- Member for
- 2 years 10 months
Anglers on Lake Vermilion, near Tower and Cook, will see new walleye regulations in effect as of March 1, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday. Under the new regulations, anglers on Lake Vermilion will be able to keep walleyes up to 20 inches long, with one allowed over 26 inches. The new regulation will require release of all walleyes from 20 to 26 inches. The four-fish bag limit will remain the same.
When tourists flock to Minnesota’s North Shore each summer and fall, they want to hike, throw rocks in Lake Superior and take in the fall colors. And eat fresh herring. “It’s one of the best eating fish there is,” said commercial fisherman Mark Torgersen of Knife River. North Shore restaurants cater to that demand, offering fresh herring specials as often as Minnesota commercial herring fishermen can supply them, which is almost daily through the summer and into the fall.
The herring season is over. Commercial fisherman Steve Dahl’s 18-foot steel skiff, pulled from the Knife River Marina in early December, sits on a trailer in his yard. A thin veneer of ice still clings to its gunwales. He fished the season right to the end. Fishing was good. “This fall, I was almost overwhelmed,” said Dahl, 64, of Knife River. “You’re doing 600, 700, 800 pounds a day. It wears you out.”
North Shore commercial herring fishermen typically suspend their nets at varying depths, often from about 20 to 50 feet deep and anywhere from a few hundred yards to a couple of miles from shore. The nets are anchored with lines that go to the bottom of the lake. Nets are suspended in the water column to catch herring that move up from the depths during the night to feed on zooplankton. Nets are attached to floats, and the ends of the nets are marked with tall flags.
Maybe it’s time to get away — to a yurt — this winter. As always, Google is your friend. Just search for yurts in Northeastern Minnesota and you’ll come up with options. It might be the most unique getaway you’ll ever make.
I saw the woman coming toward me on a trail in the woods. I could see that she must be an older woman. She was moving steadily, but not fast, and she used a walking stick for support in her left hand. It surprised me that she was out for a walk in this woodsy Duluth park on such a day. Sleet and frozen rain had fallen overnight, and the trails were alternately slippery or crusted. The wind came howling from the west up to 38 mph, a brief check of the weather had told me. The wind chill was 5 above.
The sport of fat-biking continues to rocket in popularity, especially in Duluth with its expansive trail system. Here are some tips from veteran rider Diana McFadden of Duluth to make your fat-bike riding more enjoyable. Tire pressure — “Tire pressure is probably the key piece of advice I’d give,” McFadden said. “People tend to think more pressure is better, but with fat-biking, it’s the opposite. Under most conditions, 8 or 10 psi (pounds per square inch) is OK. But if there’s any soft snow at all, take it down to 5 psi. It really makes a difference.”
ON FISH LAKE — On a mild December evening, warm light spills from the windows of two fishing shacks on Pontoon Bay of Fish Lake near Duluth. It’s early in the ice-fishing season. Just 10 inches of ice cover this cove where Rice Lake’s Mike Kylmala and Duluth’s Rick Siegle — each in his own Ice Castle fishing house — are on the hunt for crappies.
Dogsled teams will leave the starting line on Jan. 7, when the Gunflint Mail Run begins on the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais. If you want to get your sled-dog fix early, head up the trail and watch the dogs as they leave or enter checkpoints. For information on watching the race, visit gunflintmail.com.
Hartley Nature Center holiday break camps, for ages 4-9 with whole and half-day options, from Tuesday through Friday, Hartley Nature Center, 3001 Woodland Ave. Call (218) 724-6735 or go to hartleynature.org for details. Ski & Snowboard Holiday Camp , for ages 5-16, Tuesday through Friday, Spirit Mountain. For beginner to advanced, learn to handle the slopes with ease. Call (218) 461-9617 or go to teamduluth.org/holidaycamp.