The Duluth Sail and Power Squadron’s ninth annual Captain’s Platter Fishing Contest is 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River basin.
Last year’s event drew more than 160 participants; it has awards for four divisions: Lake Trout, Walleye, Chinook Salmon and Coho Salmon.
The DSPS will offer free vessel-safety checks to those who want their boats inspected. Boats will be checked for appropriate, necessary equipment for operating vessels on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River basin. The safety checks are part of a national program in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Tournament headquarters is at the Duluth Sail and Power Squadron Dock in Allouez Bay (44th Avenue East and Superior Bay).
Cost is $15 each for adults and free for kids 15 and younger. Tickets and rules are available at Marine General, Bait Box, Fisherman’s Corner, Northwest Outlet or today at the Squadron Dock.
Contact Todd Carlson at (218) 348-4733 or go to duluthsailandpowersquadron.com for more information.
The St. Louis River Alliance has rescheduled two events on the river that were rained out recently.
The annual river cleanup set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday will focus on Clough Island, a designated natural area. Volunteers, especially people with their own boats to get out to the island, are needed.
The alliance’s annual spring canoe and kayak tour has been rescheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The event is free and open to the public, but there’s room for only 20 people. Interested parties must bring their own canoes or kayaks and life jackets.
For more information or to register for either event, call (218) 733-9520 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hartley Nature Center is kicking off a series of nature walks today that focus on the park’s wildflowers.
Staff members will guide groups through a different section of Hartley Park on walks today, June 12 and July 17, stopping to check on what’s blooming and what birds are singing. They’ll offer tips on how to identify plants, interesting folklore tidbits and point out hidden treasures of Hartley Park.
Meet at the nature building off Woodland Avenue at 6 p.m. and hike until 8 p.m. Cost is $4 for members, $6 for nonmembers and free for kids.
White-tailed deer across the Northland have started to have their fawns, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging people to leave the little dears alone.
Even if you don’t see the mother around, a fawn almost certainly has not been abandoned. Unlike human mothers that cling to their newborns, deer mothers often move away from fawns while feeding to avoid drawing any attention to newborns. Fawns’ camouflage spots, and an odd quirk of nature that makes fawns almost odorless (also unlike humans), is usually enough to get them through the first few days when their legs are wobbly.
The DNR notes that mama doe will come around every four or five hours to check on the fawn, and she is usually within earshot. Only when the fawns are strong enough to outrun predators do the young travel much with their mother.
A fawn’s curiosity may entice it to approach a person who comes upon it. The DNR urges people not to try to catch a fawn if they encounter one. Walk away. Never feed or collar a fawn. Contact a local DNR Wildlife office if you have questions.
To some, it’s paradise. So, how would you like to volunteer to help keep paradise beautiful?
The Boundary Waters Advisory Committee is seeking volunteers to help maintain trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness this year.
Trips of varied skill levels are planned for the Brule Lake/Eagle Mountain, Snowbank, Kekekabic, and Sioux Hustler trails. The committee hopes to receive U.S. Forest Service approval to work on the Pow Wow Trail, which was significantly impacted in the Pagami Creek fire in 2011.
The BWAC was founded in 2002 to preserve the historic and beautiful trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of the Superior National Forest. In 2012, BWAC volunteers worked with the U.S. Forest Service to survey and maintain the Kekekabic, Eagle Mountain, Brule Lake, Sioux Hustler, and Pow Wow trails.
On Sunday, News Tribune outdoors writer Sam Cook told you about Duluthians Charlie Farrow and Jason Buffington, who finished the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a 350-mile fat-tire bike race in Alaska.
What we failed to mention was that a former Duluthian, Tim Berntson, finished second in the race.
Berntson lives in Anchorage now. His parents, Russell and Bev Berntson, reside at Island Lake.
Q. Where is the second-best adventure travel hub in the world?
A. Duluth, according to Outside magazine’s April Outside Travel Awards issue.
The magazine credits the trails, Spirit Mountain, Lake Superior, and its proximity to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It calls the city a “magnet for aerobic fiends who train year-round” and recommends taking a room at Fitger’s Inn.
Outside’s Best Adventure Hub in the whole world, by the way, is Kununurra, Australia. But no one beats us in the Northern Hemisphere.
As we’ve reported several times, the Northland is seeing an influx of owls from Canada this winter. They’ve moved south in search of food, such as mice and voles.
While many owls are finding good pickings in our area, some owls, inevitably, will perish here. But some good may come of that. The Duluth Audubon Society reports the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is collecting dead boreal or saw-whet owls this winter for use in research.
If you find a dead owl, place it in a plastic bag with the date and general location where it was found, and take it to the nearest Minnesota DNR wildlife office — in Duluth, Cloquet, Two Harbors, Tower or wherever you may be.
We’re begging for some courtesy. Help keep the city’s cross-country ski trails in good condition by taking hikes and walks elsewhere. Footprints and other impressions (even angels) ruin the trails, so the Duluth Parks and Recreation staff would like to remind you that it’s prohibited to use them for non-skiing activities.
It’s one thing to walk on them when there’s no snow and conditions are dry, but now the trails are packed and tracked for skiers, not for walking with Fido (and who names their dog Fido these days, anyway?)
Here’s how to keep ski trails in tiptop shape:
- Ski in the direction indicated
- Try to fill any holes and smooth the track if you should fall
- Don’t let pets anywhere near trails
- Don’t hike on groomed trails
For ambulatory excursions, use the Lakewalk and other clear-of-snow paths. Skiers will thank you.
Looking for another chance to ice fish this winter?
The Kiwanis Club of Cloquet hosts the 11th annual Last Chance ice fishing contest from noon to 3 p.m. today at Hi-Banks Resort on Fish Lake.
No luck catching fish? No problem. There’ll be a raffle and a chance to win prizes, too.
All proceeds go to the Salvation Army, area food shelves and the Special Olympics.
Call (218) 390-7556 for more information.