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home : outdoors : current reports May 24, 2016

1/21/2014 1:18:00 PM
Outdoors Briefs
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Beginner cross-country ski lessons in Manitowish Waters

Instructor Chad McGrath is teaming up with the North Lakeland Discovery Center to host ski lessons for beginners of all ages.

McGrath is an avid skier and author to “Stride and Glide” and “Great Cross Country Ski Trails.” He has skied over 100 places throughout the Lake Superior Basin, and enjoys sharing his passion with skiers of all abilities and ages.  

McGrath has taught for many groups and clubs including Outdoor Women. Students of McGrath’s have many accolades, including a recent “student” who described him as a “competent and charming instructor.” 

Lessons are scheduled for Sundays Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and Feb. 16 at 10am. To register, call 877-543-2085 or visit the Event Calendar on DiscoveryCenter.net to register online.

Youth under 10 should be accompanied by adults and a warming hut is available. Associated fees are $10; $5 for youth under 10. Bring your own equipment – there are ski rental equipment shops in Boulder Junction and Minocqua.

Following the lesson, attendees are welcome and encouraged to try out the Discovery Center’s 10-mile groomed trail system which includes beginner loops of approximately two miles.


Snowmobile trail passes can be purchased online

Out-of-state snowmobilers looking to purchase a Wisconsin trail pass can now do so online at http://dnr.wi.gov/permits/trailpass.html.

“We are excited to give our customers this easy way to buy trail passes,” Linda Olver, DNR administrative policy advisor for customer and outreach services, said. “This is a new service and we encourage buyers to purchase their passes ahead of time so they can have them before they hit the trails.” Trail passes ordered online are mailed within 2 business days.

The cost of the trail passes will remain $35 for an annual pass. They may be purchased by visiting the DNR’s website, dnr.wi.gov, and using the search words “Snowmobile trail pass.” They can also be purchased by calling customer service at 1-888-WDNR-INFo (1-888-936-7462), or by visiting any one the 700 contracted Wisconsin agents.

The snowmobile trail pass is required only when the snowmobile is not registered in the State of Wisconsin. Use of the public trails is included in a current Wisconsin snowmobile registration.


Teachers: DNR offers free Arbor Day seedlings

Elementary school teachers are eligible to order free white pine seedlings for fourth grade students before March 15 from the DNR’s State Nursery Program as part of a statewide Arbor Day celebration in April. Seedlings will be delivered to local DNR offices as close to Arbor Day as possible.

Teachers should use the online form on the Fourth grade Arbor Day free tree program page of the DNR website (http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/TreePlanting/arborForm.asp).

Arbor Day celebrates trees and their importance to the environment and quality of life of all. It started in Nebraska in 1872 and is marked nationally and in other countries. Wisconsin celebrates Arbor Day annually the last Friday in April.


Online map details shooting ranges open for public use

People looking for a shooting range to sharpen their shooting skills now have a new online resource to help them find target ranges.

A new DNR online map details shooting ranges on public property and private ranges open for public use. The Public Shooting Range map details the types of shooting activities allowed and links to the individual range websites.

To view the site search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords “shooting ranges.” People who operate a Wisconsin-based shooting range open to the public can have it added to the map by contacting Mike Watt at Michael.watt@wi.gov or 608-266-8597.


Iowa County to be added to Gypsy moth quarantine

On March 31, Iowa County officially will be placed under state gypsy moth quarantine, joining most of eastern and central Wisconsin already considered to be generally infested with the pest. Iowa County is the 49th of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to be quarantined for gypsy moth.

In most counties, the quarantine has the greatest impact on plant nurseries, Christmas tree growers and lumber mills because of inspection requirements.

The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a pamphlet titled “It’s the Law: Before Moving Check for the Gypsy Moth,” available from major moving companies and online at http://www.hungrypests.com/YourMoveGypsyMothFree/pdf/Gypsy-Moth-Brochure.pdf.

