GND fishing contest in Howard Lake is Saturday, June 25

June 20, 2011

by Chris Schultz

The 29th annual Howard Lake Good Neighbor Days fishing contest will be Saturday, June 25 on Howard Lake.

Registration is from 7 to 8 a.m., with shotgun start for the fishing at 8 a.m. The contest ends at noon.

Entries will be limited to the first 200 received. The cost is $35.

Entry forms are available at local buisnesses, or at the web-site, www.howardlakegoodneighbordays.webs.com.

For more information, contact Denny Decker at (320) 543-2992.

Wavery Gun Club upcoming events

The Waverly Gun Club will be hosting a number of classes and events in the upcoming weeks and months.

A complete list of the upcoming action at the Waverly Cub Club is listed below.

For more information, contact Al Moy (612) 889-4423; Ken Reinert (612) 308-9259; or Russ Johnson (763) 218-7376.

The Waverly Gub Club is at 4465 DeSota Ave. SW, Waverly.

• Youth trap league

The youth trap league is open to the public, and has begun.

It runs every Monday starting at 6:30 p.m. until Monday, July 9.

Shotguns, ammo, and targets are provided.

• Summer trap league

The summer trap league has started, and individuals and teams are still welcome.

For additional information, visit the website www.waverlygunclub.org.

• Ladies only night

The ladies only night is open to the public, and no membership is required.

It takes place the second Tuesday of every month through October, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Ammo, targets, .22 cal pistols, and rifles are provided at no charge.

You may bring your own center fire handgun and ammunition, if you prefer.

A NRA-certified range safety officer will be present on the shooting line, and instruction is available upon request.

Rain or shine, shoot from the comfort of a shelter.

Handguns at seven to 25 yards, and rifles at 50 yards.

Cokato Lake Carp Tournament

Help support the game fish of Cokato Lake by reducing the carp population in the lake’s first bow-and-arrow and fishing competition Friday, June 24 beginning at 10 p.m.

This is a one-night tournament that will end the following morning with a 10 a.m. weigh-in.

The $25 entry fee is for one boat and two participants. The competition is limited to 12 boats.

Entrants must catch 300 pounds of carp to qualify for the cash prize, amount determined by number of entries.

Bow-and-arrow, or any other legal method listed in Minnesota Fishing Regulations 2011 (pages 59 and 60), will be allowed.

Please call Orv Jensen at Cokato Lake RV Resort to register or with questions at (941) 539-2514.

Cokato Lake Association Carp Contest

The Cokato Lake Association Carp Contest will run from June through September, and is only open to lake association members.

The purpose of the contest is to reduce the carp population on Cokato Lake.

Participants must register and pay the $5 entry fee before resitering any fish. The $5 goes to help with prize money.

Fishing must be done with hook and line, or any other legal method described on pages 59 and 60 in the Minnesota Fishing Regulations 2011.

One-half of the prize money will be awarded to the participant who catches the most carp.

A running total of pounds will be kept and the fisherman who catches the most cumulative weight over 100 pounds at the end of the season will be awarded the remaining prize money.

If no one catches over 100 pounds of carp, the remaining prize money will be given to the lake association for planting more fish.

A number of options are being explored for disposal of the carp, and there is currently one good option.

For more information, contact Orv Jensen, lot 137, Cokato Lake RV Resort, or call (941) 539-2514.

Vermillion River project enhances trout habitat, water quality
From the DNR

You might call it Extreme Makeover: Trout Stream Edition.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Trout Unlimited (TU) are wrapping up a major project to improve aquatic habitat on nearly a mile of the Vermillion River, a trophy brown trout stream near Farmington.

The project involves excavating a new meandering stream channel to replace an old straightened channel used for drainage.

A stream channel that zig-zags provides better habitat for fish and for the aquatic insects they eat, and it lessens erosion that pollutes downstream stretches with sediment.

On Saturday, June 18, several dozen volunteers helped the DNR round up the fish in the old channel and move them to their new home before the old channel is filled in.

DNR electrofishing surveys in nearby stretches of the Vermillion have turned up brown trout as big as 30 inches.

The effort highlights how new constitutionally dedicated funding is helping improve fish and wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities, said Josh Nelson, the Vermillion project coordinator for Trout Unlimited.

TU contributed $150,000 of Legacy Outdoor Heritage funding that was recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

Another $150,000 came from Environmental Trust Fund dollars from state lottery proceeds.

The Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization has agreed to pick up any remaining expenses for the project, which is expected to cost a total of around $310,000.

“This project probably wouldn’t be happening without the Legacy money,” Nelson said. “TU used to do about a mile or two of stream improvements a year statewide. With Outdoor Heritage Funds, we’re doing five times that. It allowed the Twin Cities Chapter of TU to do more for its home waters.”

The home waters Nelson refers to were on the edge of not surviving as a trout stream as little as a dozen years ago.

Trout need cold clean water, and changing land uses threatened to bring both warmer waters from runoff and more pollution. But joint efforts by DNR, Dakota County and other government units have allowed local communities to flourish while protecting the Vermillion’s unique features.

The city of Lakeville, for instance, near the headwaters of the Vermillion’s South Branch, has put in place proactive stormwater management rules to protect the stream.

The Metropolitan Council diverted effluent from its Empire Wastewater Treatment Plant away from the Vermillion to avoid impacts.

Dakota County voters approved a referendum to spend money protecting significant natural areas and farmlands, money that has been combined with DNR funds to purchase aquatic and wildlife management areas along the stream.

“This has been collaboration all the way,” said Joe Harris, the Dakota County commissioner who chairs the Vermillion River Joint Powers Organization board. “We’re happy to participate with DNR and other partners to bring this part of the Vermillion back to the state it was in many, many years ago, and to protect the river from further degradation.”

DNR fisheries section chief Dirk Peterson recalls attending a meeting 15 years ago where some local officials maintained that there were no trout in the Vermillion.

Now communities throughout the river’s watershed have embraced the stream as a valuable local and regional amenity.

“These things take time,” Peterson said. “The Vermillion River has gone from being seen as an impediment to growth to being valued as an important community asset, something few major urban areas can claim: a trophy trout stream within half an hour of millions of people. When we all work together on both funding and policies, great things happen.”

Question of the week
From the DNR

Q: The reports of wildfires in Minnesota this spring seems to be lower this year.

How does this spring compare to the same time period a year ago?

A: Yes, fortunately the number of wildfires in Minnesota so far in 2011 is well below average.

This year, through May, Minnesota had 652 fires for 5,545 acres.

The cool, wet spring has led to fewer wildfires than average.

Last year at the end of May, there were 1,744 fires in Minnesota, for 31,401 acres.

Over the last 10 years (2001-2010) the average number of fires from Jan. 1 through the end of May was 1,863 fires, for 53,374 acres.

Keep in mind, more than three-quarters of the wildfires in Minnesota are caused by people. Only 2 percent are due to lightening strikes.

If you burn a debris pile (permit required) or have a campfire, clear combustible material from around the fire area, make sure you have a hose or other water source available, watch the fire at all times, and make sure the fire is out before you leave – cold to the touch.