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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Daylight was still just a promise on the icy horizon, but the Lake of the Woods equivalent of morning rush hour already was in full swing as Mark Ward steered his Suburban onto the big lake. He took his place in the pack and joined the procession of tail lights heading north across Four-Mile Bay and Pine Island on a plowed ice road that extended nearly 20 miles. For a Monday morning, traffic was surprisingly brisk.
Lake of the Woods Anglers are catching a mix of walleyes and saugers, sorting through lots of small fish for keepers. Improving water clarity has allowed some anglers to catch fish in 21 feet to 24 feet of water in the mud off Pine Island and Morris Point. Others are making the trek to deep water -- 30-plus feet -- 25 miles north of Pine near Garden Island and Knight and Bridges Islands. Perch and the occasional eelpout also have been showing up in deeper water. Low-light conditions are a good bet for walleyes in 13 to 15 feet of water.
As with most addictions, it started with just one. For Wayne Kuster of Grand Forks, that addiction is Arctic Cat. All things Arctic Cat. Snowmobiles, bicycles, lawnmowers, motorbikes, clothing of almost every variety imaginable, jewelry, even board games. If Arctic Cat ever made it, Kuster most likely has it. "Collecting is a disease," Kuster, 59, said with a laugh. "I'm telling you, you just can't quit! You run here, run there. ...
Few foods warm up a cold winter's day better than fish chowder, and this recipe from Kris Winkelman, host of the "Kris' Kitchen" segment on husband Babe's outdoors TV show, looks like a "keeper" (as they say in fishing lingo). Bluegills are the featured fish in this particular soup, but any white-fleshed fish such as walleyes, perch, crappies or even northern pike easily could be substituted. Bluegill Soup 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 large onion (chopped) 2 medium Leeks (chopped) 1½ cups vegetable stock 3 medium potatoes (peeled and chopped) 1 teaspoon curry pow
Q. What are the pros and cons of the lack of snow that we've had in the Red River region so far this winter? A. As Doug Leier, an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, says in his weekly column that appears elsewhere in this section, this winter to date has been "wildlife friendly," on balance. The lack of snow is beneficial to many wildlife species. Deer, for example, are having an easier time getting around than they would if 3 feet of snow covered the ground.
There's a new catfish tournament on tap for this summer in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, and the two-day event will allow anglers to fish both sides of Riverside Dam rapids on the Red River. The Scheels Boundary Battle Catfish Tournament is scheduled for June 27-28. According to Brad Durick of Grand Forks, a Coast Guard-licensed catfish guide and avid Red River promoter, the tournament is a local replacement, of sorts, for the Cabela's King Kat tournament. King Kat is a national tournament circuit that made a stop in Grand Forks in 2013. Durick said he and Rob Raymond, East Grand Forks
DNR to conduct winter elk surveys The Department of Natural Resources again this winter is planning to use low-flying helicopters to conduct aerial elk surveys in Kittson County and the Grygla area of northwest Minnesota. According to Doug Franke, area wildlife supervisor for the DNR in Thief River Falls, the surveys will be held sometime between now and the end of March.
Lake of the Woods Fishing is picking up as resorts along the south shore move their houses farther north, anywhere from 8 to 20 miles past Pine Island. According to...
Here is the weekly report from Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Minnesota for Jan. 5: District 1 - Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored bobcat trapping...
A new law is scheduled to take effect this year in Minnesota that's going to affect everyone -- including nonresidents -- who hauls a boat or other water-related equipment in the state. Beginning July 1, anyone towing a boat in Minnesota will be required to have a trailer decal certifying they have completed an online Aquatic Invasive Species training course.