Brad Dokken / Forum News Service
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- The two-year budget Gov. Tim Walz has proposed for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources would maintain and enhance many of the services people have come to expect from the agency, but the quality of those services will suffer if the governor’s budget priorities aren’t met. That was the message from DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen this week in Thief River Falls during an interview about the governor’s budget proposal. “The budget is not just a numbers game or process; it really is about the outcomes that budget pays for,” Strommen said.
ROSEAU, Minn. - A $46 million diversion completed in 2015 to protect this northern Minnesota city from floodwaters of the Roseau River has water flowing in it for the first time and is working as advertised, officials say. “It was great to see the project working,” Todd Peterson, community development coordinator for the city of Roseau, said Monday morning, April 8. “No worry about where the sandbags go first. “This the first time we’ve ever seen water flow over the weir.”
It’s still more than a year off, but the dates have been set, deposits have been paid and the planning has begun for a fly-in fishing trip in July 2020 to a remote lake in northwestern Ontario. Headwaters Lake is located near the notch where the borders of Ontario and Manitoba angle northeast toward Hudson Bay.
Thursday’s report that the Rainy River in Birchdale, Minn., was ice-free and open to boats of all sizes brought back the memory of the first time I fished the border river. That was way back in 1987, and those two days in April remain the gold standard for walleye fishing.
There is light at the end of the tunnel — at last — and it’s time to start thinking about getting outside for some springtime fun. Options are numerous; maybe it’s as simple as a hike in the park. Or something more adventurous, such as a trip to a popular — and often crowded — border river in pursuit of walleyes or sturgeon.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — Rob Hallstrom recalls stopping to fuel up snowmobiles in Swan River, Man., with his two riding partners when a man approached and said he recognized them “as the old guys that rode to Churchill and back.” “Of course, we responded, ‘Old guys?’” Hallstrom said. “We seemed to develop a following.” Hallstrom, 62, of Park Rapids, Minn., along with Paul Dick of Grand Rapids and Rex Hibbert of Henry, Idaho, recently returned from an epic, 2,950-mile-round-trip snowmobile trek from Grand Rapids to Churchill, Man.
MANVEL, N.D. — It’s been in the area since last fall, by some reports, but a raghorn bull elk has been turning heads in recent days near Manvel, where a number of people have reported seeing it. “I’ve heard (about) it three times today, already,” Jim Job, outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Grand Forks, said Tuesday morning. “Quite a few people have seen it.”
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- A mule deer buck shot in January north of Thief River Falls after Department of Natural Resources authorities determined its unusual behavior posed a safety risk has tested positive for brain worm infection. Doug Franke, area wildlife manager for the DNR in Thief River Falls, said he received the diagnosis Thursday, March 7, from DNR wildlife health experts.
GRAND FORKS -- Brad Olson of Grand Forks went to Ryan Pond on Saturday, Feb, 23, in hopes of getting some underwater footage of rainbow trout smacking the soft plastic fishing baits he markets as a partner in Northern Lights Plastics. What he saw when he lowered the lens on his underwater camera was yet another unfortunate reminder of just how severe this winter has been. The bottom of the pond was covered with dead bluegills, which most likely had succumbed to winterkill.
CROOKSTON, Minn. -- It’s a quiet Monday afternoon at Ceason’s Bait & Tackle, and one of the regulars is seated at the counter shooting the breeze with owners Myron and Sue Kaiser. Occasional shoppers stop in and browse the aisles, perhaps to snap up a bait bucket and some much-needed tackle or just to see what’s there. Pretty much like every other Monday afternoon at Ceason’s Bait & Tackle.