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Almost every day, I travel with a fellow I know. His name is Daniel Alvarez, a long-distance hiker and paddler whom I've written about previously. He passed through Duluth a few years ago when he was kayaking from northern Minnesota to Key West, Fla. Now he's hiking across Europe, north to south — Norway to Spain. It's a long poke. He's about 5,000 miles into it. He posts to his blog (predictablylost.com) nearly every day, whether he has walked 15 miles or 30. His updates are typically about people and life and interesting moments along the trail.
The Rainy River is ice-free all the way to Lake of the Woods, and anglers have had lots of good walleye and sturgeon action during the recent mild weather, said Dennis Topp, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources assistant area fisheries supervisor in Baudette. All boat launches are now open, Topp said Thursday. "Anglers are spread out through the whole system," Topp said. "Weather has been phenomenal. The fish are cooperating — both sturgeon and walleyes are biting good. This is the time."
Here's a list of spring and summer fishing contests in the area. If you'd like your contest listed, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org . Psycho Billy Fishing Derby, May 19-20, Legendary Waters Resort & Casino, Bayfield. Contact: John Hanna (218) 349-7224. Species: Lake trout, brown trout, salmon, walleye. Berg Construction Walleye Cup, May 20-21, St. Louis River, Twin Ports Walleye Association, twinportswalleye.com. Species: Walleye
April 12 — First Minnesota spring turkey hunting period begins. April 15-16 — Wisconsin youth turkey hunt. April 19 — First Wisconsin turkey hunting period begins. May 5 — Deadline for Minnesota bear hunt lottery. May 6 — Wisconsin inland fishing opener; Wisconsin smallmouth bass catch-and-release season (northern zone) opener; Wisconsin largemouth bass harvest season opener. May 13 — Opening of Minnesota fishing season. May 27 — Wisconsin muskie fishing opener, northern zone.
Despite lobbying by a coalition of Minnesota outdoors and environmental groups, Minnesota legislators have so far not included hunting and fishing license fee increases in bills before both the House and Senate. Nearly 50 of those conservation groups from across the state have asked legislators to include nominal fishing and hunting license fee increases in legislation this session to shore up Department of Natural Resources budgets. Several weeks remain in the legislative session.
First-year results from a steelhead genetics study on Minnesota's North Shore streams confirm that hybridization between steelhead and stocked Kamloops rainbow trout is occurring, said fisheries officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "We found that Kamloops ancestry was pretty much widespread in both juvenile and adult populations (of steelhead)," said Nick Peterson, DNR anadromous fish specialist at French River. "That being said, still the majority of fish we caught were pure steelhead. That's important to anglers."
The image was one that could make an angler drool — nearly 400 rainbow trout flopping and splashing in the cold spring waters of the French River. Handsome specimens all, their bronze flanks were speckled with dark spots and a crimson wash running the length of each fish. Of course, it was not a natural scenario. The 364 mature Kamloops rainbow trout — along with 30 wild steelhead — were corralled in a seine net tended by several Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries employees Monday morning at the river northeast of Duluth.
Chances are, you never met Larry Schanno. He didn't stray far from the Our Place restaurant and bar on the banks of the Baptism River in Finland. He had owned the bright and cheery place for almost 20 years. Schanno died unexpectedly on March 20 at age 68. I didn't know Schanno well, but I know this: He made a big difference to a group of veterans at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay.
Duluth Skate from Andrew Kilness on Vimeo .
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources seines rainbow trout at French River near Duluth.