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After enduring a long, cold spring, Mother Nature has finally turned up the temperature warming our rivers and lakes.  Rising water temperatures also means increased growth in aquatic vegetation and the beginning of a pan fish feeding binge.  For anglers looking to catch panfish, the search …

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding motorists that turtles are crossing roads to nest this time of year. Motorists are asked to watch for them and, whenever possible, allow them to cross the road safely.

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Perhaps no one relishes a fishing trip more than my daughter Brenda. Unfortunately, her job doesn’t allow much freedom to pursue the lunkers of which she frequently dreams. Sound familiar? 

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I have long been an advocate for getting more girls and women involved in fishing. The vast majority of folks running boats on our lakes and rivers are still guys. But that is slowly starting to change thanks in part to some unique clubs for women and the introduction and growth of high scho…

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Minnesotans with an all-terrain vehicle registered for private or agricultural use won’t need to pay the additional registration fee ($53.50 for three years) to ride the state’s public ATV trails, Friday through Sunday, June 7-9. Out-of-state riders can explore Minnesota ATV trails that week…

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I have been writing about the hard times that minnow trappers and bait shops are having collecting minnows for a number of years now.  This winter has been one of the harder ones for folks who trap their minnows from rearing ponds.  The harsh temperatures and the extreme snow fall have made …

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The Department of Natural Resources is seeking volunteers for its loon monitoring program. As part of this effort, the DNR has launched a new online system that will help volunteers identify lakes available for monitoring.

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Docks and dock platforms provide access to Minnesota’s lakes and rivers and are regulated to help protect public safety as well as aquatic habitat. As summer approaches, the Department of Natural Resources encourages property owners and lake service provider businesses to review the regulati…

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Feeling that tug on the line, an angler sets the hook and reels in a small sunfish, then asks the perennial question: “Should I keep it?”

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When it comes to fishing, one could build a very strong case that lasting enjoyment arises from a blend of the old and the new. Success stories are told over and over to groups of family and friends, and the tales, while occasionally stretched to hard-to-imagine dimensions, seem to neither g…

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“Bears are roaming around now with the loss of snow and warmer weather,” said Eric Nelson, wildlife damage program supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources, “so interactions with people have started in many areas of Minnesota.”

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As we head into the early days of May, our thoughts turn to the fishing opener May 9-12. The ice has left our lakes much earlier than anticipated, meaning most of our deep, clear lakes of the north will be ice-free, as will the western and southern, shallower lakes. 

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I drove to Willow River recently. Up 107, over on 23 and up on 35 – the route I’ve traveled hundreds of times. This time, however, was my first in a couple weeks, and you know how appearances can change over time? Well, that not only applies to your old high school classmates! The outdoors u…

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After a most wonderful winter season, it’s a sad time as we have to put away our sleds for the summer. This past winter was no doubt the best conditions in 10 years for snowmobiling. Now it’s about servicing and putting away our sleds. Here are some tips.

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Among the sharp, cracking sounds of baseballs colliding with bats, there is a gentle whooshing sound from ... somewhere. An owl perhaps? And, through the continuing thuds of basketballs pounding the courts, you can detect the subtle sound of a slender “club” rapidly torquing its way through …

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Anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be able to keep walleye during open water fishing for the first time since 2015. An improving walleye population has been protected by conservative fishing regulations in recent years, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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As I make my way through the North Country, I can’t help but see the effect of our very cold temperatures and unusual heavy snowfalls on our wildlife. This very difficult winter has been a strain on fish as well as game. 

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Yes, the month of February can be very frustrating as Mother Nature throws all kinds of snow events, ice events and makes this month rather demoralizing. 

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Deicing salts do make getting around in the winter safer and easier, but we should consider deicers’ impact on groundwater, surface water, soil, vegetation, concrete, asphalt, metals and even our children and pets.

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As we head into the midsection of our winter angling, things have changed dramatically, especially in regard to ice conditions.

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Since many of my articles deal with critters and insects, I will start with an article I wrote in 2007. I came across an article by John Myers from the Department of Natural Resources writing about a disease in bats called White-Nose syndrome (WNS). The fungus damages the connective tissue, …

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As I trudged across the frozen lake, I was awestruck by the sheer quietness of the day. My footsteps and my breathing were the only sounds, as I huffed through six inches of recently-fallen snow. I wished I could have walked with absolute silence, but this was pretty close.

