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BAYFIELD, Wis. — After a slow start to the lake trout season in Wisconsin waters of Lake Superior, especially in the Apostle Islands area, fishing success exploded in July. As a result, a harvest threshold was reached by the end of July, and lake trout fishing will close in the WI-2 zone at the end of today, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials announced this past week. Fishing will be permitted in WI-2 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20. That zone stretches from Bark Point to the Michigan border and includes the Apostle Islands.
DULUTH — The number of Minnesota small-game hunters dropped last fall compared to 2015, continuing a steady trend, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported this past week. According to the agency's annual survey of small-game hunters, the number of duck and goose hunters dropped, as did the number of pheasant hunters. Grouse hunter numbers were up about 4 percent but remain much lower than in past decades.
Dusk is coming on. The camp dishes are long since done. I've taken one last swim off the point to cool down. We know what comes next: The mosquito hordes. Yes, it's late July and the mosquitoes should be history by now. But this year's crop seems to be excellent, so they're still with us. We're a few miles north of the Ontario border, camped at the tip of an island with our best pal, the yellow dog.
ON THE NORTH SHORE — The place where Eric Tofte is fishing is improbably beautiful. He's a half-mile or so up a North Shore stream, well up the shore from Duluth. It's a tiny stream, just a couple of feet wide in places, but with occasional deep pools. Behind Tofte, a rock cliff rises perhaps 40 feet, and above that white pines reach for the clouds. Across the stream from him, the wall is not so high and gives way soon to overhanging maples and cedars. Spongy moss clings to the rock walls. Ferns grow out of bare stone.
DULUTH — They are home now, their saddle sores healed, their energy reserves rebuilding. They are eating meals of actual food again. For most of a month through June and part of July, seven Duluth-area cyclists were among nearly 200 who took part in the brutal and unforgiving Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile bicycle ride along the spine of the country — the Continental Divide — from Banff, Alberta, to the Mexican border in New Mexico. Five of them finished the race, their times ranging from 22½ to 29½ days. Two decided to drop out. The race began June 9.
On Wednesday morning, Mike Buchanan and his daughter, Katelynn, 15, found themselves in a situation they'd never experienced before. The pair from Indiana were bobbing in kayaks along Lake Superior's North Shore, gazing nearly straight up a 130-foot cliff at Split Rock Lighthouse.
It was a warm July evening, and the Duluth-Superior harbor was a happening place. Pleasure boats buzzed about. Cars hummed across the Aerial Lift Bridge. Anglers returned to port from an afternoon on Lake Superior.
Mike Buchanan had spent 22 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, including a stint at the Coast Guard's Duluth station in the 1990s. But he was about to experience Lake Superior in a new way — from a kayak. Buchanan, of North Vernon, Ind., and his 15-year-old daughter, Katelynn, had signed up for a kayak tour with Day Tripper of Duluth, an adventure tour company. On Wednesday, guide and co-owner Jake Boyce of Duluth was readying the Buchanans' kayaks on the pebble beach in a quiet bay at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.
DULUTH, Minn.—Ryan Kesselhon couldn't figure out what was happening to his 11-year-old daughter, Maren. One minute, Maren had been peacefully dangling from her family's paddleboard in Island Lake on Wednesday afternoon. The next second she was screaming wildly. "I couldn't figure out what she was screaming about," Ryan Kesselhon said. "Then she lifted her foot out of the water, and I could see it was filleted open in many places." Closer examination revealed she had been cut in 25 places, mostly on her upper ankle and on top of her foot, Kesselhon said.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's ruffed grouse drumming counts were up 57 percent statewide compared to last year, an almost unheard of year-to-year increase. Wildlife officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced the results of the survey on Monday, July 10. "I was looking back, and it seems like this is the biggest increase since 1980. It's really stunning," said Ted Dick, DNR upland game bird coordinator. "It puts us at a level as high as some recent peaks."