Dorazio, Leer in '19 fishing hall of fame class

Cynthia Osmundson will become the second supervisor of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program starting in November. Osmundson will replace Carrol Henderson who retired earlier this month after heading the program s...

Chip Leer with a Leech Lake walleye. (file / News Tribune)
Chip Leer with a Leech Lake walleye. (file / News Tribune)

Cynthia Osmundson will become the second supervisor of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program starting in November.

Osmundson will replace Carrol Henderson who retired earlier this month after heading the program since its inception in 1977.

"Minnesotans have been strong supporters of the state's nongame program, and it's my desire to build on that success and continue to connect people with wildlife," Osmundson said. The donor-supported Nongame Wildlife Program works to help more than 700 species of wildlife thrive. Nongame wildlife are species that are not legally hunted, with a focus on species that are rare, declining or vulnerable to decline.

Osmundson most recently served as regional wildlife manager in the DNR's Central Region, where she and her team focused on key priorities affecting the 50,000 acres of wildlife habitat in 23 counties including the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Before that, Osmundson was the statewide forest habitat coordinator in the DNR Wildlife Section. She has also worked as a planner for the Minnesota Forest Resources Council and as an assistant refuge manager in Montana and Wisconsin with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Osmundson earned her bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Montana and a master's degree in wildlife biology from the University of Wyoming. While there, she had opportunities to trap and tag grizzly bears, as well as raft the Colorado River in search of endangered fish and peregrine falcons.



Where are the ducks?

The report from Wednesday's weekly survey at Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge near McGregor was that there are very few ducks around. The refuge held only 5,000 ring-necked ducks, or ringbills, and only 6,000 total ducks. The refuge usually holds hundreds of thousands of ducks at this time of October, including 647,000 at this point last year.

There are reports of numerous ducks still on Lake of The Woods and in some other pockets, although one hunter reported that central Saskatchewan held few if any waterfowl last week - that the birds had already migrated south.

Dorazio, Leer in '19 fishing hall of fame class

The National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward has named a 2019 class of 11 inductees, including Dave Dorazio of Hayward and Chip Leer of Walker.

Dorazio started guiding in the mid 1960s on the Chippewa Flowage near Hayward and continued this career path for another 50 years. Dorazio is one of the early pioneers of catching and releasing muskies, which he began promoting in the 1970s. He is a former owner of the Eddie's Bait Company and of Dorazio Tackle, makers of the legendary Bootail. Dorazio has written many articles about the Chippewa Flowage and musky fishing as a Field Editor for Musky Hunter Magazine. He's also been a presenter at many sports shows and regional outdoor television programs and is known not just as a great guide, but as a fishing teacher.

Leer is a "tireless promoter, innovator and communicator with a profound passion for fishing, hunting and the great outdoors,'' the hall said in its induction notice.


Over the past 25 years Leer has become one of the Midwest and Northland's most recognizable angling authorities, particularly in the walleye, bass and ice fishing markets. He's also a popular speaker at seminars and TV shows. Chip's deep concern for our fisheries and fishing traditions also drives his support for organizations including the Mississippi Headwater Board's "Changing Minnesota Traditions" campaign to save Minnesota's beloved lakes and rivers from aquatic invasive species.

Matt Straw, longtime Minnesota-based In-Fisherman editor and writer, also made this year's hall of fame class. He first worked as a reporter was for Advanced Newspapers, then as a sitting editor for In-Fisherman Magazine from 1991 to 2012. He is currently a Field Editor for that organization.

Others in this year's class of Hall of fame inductees include fishing tackle giant Fred Arbogast of Ohio as well as John Campbell of Iowa, Curtis Fleming of West Virginia, Ray Dupuis of Ontario, Sam Griffin of Florida, Tim Hiner of Alaska, Eaddo Kiernan of Connecticut and Larry Whiteley of Missouri.


New Ely's Peak hiking trail dedicated

Duluth Mayor Emily Larson last week officially dedicated the latest loop trail along the Duluth portion of the Superior Hiking trail. Larson unveiled a new "You Are Here" map for guide trail users on the new Ely's Peak Loop in western Duluth. It's a short walk from the Beck's Road trail head off 123rd Ave W.

With panoramic vistas and exposed rock faces, the Ely's Peak loop joins the the Brewer Park and Spirit Mountain loops trails along the Superior Hiking Trail. It's convenient for Duluth residents and visitors alike. The project was led by Superior Hiking Trail Association consultant Larry Sampson with field work by dozens of the group's volunteers who contributed nearly 420 hours of field work on the project. Students from the Harbor City International School also contributed nearly 100 hours of volunteer work.

Funding came from the City of Duluth's St. Louis River Corridor Initiative and matching funds from the trail association. For more information about the Ely's Peak Loop, go to


More lakes open for cisco netting

The Minnesota DNR has set seasons for recreational netting for whitefish and tullibee (cisco) on Shagawa, Bear Island and Ojibway lakes near Ely.

Shagawa will be open from Nov. 1 through Nov. 25 with a minimum 3.5 inch mesh size; Bear Island & Ojibway lakes will be open from Nov. 17 through Dec. 16 with a minimum 1.75 inch mesh size.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at
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