Field Notes: ALS contest marks 23rd year with new bass category

The 23rd Annual Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament will be held June 2 on Island Lake Reservoir north of Duluth. The first tournament was held in 1996 and raised $40,000 to fight Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral scler...

Largemouth bass
News Tribune file

The 23rd Annual Kolar Toyota ALS Fishing Tournament will be held June 2 on Island Lake Reservoir north of Duluth.

The first tournament was held in 1996 and raised $40,000 to fight Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Since then, the tournament has raised more than $2.8 million. All proceeds go to programs and services for individuals living with ALS and toward research to find a cause and cure.

The tournament features two-person teams that this year can choose their fish species: walleye or bass. The teams with the most total combined weight will be declared the winners.

Teams must contribute or raise at least $400 in donations to enter the contest, although several anglers already have raised thousands of dollars in pledges.

More information and links to registration is available at


Kent Hrbek, former Minnesota Twin first baseman who lost his father to ALS in 1982, will be joined by former NHL star Darby Hendrickson as tournament hosts.

ALS is a fatal disease that affects nearly 500 people in the region. Although there is currently no cure or treatment, advances in medical technology are allowing people with ALS to lead more independent and productive lives.

Gov's deer opener needs landowner-hosts

Organizers of the Minnesota Governor's Deer Hunting Opener are looking for Hinckley-area landowners who would like to volunteer to be a hunter host for the 16th annual Minnesota Governor's Deer Hunting Opener.

The event runs Nov. 1 Nov. 4 and is sponsored by the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association.

Hunter hosts will help promote Minnesota's deer hunting tradition and the Hinckley area by inviting visiting media and others to join their hunt. Minnesota's general firearm deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 3.

"Hunter hosts provide a unique opportunity for media personalities and visiting dignitaries to experience the great tradition of the Minnesota Deer Hunting Opener, and bring their stories back to varying media outlets across the state and nation," said Craig Engwall, executive director of the group.

Hunter Hosts will receive a complimentary ticket to the Governor's Deer Hunting Opener Welcome to Camp Dinner on Thursday, Nov. 1, at Grand Casino in Hinckley, where they will be formally recognized for their generosity.


Camps selected as hunter hosts receive a gift package provided courtesy of non-government event sponsors. To complete a hunter host application, visit or contact MDHA at 218-259-1368.

Actors needed for conservation officer training

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking for actors to use your thespian skills to bring some "reality" to officer cadets training to become conservation officers.

The Enforcement Training Academy needs volunteers to act in various training scenarios at Camp Ripley near Little Falls. Volunteers will act out various scenes of hunting, fishing, boating, ATV riding, etc - acting like a hunter, angler, trapper, boater etc.

Scenario training day happens one day a week each week of the academy through Aug. 14. Days are approximately 12 hours long so officers can experience scenarios at various times of the day.

About 25 actors are needed. For more information or to sign up, contact Conservation Officer Mike Lee, Academy Director, 1501 Hwy 115, Nelson Hall, Little Falls, MN 56345 at 320-412-1176 or email .

Apply to hunt elk in Minnesota

Minnesota hunters have through June 15 to apply for one of 22 elk licenses offered this year by the Department of Natural Resources. Elk hunting is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Minnesota residents.


Hunters may apply individually or in parties of two at any DNR license agent, the DNR License Center at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul, or by telephone at 888-665-4236. There is a nonrefundable application fee of $4 per hunter and applicants should use Code 625. The license fee is $287. Hunters will have to select a zone and season when applying. Hunting information including maps of the elk hunting zones is at

Successful applicants will be required to attend a mandatory orientation session prior to their hunt, register their elk in person and provide biological samples from any harvested animals.

Abbott Road access reopens Friday

The Abbott Road public water access on Island Lake north of Duluth is scheduled to reopen Friday after reconstruction work, the DNR said last week,

The access has been closed since last fall for work and the contractor is back working on the project this spring. This reopening is tentative, pending weather conditions.

This DNR water access project will include improvements to the ramp, parking area, aquatic invasive species treatment and stormwater management.

Meanwhile the Island Lake Dam Site public water access site on Island Lake is back open after being closed last summer during dam reconstruction. The Minnesota Power Hideaway access also is open.

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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