Gypsy moth was brought from Europe to the Boston area in 1869 and has since spread into much of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. It was discovered in Wisconsin in the late 1960s. Counties in eastern Wisconsin were placed under quarantine starting in 1993. The leading edge of the gypsy moth infestation now stretches from Rock County to Bayfield County.

For more information, contact Christopher Deegan at 608-224-4573 or christopher.deegan@wisconsin.gov.


Michigan catfish record broken twice in less than two years

The Michigan DNR confirmed the catch of a new state record flathead catfish on Monday, Jan. 13. 

The catfish was caught by Dale Blakley of Niles, Mich., on Sunday, Jan. 12, on Barron Lake in Cass County at 3 p.m. The fish weighed 52.0 pounds and measured 46.02 inches. Blakley was ice fishing for crappies when he landed the record fish.

The record was verified by Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries biologist, at the Plainwell, Mich. office. 

The previous state record flathead catfish was caught by Rodney Akey of Niles on the St. Joseph River in Berrien County on May 22, 2012. That fish weighed 49.8 pounds and measured 45.7 inches. Prior to that, the record hadn’t been broken since 1943.

“Catching this fish was the most exhilarating experience,” Blakley said. “It was only the second time I’ve ever gone ice fishing and it was the only bite we had on the lake the whole day. This definitely sits at the top of my list!”

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a Michigan state record, fish must exceed the current listed state record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

A video (produced by the Blakley family) of this state-record catch is available at http://youtu.be/864YR-QAKMY.


Share your wild adventures

Big buck? Big fish? Did something interesting happen out on the lake or in the woods or even your own back yard? Share your pictures and/or story with us. 

For pictures, include your first and last name, town you reside in, size of the catch, location (you can be vague if you want to protect a secret spot) and date to: The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua 54548 or email us at outdoors@lakelandtimes.com. Include a phone number for questions we may have and an SASE for photos to be returned.

If you’d like to share a story of your adventure, email outdoors@lakelandtimes.com or cturk@lakelandtimes.com and include a phone number with your information.


Outdoors Calendar

Saturday, Jan. 25

Ninth annual Justin Donner Memorial Fisheree: 7 a.m.-4 p.m., Donner’s Bay Resort, 2974 North Hiawatha Road, Butternut. Fishing on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage. Auctions, raffles, food and refreshments in heated tents. The tournament is for all ages. Information: 715-762-2956.

Great Northern Ice Fishing Tournament: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Headquartered at West Shore Boat Landing in Phelps with fishing on Lac Vieux Desert. Sponsored by the Phelps Lions Club. Information: 715-545-3327.

Van Vliet Old Growth snowshoe: 1-3 p.m. Explore this local state natural area on a guided interpretive snowshoe hike while learning about the state natural area status and enjoying stories focused on winter animal adaptations. Transportation from the Discovery Center, 215 County Highway W, Manitowish Waters, provided (meet at 12:15 p.m.). Or meet at the East Van Vliet trailhead in Presque Isle. Snowshoes available for rent at the Discovery Center for $3/pair, please inquire about availability when registering. Free registration (Donations appreciated).


Sunday, Jan. 26

Cross-country ski lessons: 10-11 a.m. Ski enthusiast and instructor Chad McGrath will lead ski lessons for beginners or for those with some experience looking to improve their technique. Ages 10-plus are welcome. Please bring your own equipment. Pre-register by the Friday prior to the lesson. $12 ($9 members). Information: 715-543-2085 or www.discoverycenter.net.


Wednesday, Jan. 29

Sno-Eagle’s Guided Snowmobile Rides: 9-11:30 a.m., 116 S. Railroad Street, Eagle River. Starting from the old train depot in Eagle River, explore area snowmobile trails (conditions permitting). Information: 715-479-5599.


Friday, Jan. 31

Season closures:

• Squirrel season closes.

