Brad Dokken is editor of the Herald's Northland Outdoors section and also works as a copy editor and page designer. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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Q. Why are northern pike so slimy compared to other fish? A. That's a good question and one I've pondered myself. For insight, I contacted my friend, Lynn Schlueter, a retired fisheries biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Devils Lake, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to fish. He's also an avid angler of pike and catfish, another species with ample amounts of slime. Here's what Schlueter had to say:
This winter's ample snowfall has been good for snowmobile sales, local dealers say, but it's also had area snowmobile clubs scrambling to groom and maintain trails to provide decent places to ride. That's been a challenge in some places where deep snow conceals ice that's too thin for heavy groomers to run.
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at email@example.com . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • Jan. 14: Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 5 to 8 p.m., Zippel State Park, Minn.; meet at the residence just behind the park office. Info: (218) 783-6252. • Jan. 14: Candlelight ski and snowshoe, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Hayes Lake State Park, Minn.; park at the beach parking lot. Info: (218) 425-7504.
Wearing glasses in frigid temperatures like we've experienced the past few days can be a real pain when the lenses fog up after coming in from the cold. I recently tested a new anti-fog and anti-frost gel spray called Sven Can See Xtreme Cold Formula, which is designed to keep lenses from fogging up in extreme cold conditions ranging from -20F to 20F.
ON LAKE WINNIPEG, Man.—We'd stopped to scan the horizon and consider our options for setting up to fish when the snowmobile I was driving flooded and wouldn't start again. Rather than fight with the snowmobile, we decided to cut our losses and set up the portable house. The snowmobile had decided for us: This is where we would fish. Turns out the snowmobile made an excellent choice. Two friends and I spent New Year's Day on Lake Winnipeg and had an absolute blast catching greenback walleyes. What a great way to start the New Year.
Donnie Johnson of Grand Forks shot this 5x5 mule deer buck Nov. 5 in the Badlands near Grassy Butte, N.D., while accompanied by grandsons Chase Spicer, 13 (left), and Jake Spicer, 9. The Badlands hunting trip was a first for the boys, said Johnson, 75, who is getting a European mount of the rack made for his grandsons.
Lake of the Woods
The new year is just getting started, but wildlife officials already are concerned about the potential impact of cold temperatures and heavy snow on deer and other critters. "We're close to being on pace with the winters of 1996-97 and 2008-09, and when you mention those two years, I just cringe because they were bad for wildlife," said Terry Steinwand, director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck.
It’s officially official: Minnesota has a new ‘pout king. Mike Kurre, mentoring and events coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in St. Paul, sent an email this morning confirming the big burbot Brent Getzler of Roosevelt, Minn., caught Dec. 19 on Lake of the Woods is the new state record. “Received the paperwork late last week, and I can now confirm we have a new state record burbot,” Kurre wrote in his email.
Brothers Jayden and Jordan Grover had a good, late-season goose hunt near Hannaford, N.D. Jayden is a student at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, and Jordan lives in Hannaford.