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Field Reports: Dougherty named to Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame

The Fishing Hall of Fame of Minnesota has named longtime fishing guide Billy Dougherty of International Falls among the individuals and companies to be inducted into the hall on March 23.

Dougherty has guided on Rainy Lake for decades, going back to the 1960s and '70s, when he worked at his grandparents' Kettle Falls Hotel. He has owned Rainy Lake Houseboats for more than 30 years, and his multi-species angling expertise has been featured on a number of outdoors TV shows. Next year will mark the centennial of his family's involvement with fishing-related tourism on Rainy Lake.

Other inductees include outdoors writer and photographer Mark Strand; Mark Fisher, director of field promotions for Rapala USA; the Gapen Co., longtime Minnesota maker of fishing tackle; and Minn Kota, maker of trolling motors and other fishing gear.

Some Minnesota special fishing regulations changed

Special fishing regulations will change March 1 on a number of Minnesota waters following an annual public input process, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Here's a look at those in Northeastern Minnesota:

• Pelican Lake in St. Louis County: A special regulation on bass will be made permanent, while a regulation on northern pike will be dropped. The 14-20-inch protected slot limit with one over 20 inches in possession on bass maintained a quality bass fishery, DNR officials said. The 24-36 inch protected slot limit on northern pike will end.

• Sand Lake and connected waters (Little Sand, Portage, and Birds Eye lakes) in Itasca County: A special regulation for northern pike will be dropped, and the lakes will change to the statewide limits.

• Balm, Big Bass, South Twin and Deer lakes in Beltrami County; Portage Lake in Cass County; and Flour, Hungry Jack and Two Island lakes in Cook County: These eight lakes with restrictive size regulations (either a 12-20-inch protected slot or catch-and-release-only regulation) on bass will be modified to a less restrictive 14-20-inch protected slot with one over 20 inches.

• Itasca, Ozawindib and Mary lakes in Itasca State Park: Special regulations on sunfish, black crappie and bass for three lakes in the park will be standardized with possession limits of five each. A minimum size restriction on crappie for Ozawindib Lake will be dropped and the current restrictive bass regulations (catch-and-release on Mary Lake and the 12-20-inch protected slot on Ozawindib Lake) will be modified to a 14-20-inch protected slot with one over 20 inches for both lakes.

• Sissabagamah and Long lakes in Aitkin County: Special regulations on northern pike will be dropped in favor of the new statewide zone pike regulation announced earlier.

• Kraut, Peanut, North Shady, Squash and Tomato lakes in Cook County: Catch-and-release regulations on trout in these five lakes will be dropped this spring. Additionally, the ban on winter fishing and special tackle restrictions for these lakes will be dropped. The current special regulations now in place will continue on three other lakes — Thompson, Thrush and Turnip lakes — that were also reviewed.

Win a BWCAW canoe trip

Can you write? Ely Outfitting Co. and Boundary Waters Guide Service in Ely is holding a contest for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who could win a fully-outfitted five-day canoe-camping adventure in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with two or three of their friends.

Students will be asked to write a 1,000- to 1,500-word essay answering the question, "Why do you want to go on a parent-free BWCA Wilderness canoe-camping adventure with your friends?" Deadline is Feb. 11.

For details, go to