an Ice Castle Fish House.
The games include minnow races, musical buckets, and hole drilling races. A portion of the lake will be cleaned off for skating, bellies will be filled at the cookout. For those who get cold, dancing to the music of Dean-o-Mite Entertainment will warm them up, or they can take the chill off by the bonfire.
The cost is $40. To register, log on to www.dashiver.com.
With questions, contact Doug Lawman at email@example.com.
Waverly Gun Club to have concealed carry classes coming up
The Waverly Gun Club will be offering concealed carry classes in each of the next four months.
Each class takes place for two nights, and is offered once a month through April.
The classes in January begin at 6 p.m., and there is a $100 fee for the eight-hour class, spread over two nights.
The class dates are:
• Monday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, Feb. 16.
• Monday, March 14 and Wednesday, March 16.
• Tuesday, April 19 and Wednesday, April 20.
For more information or to register, call Kevin at (763) 242-4553.
Young artists sought for Junior Duck Stamp contest
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is currently accepting entries for the 2011 Minnesota Junior Duck Stamp contest, which is administered by Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge).
Entries must be postmarked by Tuesday, March 15.
A downloadable entry form and information on contest rules and regulations for teachers and supervising adults can be found online at http://www.fws.gov/jrduck.
For additional information about the contest, or regarding a student’s or school’s participation in the Junior Duck Stamp contest, contact the Junior Duck Stamp state coordinator Mara Koenig at (952) 858-0710, or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entries and reference forms should be postmarked by Tuesday, March 15, and mailed to Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator, Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, 3815 American Blvd. E., Bloomington, MN 55425.
Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club annual ice fishing contest is Feb. 13
The Rainbow Sportsmen’s Club is hosting its annual Ice Fishing Contest and raffle Sunday, Feb. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m. on Brooks Lake in Cokato.
The fishing contest is free, along with free minnows and hole drilling.
There are both junior and senior divisions for the fishing.
Raffle tickets are $1 each for a chance at the $300 top cash prize, along with many other merchandise and cash prizes.
There will be a lunch wagon on site with hot pork sandwiches, hot dogs, and beverages.
Bring out the whole family for some winter fun and relaxation.
For more information, contact Tim at (320) 980-0460 or Dave at (612) 670-1916.
Waverly Gun Club to offer firearms safety training classes
The Waverly Gun Club, located one mile north of Waverly on Co. Rd. 9 to Desota Avenue, will be offering firearms safety training classes.
Registration begins Tuesday, Feb. 1 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
For more information, contact Mike D. at (320) 543-3515 or Jim W. at (763) 658-4272.
St. Michael 13th annual ice fishing contest Feb. 5
The annual St. Michael Lions Club Ice Fishing Contest is a go this year.
The contest will take place at Beebe Lake Saturday, Feb. 5, from noon to 3 p.m. they will have an expanded area.
The contest is open to all. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for children 16 and under.
This year’s raffle prizes include a gas-powered ice auger, Vexilar FL20 Ultra, fishing equipment, and various gift certificates.
Tickets can be purchased at Dehmer’s Meats, Hardware Hank, from Lions members, as well as at other local businesses in St. Michael.
The Lions and Boy Scouts will be offering food, coffee, and sodas.
This will be an excellent opportunity to bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun conversation and fishing.
For more information, call Kent Johnson at (763) 497-5376 or check out the website at www.stm-lions.org.
Kingston Lions ice fishing contest
The Kingston Lions are hosting its 23rd annual ice fishing contest Saturday, Feb. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. on the northwest side of Lake Francis.
The cost to enter is $4 per person for fishing.
Concessions will be available at the contest by the Kingston Lions Club.
Cash prizes will be given out for the three biggest walleye, northern, or bass caught during the tournament.
First place gets $100, second place gets $50, and third place gets $30.
The biggest crappie and biggest sunfish will also win a cash prize of $25.
There will also be several prize drawings throughout the tournament, including five cash prizes.
The first-place prize is an 8-inch ice auger, or $250 cash. Second and third prizes are $100 cash each, and the fourth and fifth prizes are $50 cash each.
The cost to enter the drawings is $1 for one chance, or $15 for 25 chances.
Minnesota Deer Hunter’s banquet
The Minnesota River Valley Chapter of the MDHA is having its 28th annual banquet Saturday, Feb. 19. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Social hour starts at 5 p.m., dinner is at 7 p.m., and the program starts at 8 p.m.
Cost for the banquet is $25 for adults, and $15 for youth.
It will be held at the KC Hall in Shakopee, which is located at 1760 East 4th Avenue.
For tickets or more details, please contact Barb Breeggemann at (952) 445-4396.
Conservation officers reports from area
From the DNR
• CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers.
CO Mies checked trappers.
CO Mies checked sleds and commercial licenses checks.
• CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers on area lakes and snowmobilers.
A report of a injured deer was followed up on and Reller found a deer caught in a snare that was around the deer’s neck.
The deer was released after a little wrestling match with the officer.
