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Itasca offers 'Twinkle Light Trail,' Anglers should clean up the ice etc.

Itasca State Park’s “Twinkle Light Trail” is located in the Bear Paw Campground and offers visitors a view of twinkling lights to match the starry night sky.

Itasca State Park.jpg
Snowshoers enjoy an outing at Itasca State Park in this undated photo.
Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer

Itasca offers ‘Twinkle Light Trail’

ITASCA STATE PARK, Minn. — A three-quarter-mile trail loop in Itasca State Park will be lit with twinkling lights from dusk until 10 p.m. daily through the end of snow season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said this week.

Itasca State Park’s “Twinkle Light Trail” is located in the Bear Paw Campground and offers visitors a view of twinkling lights to match the starry night sky, the DNR said. Parking is available near the Bear Paw Guesthouse.

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Visitors can hike or snowshoe the packed-snow trail; skiers are also welcome, but no track will be set. A vault toilet is available near the start of the first loop. Pets are welcome if they are on a 6-foot or shorter leash, and visitors must clean up after their pets.
A headlamp or flashlight, bottled water and boot cleats are recommended but not required. Visitors should dress in layers for the weather and carry a cell phone in the event of an emergency.

Those wanting a multi-day winter break to appreciate the solitude and beauty of the season have the option of winter camping or an overnight stay at one of Itasca State Park’s lodging accommodations. For more information, visit the Itasca State Park page of the DNR website ( dnr.state.mn.us/Itasca ). To make a reservation, call (866) 857-2757 or book online using the state parks and trails reservations website at dnr.state.mn.us/reservations .

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Before visiting any Minnesota state park or trail, check the park or trail website for visitor alerts.

– Herald staff report

Winter anglers reminded to clean up ice

BISMARCK — Winter anglers must clean up the ice after fishing. That not only applies to trash, but fish, as well, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said this week in a reminder.

Leaving fish behind on the ice, including minnows used for bait, is both unsightly and illegal. According to state fishing regulations, when a fish is caught, anglers must either immediately release the fish unharmed or reduce it to their daily possession.

It is common practice for some anglers to fillet fish on the ice, which is allowed in North Dakota, as long as fish entrails and other parts are removed from the ice and properly disposed of at home.

In addition, all trash, including aluminum cans, cigarette butts and Styrofoam containers, must be packed out and taken home.

That should go without saying.

– Herald staff report

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Keep fish caught in deep water

BISMARCK — Wintertime anglers catching fish from deep water should keep what they catch, fisheries biologists for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department say.

Catch-and-release fishing, no matter the time of year, is discouraged for fish caught in 30 feet or more, the department said, because fish reeled in from those depths have a greater chance of dying if released.

Fish caught in deep water likely won’t survive because of the extreme change in water pressure, which causes the swim bladder to expand. Fish can no longer control their balance in the water column when this happens. Other internal injuries, such as rupturing of organs and bleeding, are also likely for fish caught from deep water.

Devils Lake ice anglers commonly catch yellow perch in 30 to 45 feet of water during the winter months. This also occurs to fish in other deep water bodies around the state.

Game and Fish recommends that anglers targeting fish in deeper water make the commitment to keep what they catch. And once they reach their limit, anglers should stop fishing at that depth to avoid killing more than their limit.

– Herald staff report

Apply now for Minnesota CPL grants

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Conservation Partners Legacy grant program is now accepting grant applications for Fiscal Year 2022. CPL grants fund conservation projects that restore, enhance or protect forests, wetlands, prairies, or habitat for fish, game, and wildlife in Minnesota. Grant requests may range from $5,000 to $400,000, with a maximum total project cost of $575,000. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to apply, and a 10% match of nonstate origin is required. Funding for the CPL program comes from the Outdoor Heritage Fund , which Minnesota voters approved in November 2008.

Approximately $3 million is available for the Traditional grant cycle, the DNR said. Projects must be on public lands or waters or on lands protected by a permanent conservation easement. Application deadline is 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21.

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For more information, email lscplgrants.dnr@state.mn.us .

– Herald staff report

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