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Get Outdoors: Get ready for the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Editor’s note: Some events may have been canceled after the time of publication. Please check with local organizers. Email events to outdoors@duluthnews.com.

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Fly Tying Gatherings: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 21, Feb. 11 and March 4 at the Harrison Community Rec Center, 3002 W. Third St., Duluth. Presented by Arrowhead Fly Fishers. Bring your own sandwich and beverage. All skill levels welcome. Learn beginners basics of tying. If you are a beginner, there will be vises and materials for you to use. All are welcome.

"Recognizing the Rights of Wild Rice" lecture: 1-3 p.m. Jan. 21, Forest History Center, 2609 County Road 76, Grand Rapids. Features Tribal Attorney Frank Bibeau sharing the story of the Anishinaabe people who, according to oral tradition, migrated west to the Great Lakes region in search of where food grows on the water. He will also highlight his work promoting food sovereignty and sustainability. Free with regular site admission. This event is part of the Forest History Center’s 2023 winter lecture series, which features guest speakers at the site twice monthly through April. More information at mnhs.org/foresthistory .

Voyageurs National Park Self-Guided Night Snowshoe Hike: 6-7:30 p.m. Jan. 27, in International Falls, along the Oberholtzer Trail, with luminaries to light the way. Bring your own snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park, bring a flashlight or headlamp, and dress appropriately for the weather.
To pick up snowshoes and start the event, visitors should follow the lit luminaries from the upper parking lot to the lake side of the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Note: the visitor center will not be open for the event, but a fire will be waiting near the trailhead to warm you. Recommended for all ages. Free.

Snowmobile Safety Field Day: 9 a.m. Jan. 28, Vermilion College, Room NS-111, 1900 E. Camp St., Ely. Instructor: David Marshall. Must be age 11 before class starts and have completed the online course. Register by calling David at 218-343-1711 or email dave.marshall@ely.mn.u s.

READ MORE ABOUT THE OUTDOORS
Black Water Customs is named after Lake of the Woods, which is known for its stained, dark-colored water.
Retired teacher Larry Weber, of Barnum, is the author of “Butterflies of the North Woods" and “Spiders of the North Woods," among other books. Reach him via Katie Rohman at krohman@duluthnews.com.
The bite has been OK, but slush is still an issue in the back bays of the St. Louis River.
After a generally quiet January for most of the region we'll see a surge of bitter cold temperatures returning this weekend.
The Legislature is considering new laws on everything from boating, rough fish and copper mining to deer hunting and ATV trails.
Editor’s note: Some events may have been canceled after the time of publication. Please check with local organizers. Email events to outdoors@duluthnews.com.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of Jan 23.
Gov. Tim Walz's plan would benefit state parks, forests, boat landings and fish hatcheries and tackle climate issues.
A Huron, S.D., resident speculated the rocks that the city placed in the James River next to the dam, paired with a lack of oxygen, were largely responsible for the pileup.
Hound hunters oppose any effort to impose a ban.

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon: Jan. 29-31. Race start Jan. 29 at Billy's, 3502 W. Tischer Road, Duluth. Beargrease 40 finish Jan. 29 on Highway 2, Two Harbors. Beargrease 120 finish Jan. 30 at Trestle Inn, 9459 County Highway 7, Finland. Beargrease Marathon finish Jan. 31 at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, 70 Casino Drive, Grand Portage. Schedule, trail map and other info at beargrease.com .

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4th Annual Town of Hayward Family Fun Day: 1-4 p.m. Jan. 29, Town of Hayward Recreational Forest, 16793 W. County Hill Road. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, bonfire , hot chocolate and cookies. Free. Bring sleds, skis and snowshoes. For more information, visit facebook.com/townofhayward or call Town Hall at 715-634-4123.