One angler had a strange response after a delay in coming to his fish house door.
He opened the door followed by a wave of marijuana smoke and stated, “Sorry, I was just smoking some marijuana.” Enforcement action was taken.
• CO Steve Walter (Waconia) patrolled the Luce Line State Trail for snowmobile activity.
Several deer damage to trees and injured deer calls were handled.
A presentation was given to the Waconia High School Conservation Club.
Ice anglers were checked all week with mixed success.
Violations documented were unmarked fish houses, no reflectors displayed on fish houses left on the ice over night, no angling licenses in possession, angling without first procuring a license, no state trail sticker or registration on snowmobiles.
• CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked a snowmobile speed detail on Lake Minnetonka with assistance from the DNR enforcement airplane, district officers, and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.
She also worked area snowmobile trails finding many snowmobiles despite the cold temperatures.
One individual was arrested for snowmobiling while intoxicated.
Other violations included speed, fail to stop for road crossings, no safety certificate, and operating against traffic at night.
• CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling and spearing activity.
Additional time was spent checking predator hunting activity.
Hatlestad also enforced snowmobile and ATV laws, and spoke at a snowmobile class in Eden Valley.
Time was also spent assisting on commercial inspections.
• CO Angela Graham (Hutchinson) checked anglers and snowmobiles over the past week.
Officer Graham also checked coyote hunters, and took complaints of nuisance wildlife.
Enforcement action was taken on: angling without a license, no license in possession, fail to display registration, and no safety certificate.
• CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continues monitoring heavy angling pressure on area lakes.
Time was also spent doing snowmobile enforcement.
CO Oberg also is looking into a baitfish issue on an area lake.
Federal laboratory confirms CWD diagnosis
From the DNR
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received confirmation from a national laboratory on Jan. 25 verifying that the sample from a southeastern Minnesota white-tailed deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
The finding by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory at Ames, Iowa, had been expected and confirms a preliminary diagnosis by the University of Minnesota.
The DNR announced on Jan. 21 that a deer harvested by an archer in November 2010 near Pine Island likely would test positive for CWD, a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose but not cattle or humans.
The DNR is implementing its CWD response plan, the first step of which involves an aerial survey of deer numbers in the Pine Island area.
During the next two weeks, DNR will be working with landowners, collecting additional information and will share its plans and findings at a public meeting in February.
Additional information about the disease and the DNR’s plan to manage it is available online at mndnr.gov/cwd.
100 years of growing forests in Minnesota
From the DNR
A yearlong recognition for the 100th anniversary of the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Division of Forestry begins this year.
The division has dedicated a century to protecting, managing and educating about one of Minnesota’s most treasured resources, its forests.
“What condition would Minnesota’s forests be in without the division’s oversight?” asked Dave Epperly, DNR division of forestry director. “The 58 state forests we use for recreation and hunting exist today because the Minnesota Forest Service, which was later named Division of Forestry, committed to replanting the barren and burned landscape of the early 1900s.”
The division’s history, historical collections, pictorial timeline and excerpts from old-time forester Don Wilson’s book “To Be a Forest Ranger” are available on newly created web pages at www.mndnr.gov/forestry/index.html.
A 104-page history book, “Connected to Our Roots: 100 Years of Growing Forests in Minnesota,” is also now available for $10.95 through Minnesota’s Bookstore at (651) 297-3000, toll-free 800-657-3757 or order online at www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore/mnbookstore.asp.
In the 1800s, Minnesota was subjected to unsustainable commercial logging practices that nearly depleted the state’s pine forests.
Consequently, northern Minnesota was plagued by large wildfires because people often used fire to clear slash that remained after logging operations or prepare the land for settlement.
As a result of the 1910 Baudette-Spooner Fire that destroyed both towns and killed at least 42 people, the 1911 Legislature established the Minnesota Forest Service to fireproof northern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Forest Service started with 21 staff members whose main responsibilities were to enforce new, strict laws governing slash removal, regulate railroads to prevent spark-caused fires, require burning permits and create Forest Ranger districts.
Offices were located in St. Paul and in 15 northern Minnesota cites.
In 1931 the growing Minnesota Forest Service changed its name to the Division of Forestry.
The division now has more than 400 full-time, part-time and seasonal staff members with 68 offices across the state.
Today’s staff is dedicated to preventing and fighting wildfires; managing forests for timber, wildlife and recreation; protecting water quality; hindering the spread of invasive species; working with private forest landowners; providing natural resources education; and mitigating effects caused by climate change.
Question of the week
From the DNR
Q: Do I still need an open burning permit to burn my brush pile, even though it is winter?
A: The snow and cold of a Minnesota winter generally make this time of the year a better and safer time to burn brush piles.
When there are less than three inches of snow cover, open burning permits are required by law.
In communities that regulate open burning, permits are generally required year around regardless of the weather conditions.
Property owners should contact local DNR Forestry offices to inquire about the need for a permit before burning any brush pile.
For more information go to www.mndnr.gov/forestry/fire/questions.html