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LAKE OF THE WOODS, Minn.—The popular late winter and early spring walleye season on the Rainy River would become catch-and-release only, and the winter limit for sauger on Lake of the Woods would be reduced, under changes proposed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The changes are part of a draft, long-term management plan the DNR unveiled this week that's out for public comment through July 11.
DULUTH — The 1970s was a heady time for environmentalists in Minnesota and across the country. After decades of industrial exploitation of natural resources — air, water, land, wildlife and forests — environmentalists won a string of victories that seemed to stem the tide of destruction as Americans woke up to the consequences of unrestricted pollution.
LAKE WINNIBIGOSHISH — Forgive Gerry Albert if he gets a little excited when he catches walleyes here. "Here's another one!'' Albert shouted as he set the hook on a walleye, working to keep a tight line and run his outboard in whitecaps. "Ohhh, and I think it's a keeper!" Big Winnie is Albert's lake, so to speak. He's the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' large lakes fisheries specialist for the huge reservoir — 67,000 acres, 88 square miles — northwest of Deer River.
COTTON, Minn. — Bob Reed has a little breathing problem that requires oxygen, had a heart stent put in last winter and can't walk very far because of arthritis. But get him on his Polaris four-wheeler ATV and Reed looks like a 15-year-old kid ready to cut loose. You can find Reed every Tuesday morning from late April through October riding ATV trails across the region with a dozen or more of his closest Cotton friends. They don't have a name for their group, but others have come up with something that seems appropriate.
WASHINGTON—A proposed amendment to a U.S. Senate bill funding military spending would bypass ongoing court cases and approve the land swap proposed between PolyMet Mining Co. and the U.S. Forest Service. Senate Amendment 2523 to the National Defense Authorization Act, apparently proposed by Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., would mandate the Forest Service move ahead with the trade of 6,650 acres of Superior National Forest land at the spot where PolyMet wants to dig Minnesota's first ever copper-nickel mine.
JAY COOKE STATE PARK — As his stubby, plastic kayak dipped under the wave of a rapids, between two boulders and then out of sight, Jon Schmidt let out a primal scream audible even over the roar of the river. There was nothing wrong, mind you, just a sign from Schmidt that he was shredding it. Schmidt, of Proctor, Minn., is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie. In winter, he gets his kicks snowboarding. But when the snow melts and fills Northland rivers with water, Schmidt grabs his kayak and hits the rapids.
DULUTH — For his day job, Lorin LeMire drives a massive iron ore haul truck at Hibbing Taconite, a two-story behemoth that can carry 240 tons of rock. But that's his easy job, Lemier says. It's this side gig on Lake Superior that causes him concern. "This is my stressful job, the one i do on my days off,'' LeMire said as he piloted his 28-foot Grady White boat out of Duluth's harbor and onto Lake Superior. "It can be a little nerve-wracking when people pay you to catch fish."
DULUTH — When Troy Skorich of Hermantown, Minn., and Tim MacDougall of Duluth won last weekend's 2018 Berg Construction Walleye Cup on the St. Louis River, they pulled up to the dock with no fish to weigh. In fact, none of the 60 tournament boats kept any fish to weigh. Instead, the winners of the tournament were determined not by weight of the fish measured at the dock, but on length, as measured by each two-person team in their own boat. The team with most total inches of fish — up to eight fish could be entered — were the winners.
OULU, Wis. — David Lindelof stopped his Buick along Highway B in Bayfield County and watched a bluebird perched on top of a wooden nesting house, just as a ray of sunshine poked through the clouds. "It's a bluebird morning for sure now,'' Lindelof said as he watched the scene through binoculars.
ELY, Minn. — Twin Metals Minnesota on Thursday, May 24, released new details for its underground copper-nickel mine planned near Ely, including a new location for its proposed processing plant. The company announced new details on its plan, which has yet to be presented for any kind of regulatory approval.