Itasca Waters Practical Water Wisdom Series: noon first Thursday of each month February through November. Every month will touch on topics about how we can keep our water drinkable, swimmable, and safe. Schedule of topics is below:

  • Feb 2: Loons and Eagles – Can they coexist? presented by world renowned loon expert James Paruk. It is free, open to all, and includes an interactive Q&A session. James will talk about loons and their interactions with eagles. There is some evidence that the resurgence of eagles is having a negative effect on loon populations and reproduction. He will share his thirty years of adventures with loons, summarizing their basic biology and behavior.
  • March 2: Water plants and woody debris in shallow water: Friend or foe?
  • April 6: Decrease your water footprint and save money too! 
  • May 4: Do horsepower and wake boating matter to your lake?
  • June 1: Are invasive cattails taking over your lake? 
  • July 6: Water-borne disease and symptoms: Can swimming make you sick
  • Aug. 3: Impending AIS threats: Can they kill your pet or hurt your kids
  • Sept. 7: How healthy is your well? 
  • Oct. 5: Is household water softener salt harming our lakes? 
  • Oct. 31: SPECIAL “Supernatural lakes: monsters, ghosts, witches, fairies, and aliens”
  • Nov. 2: Ice formation and melting on lakes: What we know and why it matters.

Candlelight Ski and Hike: 5-8 p.m. Feb. 4, Brule River State Forest, Douglas County, Wisconsin. Choose a candlelit 1K loop or a more vigorous candlelit 5K route. Hikers and snowshoers are welcome to walk the candlelit routes or use the non-lit multiuse trail. Coffee, cocoa and apple cider will be served. Heated ski chalet available. For more info, call 715-372-5678 or visit dnr.wisconsin.gov/events/64581 .

River Talk: 7 p.m. Feb. 8, Lake Superior Estuarium, 3 Marina Drive, Superior. Future "River Talk" events are March 8, April 12 and May 10. The March talk will be held in conjunction with the St. Louis River Summit.

MORE OUTDOORS RECREATION COVERAGE:
The sensitive habitat and rare sharp-tailed grouse may be impacted by cross-country snowmobiling.
Mushers 14 years old and younger raced Saturday in the John Beargrease 2023 Cub Run at Lakeview National Golf Course in Two Harbors.
The number of permits for summer 2023 is unchanged after a reduction last year to reduce overcrowding issues.
Capt. Jarrid is on the injured reserve list for a spell as he recovers from a hernia.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of Jan. 17.
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Isaac Ortman, 14, plans to keep his streak going, winter and summer — maybe for years longer.
Much of northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota has 10 to 20 inches of snow on the ground, with scattered pockets that are deeper.
Some nice browns and splake hitting on the Gitch, Duluth area reservoirs giving up perch, walleyes.
DNR officers urge riders to slow down, avoid alcohol and stay off potentially thin ice.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of Jan. 9.

Gooseberry Falls State Park Candlelight Event: 6-8:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Ski, snowshoe or hike with stars twinkling overhead and candles flickering in the snow. Candle luminaries guide visitors on several miles of trails. A bonfire and marshmallows await visitors at the amphitheater. Hot beverages and snacks will be available. Get vehicle permits and ski passes in advance at mndnr.gov/reservations . A vehicle permit is not required at the parking lot.

Duluth Parks and Recreation Programs: Duluth Parks and Rec offers guided hikes, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing excursions, workshops and other winter events. Find a complete schedule at secure.rec1.com/MN/duluthparks/catalog/index.

Jay Cooke State Park Programs: 780 Minnesota Highway 210, Carlton. All nature walks and wildlife talks are free; a Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is needed to enter. Vehicle permits can be purchased upon arrival at the park office. Cost: $7/day or $35/year. There are reduced price options for disabled veterans, Minnesota tribal members and others. For a complete event schedule, go to dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/events.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.
What To Read Next
The Itasca Waters Advisory Board will kick off its online Practical Water Wisdom Series at noon on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Feeding and attractant bans are aimed at slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease.
Bird feed along Minnesota roadways makes pheasants more vulnerable to predators, disease and traffic, while doing little to help. It’s rare to find starved pheasants; cold is the real menace.
Tickets are $5, with many prizes available up to $1,000.