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Two weeks ago, I celebrated a one-year anniversary. On Dec. 7, 2017, I went to Abbott Hospital for an angiogram, and that started a sequence of events which included a stent being placed in an artery near my heart, a 3-hour time of recovery, a sudden blockage of blood flow, an acute heart at…

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Every angler knows that “first ice” is the best time of the ice season to get on the fish. Game fish tend to really put on the feedbag as the ice is thickening, and they instinctively feed heavily. 

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As cold temperatures begin to make ice on Minnesota lakes, ice anglers and spearers are gearing up for winter fishing action. For many, winter is a time to seek out the eager-to-bite northern pike. This will be the first ice fishing season of new northern pike zone regulations throughout Min…

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Now is the time to talk with kids about the dangers of ice. Ice thickness varies greatly on lakes, ponds and rivers throughout the state. Some water bodies have none, while others have several inches, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

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On Nov. 4, as deer hunters were into their second day, I started this article. The Vikings were dominating the Lions, and only a few minutes before halftime, I was picking Brussels sprouts and digging carrots from my garden in a light rain/snow conglomeration. The ground was a wet mixture of…

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Wrapping trees for winter protection is not an attempt to keep them ‘warm’ but has the objective to prevent or minimize three sources of winter damage: from desiccating winds, sunscald, and gnawing rodents. Even if the trees in the landscape have survived previous winters unscathed, I would …

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If I could take you away from all those political ads on television, recycle that political mail you’ve been getting, and get your mind off your upcoming politically-induced search for new Medicare insurance providers, would you let me? I’d like to talk baseball for a while. So, have you got…

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The Professional Disc Golf Association will hold its first-ever disc golf tournament, “The Springvale Showdown,” on Saturday, Aug. 25, at Springvale County Park, 3361 Highway 95 NW, Cambridge.

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When I retired last December (eight months ago – unbelievable!), I made a list of all the rivers and small lakes in the area I wanted to fish, either for the first time or, finally, again. It was an impressive collection of exciting memories and hopeful anticipation. 

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Many homeowners enjoy feeding birds, but in bear country the practice often comes with unintended consequences, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 

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The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will set approximately 20,300 traps this year looking for gypsy moths. The traps will be set throughout the eastern half of the state as well as spots in south central and southwestern Minnesota, which includes both Isanti and Chisago Counties.

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It has been a great couple of weeks lately fishing for crappies along shallow dock areas. This is the time of the spring when crappies invade the shallows looking for food and also checking out nest sites for the upcoming spawn. Here are some tips to help you take advantage of this amazing s…

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As we’ve headed into the 2018 open water fishing season, many anglers are thinking about new trailers and possibly upgrading their current trailers. I’ve been through the trailer wars over the years and have some thoughts on the process. Here are some insights. 

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On Take a Kid Fishing Weekend from Friday, June 8, to Sunday, June 10, Minnesotans can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger fishing, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

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Campers and other visitors planning to have campfires at state parks, state forests and other public lands managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources need to be aware of new firewood rules beginning this year. New rules were needed, because quarantine boundaries instituted for …

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New regulations for catching and keeping northern pike will be the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state.

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If you’re like me, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the logging industry, but really, it is an industry that deserves our attention. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, we have 17.4 million acres of forest land counting state land and private land…

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Seems like winter is not going away any time soon as we continue to suffer through cold temperatures and rounds of snow. This has been the winter from hell, but we need to have a positive outlook as we head into April. Because of the extended winter, anglers will need to make some adjustment…

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Residents of the Cambridge area can attend an open house to give their feedback on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ draft deer plan that sets a new statewide harvest target, increases citizen participation in deer management and outlines ways to keep the whitetail population an…

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources today announced plans for the 2018 walleye fishing season on Lake Mille Lacs that seek to maximize fishing opportunities for anglers while protecting the health and sustainability of Mille Lacs’ improving walleye population. 

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Ice fishing on local lakes is one of Minnesota’s favorite winter pastimes. It can be a beautiful scene out on a frozen, snowy lake. It can also be a dirty mess.  It’s not difficult to find piles of garbage left next to an abandoned fishing hole. While this garbage is ugly and unsightly durin…

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Anglers and spearers pursuing northern pike this spring will be dealing with new regulations that will be very challenging, especially for folks who like to spear northern pike in the winter months.