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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Scott Forbes is a professor of biology at the University of Winnipeg who has been following changes in Lake Winnipeg's walleye population, the "greenbacks" that attract ice fishing enthusiasts north by the thousands every winter.
Lake of the Woods Most resorts along the south shore have pulled their rental houses off the ice for the season, and ice conditions up at the Northwest Angle are treacherous, according to local reports. Anyone planning to ice fish should work through local resorts before venturing out because conditions this time of year can change in a hurry.
Pretty much right on schedule, there's a female peregrine falcon back in town vying for the affections of Marv, the male peregrine who returned to his love nest atop the UND water tower last week. Tim Driscoll, the Grand Forks raptor expert and licensed bander who follows the annual comings and goings of the local peregrines closer than anyone, said he got a call Thursday morning from a UND employee who'd seen a smaller falcon fly into the nest box, followed by a larger bird that landed on the tower railing. Female peregrines are larger than their male counterparts.
These four boys had a big weekend tip-up fishing for northern pike with their dads March 18-19 on Devils Lake. Pictured are Caleb Keizer, 5 (from left), Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Braden Durick, 7, Grand Forks; Rivers Rylander, 7, Bemidji; and Cove Rylander, 5, Bemidji. Keeping the show on track were dads Loren Keizer, Brad Durick and Jason Rylander, who took the photo.
ARVILLA, N.D.—Anyone passing near Turtle River State Park the past few days might have witnessed a regular spring spectacle. Bald eagles, nearly a dozen of them at times, gathered in roadside ditches feeding on something that didn't make it through the winter. "There's easily that many around," said Erika Kolbow, park naturalist at Turtle River State Park. "We've been having quite a few in the park. This time of year is perfect for them because they like to feed on the carrion with coyote kills and road kills and everything."
A peregrine falcon is back in town, and local birding experts believe it's Marv, the patriarch of Grand Forks' peregrine clan since 2014. Hatched in 2013 in Fargo, Marv showed up in Grand Forks the next year and mated with Terminator, a female hatched in 2006 in Brandon, Man. This will be Terminator's 10th breeding season in Grand Forks if she returns to her love nest atop the UND water tower, local raptor expert Tim Driscoll said. Peregrine falcons go their separate ways when they migrate but return to their nest sites the next season.
DU honors retired N.D. waterfowl biologist Ducks Unlimited recently honored retired biologist Doug Johnson for his work at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, N.D. Johnson received DU's Wetland Conservation Achievement Award for efforts that provided much of the technical foundation for current landscape-scale approaches to habitat conservation for breeding ducks. Johnson was recognized for his efforts March 10 during the the 82nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Spokane, Wash.
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. Banquets
I spent only one day fishing Lake Winnipeg this winter and have gotten my fix of the big lake vicariously through the experiences of others. If there's a common theme, it's the scarcity of larger walleyes, the giant "greenbacks" that have drawn anglers to Lake Winnipeg by the thousands in recent years. Catching walleyes this winter on Lake Winnipeg hasn't been a problem most days, from what I've been told, but those big "Master Angler"-size walleyes measuring 28 inches or longer have been conspicuous by their absence.
There were times, Chuck Lindner admits, when he had to dig deep to continue the 350-mile bicycle trek in which he'd immersed himself during the depths of the brutal Alaskan winter. The fourth day was probably the roughest, he said. Walking and pushing his fat tire bike up a rugged mountain pass into a sustained headwind of 50 mph and a wind chill factor of 50 below zero, Lindner says he averaged about 1 mph. There was no pedaling that day, and Lindner covered 19 miles in about 17 hours. "It was just a straight wind," he said. "You put your head down and went into it."