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tearin' lips

Swift ditch

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Anyone hunt swift ditch yet on Lake of the Woods. I am thinking about taking some buddies over there field hunting some honkers and was just wondering if it would be worth it to bring the boat over and hunt some ducks on swift ditch in the afternoon. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    • Hoey
      My wife and I fished Friday and Saturday.  Friday we got out around noon, fished shallow rocks (15 to 22ft), mid-depth reef (15 to 28ft), and shallow sand flats (8 to 20ft).  Bite was slow to non-existent, wind was strong and fierce at 18 to 24mph.  Boat control was tough and we ended the day about 4pm.  Told my wife the sacrifice was not worth the excitement.   Saturday was a different story.  Calm with some sun.  Got out by 10am and started out fishing shore rocks (15 to 28ft) and picked up a couple.  Around noon moved to deeper reefs and bang we found fish, nice ones too.  We were trolling very slowly, i.e. 0.1 to 0.3 mph until we marked and caught fish.  Then we'd anchor up on them until the bite went away.  Ended the day 3 short of our walleye/sauger limit.   Talked with others indicating the bite on Thursday was very good, Friday was tough, and Saturday was a bit better.  We took the boat to the dealer for YE service, so we are done for the year. ...oh and got all three snowmobiles started too.  This was a first.
    • james_walleye
      Ohio we were using 3/8
    • Rick
      Entry fees at all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas to be waived the day after Thanksgiving

