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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Rich Lehn of Grand Forks took advantage of a balmy afternoon Feb. 17 to catch this 38-inch northern pike on a northeast North Dakota pond. The pike hit a smelt fished below a tipup. Lehn released the fish after a couple of quick photos.
A Devils Lake angler has caught what likely will be the new world line-class record white bass on Devils Lake as recognized by the International Game Fish Association. Blake LaFleur caught the white bass Feb. 13 in 40 feet of water in the main basin of Devils Lake using 2-pound test line. The big fish weighed 4.27 and 4.32 pounds on separate scales and measured 18½ inches long with a 16-inch girth.
Q. How does the DNR decide whether to aerate a lake to prevent winter fish kill? A. The DNR does not aerate lakes, but we do issue permits to lake associations, counties and other local partners who wish to aerate shallow lakes that are prone to fish kills due to lack of dissolved oxygen during winter. Public safety is the primary concern, so these permits require aerated parts of the lake to be clearly marked with thin ice signs and located away from high-traffic areas such as boat launches and snowmobile trails. -- Marilyn Danks
North Dakota fishing license sales have risen more than 25 percent in the past decade, but fewer anglers are buying their licenses at bait shops and other retail outlets. That is one of the key findings of a recently completed study conducted by UND biology student Lucas Knowlton. Knowlton's study, "An Analysis of the Historical Distribution and Change of Anglers in North Dakota," looked at fishing license sales in 2004 and 2014 and compared the change in number of licenses purchased for each county in the state.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—The Pembina Trail Toms chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is hosting an information meeting Thursday night for sportsmen and conservation groups across the region on the Department of Natural Resources' proposed license fee increase. The meeting, at 7 p.m. Thursday, will be held in the main conference room of the Thief River Falls Joint Operations Facility, 246 125th Ave. NE.
To get an event in the calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events • Feb. 22: Public scoping meeting related to planned update of the Hunting Plan at Glacial Ridge National Refuge, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Sunset Room of the Crookston Library. Refuge staff want public input on what they envision as the future of hunting on the refuge. For more info, contact refuge manager Gregg Knutsen at (218) 687-2229 ext. 16 or email@example.com .
Anglers see better fishing on LOW By most accounts, fishing this winter on Lake of the Woods has been better than last year, and results from a winter creel survey likely will bear that out. "We've had a real good winter of ice fishing," said Phil Talmage, area fisheries supervisor for the Department of Natural Resources in Baudette, Minn. "People are getting fish, and they're getting them all over the place."
How do you feel about spending more money for hunting and fishing licenses in Minnesota? That question promises to come up a fair bit over the next few weeks as state lawmakers grapple with Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal to raise hunting and fishing license fees. As colleague Sam Cook of sister paper the Duluth News-Tribune reported recently, the DNR's Game and Fish Fund, which pays for the bulk of fish and wildlife management in Minnesota, is expected to go into the red in 2019 without an influx of additional dollars. The DNR last increased license fees in 2012.
Lake of the Woods
Hannah Galde, 14, of Hatton, N.D., shot this buck during the deer gun season. She is a 9th-grader in Hatton. Click on the image to see the full photo.