• Ruffed grouse seasons closes in zone A (northern zone).

• Bobcat hunting and trapping season.


Saturday, Feb. 1

Northwoods United Way Ice Fishing Jamboree: 7 a.m., Lake Minocqua at Stack’s Bay off Brunswick Road, Woodruff. Registration at 7 a.m., with fishing from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded for the longest of each walleye, northern, perch, bluegill, bass, and crappie. There is a $1,500 prize for catching a marked fish, a traveling trophy. door prize, raffles and goodie bags for kids. Registration is $25 for adults and $5 kids. Registration includes lunch. Information: Bruce Gruening at 715-499-2424 or Northwoods United Way at 715-369-0440.

Plum Lake EMTs Holes for Life: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Headquartered at Fibber’s Restaurant, 8690 Big St. Germain Drive, St. Germain. Registration is at 7a.m. and fishing on Big St. Germain Lake is 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Raffles, cash and door prizes. The entry fee is $25. Information: 715-891-0572.

Fire Department Ice Fishing Classic: Pioneer Lake boat landing, Conover. Ice fishing on Pioneer Lake. Food and refreshments. Prizes for fish in categories. Proceeds benefit Fire Department Equipment Fund. Information: 715-477-2036.

Alice in Winterland Ice Fishing Festival: 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Lake Alice, between Anglers and Horseshoe boat landings. Prizes for the three largest fish caught in five categories. Food, refreshments and numerous raffles. $5 per person, $10 family. Information: Mike at 715-340-2442, Fred at 262-337-1721 or Hank at 715-453-4883.


Monday, Feb. 3

NLDC Bird Club program: 7 p.m., North Lakeland Discovery Center’s Bobcat Lodge in Manitowish Waters. NLDC Bird Club will host a program on “Spring Sandhill Crane Spectacle on Nebraska’s North Platte River.” Carne Andrews will weave together some natural history, striking audio-visuals of gathering on the river at twilight and take-off at dawn, insights into maintaining habitat, and promoting public education for crane preservation. Information: Jim at 239-776-5279.


Wednesday, Feb. 5

Cross-country skiing: 2 p.m., Minocqua Winter Park. Northern Paddle and Trail invites the public to enjoy an afternoon of cross-country skiing. This scenic trail system has different levels of difficulty. Information: www.northernpaddletrail.org.


Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 8-9

Lions Fisheree and Winter Festival: 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Hodag Park, Hodag Beach Drive, Rhinelander. The official ice fishing tournament of the Ice Fishing Capital of the World. Daily kids prizes, raffles, and food. Cash prizes for 12 and older Fisheree entries. Broomball tournament Saturday, snowshoe race Sunday. Information: 715-365-7464 or info@rhinelanderchamber.com.


Sunday, Feb. 9

Cross-country skiing: 1 p.m., Anvil Ski Trail parking lot, Eagle River. Northern Paddle and Trail invites the public to cross-country ski one of the oldest and most popular cross-country trails in the Eagle River area. Trails are groomed for classic skiing and skate skiing. Information: www.northernpaddletrail.org.


Friday, Feb. 14

Moonlight snowshoe: 6:30 p.m., McNaughton Ski Trail north of Rhinelander. Northern Paddle and Trail invites the public to take part in a moonlight snowshoe or cross-country ski. Snowshoe to the shelter to enjoy a campfire and hot drink. Information: www.northernpaddletrail.org.


Saturday, Feb. 15

Lake Tomahawk Family Fisheree: 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Lake Tomahawk. Cost is $5 per line. Payouts in adult and children’s division for largest game fish and panfish. Children under six fish for free. Food and refreshments for all participants. Door prizes. Information: 715-370-4652.


If you’d like to include an upcoming outdoor event in our Outdoor Calendar: Email your information to: cturk@lakelandtimes.com, stop by The Lakeland Times office, or mail your information to The Lakeland Times, ATTN: Outdoors, P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548.

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