      Smith and DNR encourage all Minnesotans to get outdoors and explore Minnesota’s parks and trails  Following the success of last year’s Free Park Friday, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is encouraging all Minnesotans to include outdoor activity as part of their family festivities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As added incentive, Smith announced that entry fees at all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will be waived on Friday, Nov. 25.    Smith, who has set a goal of visiting all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, said she intends to work another state park visit into her schedule on Free Park Friday. “In my travels around Minnesota, I visit Minnesota state parks and recreation areas as often as I can,” she said. “We have one of the finest park and trail systems in the country, and spending time in nature is the best way I know to get some exercise, relax and refresh with family and friends. I want as many Minnesotans as possible to enjoy a free day in the parks after Thanksgiving.” This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Minnesota state parks and trails system. The celebration has brought record crowds out to explore Minnesota’s most beautiful locations. Through the end of September, one-day parks and trails permit sales were up 6 percent, year-round permit sales were up 8 percent and overnight stays were up 6 percent over last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources. “As a way to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and trails, we’re encouraging visitors to see if they can go a total of 125 miles by bike, boot or boat by the end of 2016,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Free Park Friday will provide an opportunity to add to your mileage, whether you’re near the end of the challenge or just getting started.” Those who log 125 miles will receive a limited-edition sticker and can post their photo in an online Finishers Gallery. Minnesota state parks are open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and feature more than 1,000 miles of hiking trails through the state’s hardwoods, prairies and pinelands. In addition to hiking a favorite park, visitors and families can participate in naturalist-led programs, search for wildlife and even participate in the DNR’s “Call of the Wildflowers” geocaching adventure. To learn more about Minnesota’s 75 state parks and trails and to plan your “Free Park Friday” trip, visit the state parks page. For more information, visit the Free Park Friday page. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Hunters are reminded to register deer before processing, before antlers are removed and within 48 hours after taking the animal, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.  “Every hunter who registers their deer is providing important information and playing a critical role in our ability to scientifically manage deer populations,” said Adam Murkowski, DNR big game program leader. “Deer can be registered with a phone call, online or in person, with the exception of southeastern Minnesota during the firearms seasons, where in-person registration will be required.” Before registering a deer, hunters must validate their site tag. The validated tag must be attached to the deer when the deer is placed on a motor vehicle or an ATV, a vehicle or a trailer being towed by an ATV or brought into a camp, yard or other place of habitation. Phone registration
      Register deer via phone by calling 888-706-6367. Directions are printed on each deer hunting license. Have a pen or permanent marker ready. A confirmation number will be given; it must be written on the license and site tag. Internet registration
      Register deer via internet on the online license sales page. Directions will be similar to phone registration, and a confirmation number must be written on the license and site tag. In-person registration
      When phone or internet registration is not possible, hunters must take their deer to a big-game registration station. The person whose name appears on the license must be present at the registration station with their deer. They will receive a big-game possession tag that must be attached to the hind leg, ear or antler where the site tag was attached. A list of all stations organized by city and county is available at any DNR wildlife office or on the deer hunting season page. In-person registration will be required in deer permit areas 339 to 349, an area that includes nearly all the 300 series permit areas, during the 3A and 3B firearms deer seasons while the DNR samples deer for chronic wasting disease (CWD). More information on CWD sampling and registration locations is on the chronic wasting disease management page. In all areas, hunters are allowed to transport deer out of the permit area where the deer were taken before registering the deer. However, during registration, the hunter must use the permit area number where the deer was harvested; using the wrong deer permit area for registration is illegal. Registration instructions for all methods are available on the mandatory deer registration page. Through registration, hunters provide important information on deer, an animal that is significant not only ecologically, but also socially and economically in Minnesota. Hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impact in the state. Although deer populations vary in density from place to place and year to year and are influenced by the severity of winter weather, the DNR strives to manage deer for the benefit of everyone through habitat management, regulated hunting seasons, research and planning. Deer registration is one of many ways that citizens help. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Fishing and curiosity have always gone hand in hand, and when it comes to cleaning fish, some anglers have memories of examining the stomach of a catch – perhaps finding minnows, crawfish or the occasional oddity on the cutting board.  So when a group of Boy Scouts got a chance over the summer to analyze the stomach contents of fish – led by Ariel Johnson, MinnAqua program intern for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources – one might say the tradition continued with high interest. MinnAqua is a state aquatic resources and fishing education program of the DNR. The program teaches people about fishing and aquatic habitats. After the Boy Scouts event, Johnson answered some questions about what exactly the Scouts were learning. Q: So, where did you get the fish for this lesson?
      A: These fish were given to me by Duluth area fisheries staff for the sake of the MinnAqua program of the DNR. As an intern for the program, I was teaching the scouts how to analyze the fish – you might call it organized gutting – and how to pull scales and otoliths, or ear bones, which help us determine the age of fish. These brave Scouts were on a mission to meet requirements for their Fish and Wildlife Merit Badge. Q: What is the importance of lessons like this?
      A: Our lessons got at real-world topics including how to how to count fish populations in a lake, how to identify invasive species and learning about DNR jobs in conservation. Through the MinnAqua program the Scouts were able to address the majority of the requirements for the merit badge, requirements that focused on recognizing the role that they had in conservation and what some threats are to natural resources in Minnesota. The Scouts even had some time to fish. Q: So were the guts just a great attention getter?
      A: The purpose of fish guts, interesting as they are, weren’t only about keeping the attention of a group of Scouts. Much can be learned by examining fish in general. When I worked as an intern for the Lake Superior fisheries office, we examined lake trout for sea lamprey wounds, diet, fin clippings that can show if a fish was stocked by the DNR, and we pulled aging structures, which are scales and ear bones. On those lake trout, we found very few wounds from sea lampreys, a good sign that efforts are successful to reduce sea lamprey populations. Another great sign was that not many fish caught had any fin clippings, meaning that the fish we had were naturally reoccurring and populations appeared to be more stable. Perhaps the most interesting thing found during my fisheries internship was one of the larger lake trout had eaten a bird’s foot. It was hard to tell exactly how this happened with the evidence at hand. But it got us wondering: How long has a fish of this size been around? That’s where the scales and otoliths come in – aging structures provide more information about the year class and their survival. Q: The idea that seemingly small experiences can lead to big things is also a theme in MinnAqua. How does learning about fish lead to anything beyond a fun day at camp?
      A: Sparking an interest in fishing can perhaps lead to a lifelong hobby and, in the process, development of a sense of responsibility for protecting natural resources. So they get an awareness of the value of the natural resources that exist and what can be done to protect these resources. Q: Do these kids give you any hope for the future, or should we just pack up and play virtual reality fishing instead?
      A: Well, I believe in the real thing, that’s for sure. This MinnAqua internship has shown me that environmental education is definitely what I want to pursue as a career. I find hope for the future of conservation every time a child says, “This was my first time ever fishing in my life. I want to go fishing again!” Learn more about MinnAqua at Discuss below - to view set the hook here.