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. I've heard there's a good blueberry crop in the works this year. I've never picked blueberries, but I'd like to give it a try. What can you tell me about where to find them? A. Blueberry pickers by nature are a secretive bunch, and I'm no different, so I won't point you to specific areas for fear of encountering the wrath of my blueberry picking friends. I will tell you, though, that your best bet for finding blueberries is to head east out of the Red River Valley into more forested country—especially forested country with jackpine stands.
Anyone who's ever come into contact with the business end of a barbed fishhook will agree the experience isn't a whole lot of fun. Accidents happen even among experienced anglers, and that's why it's important to carry needlenose pliers—or other tools capable of cutting or removing hooks—and a first aid kit to handle any mishaps that might occur. Pinching the barbs is another good precaution; it's a lot easier to remove a barbless hook.
Walleye released 25-inch minimum • 27½ and 28 inches—Hudson Dahlin, 5, East Grand Forks, Lake of the Woods. • 26 inches — Troy Bazey, Grand Forks, Lake of the Woods. Crappie released 13-inch minimum • 13½ inches—Rick Dombovy, Devils Lake, Devils Lake. Northern pike released 32-inch minimum • 32 inches to 37 inches (nine fish)—Rick Dombovy, Devils Lake, Devils Lake. Sturgeon released 45-inch minimum
Ask me how fishing is, and I'll reply that fishing is always great, it always has been and always will be. For me, the catching is a different story and tends to be a bit overrated. But perhaps my prowess at catching helped change my goals and fishing philosophy over the years.
NDGF pays $581,900 in property taxes BISMARCK—The North Dakota Game and Fish Department paid more than $581,900 in taxes last year to counties in which the department owns or leases land. The 2015 in-lieu-of-tax payments are the same as property taxes paid by private landowners. Game and Fish manages more than 200,000 acres for wildlife habitat and public hunting in 51 counties. The department does not own or manage any land in Traill or Renville counties. Here's a look at tax payments for select counties in eastern and northeast North Dakota:
DEVILS LAKE—Jason Mitchell hadn't fished his home water in awhile so he was anxious to get out and do some exploring in a part of the Devils Lake Basin he hadn't explored since last winter. He wasn't even sure if there'd be enough water to launch his boat off the high spot of a flooded road. That's the way it is when you're an outdoor communicator whose job includes weeks of road time filming hunting and fishing excursions from South Dakota to northern Manitoba. Sometimes, you just don't know. "We'll either be heroes or zeroes," Mitchell said.
Rich Thorpe of Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska caught this 91-pound halibut during a recent ocean fishing excursion out of Valdez, Alaska. Thorpe, who was stationed at Grand Forks...
Lake of the Woods Fishing was good through the July 4 holiday weekend, Lake of the Woods Tourism reports. Anglers caught fish pulling spinners, jigging and trolling crankbaits. Depths varied from 10 feet to 19 feet while pulling spinners tipped with a crawler or leech, 15 to 30 feet while anchored and jigging and 28 to 32 feet while jigging or trolling crankbaits in midlake areas of Big Traverse Bay.
Troy Bazey of Grand Forks released this 26-inch walleye June 18 on Lake of the Woods. Click on the image to view the full photo.
Tom Walski of Devils Lake caught this 32-inch walleye July 4 on Devils Lake. He kept the fish for mounting. Click on the image to see the full photo.