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News from Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota

Welcome to Lake Kabetogama.org, a place to share information on the Lake Kabetogama area.
Lake Kabetogama is one of four vast, interconnected lakes in Voyageurs National Park. Lake Kabetogama, Rainy Lake, Namakan Lake, and Sand Point Lake are part of the 14,900-square-mile Rainy Lake basin. Lake Kabetogama is about 25000 acres in size with about 200 islands and has a maximum depth of about 90 feet.


Lake Kabetogama has hundreds of island campsites

maintained by the Park with docks, tent pads, campfire rings and primitive toilets. Most also have lockable bear boxes for your food. Some of my favorites are Windigo Bay, great views, Cutover Island on the south side, Grassy Island site, another one with great views, but it does have bears at times,  and my favorite, Blue Fin Bay, which has great crappie fishing, views and lots of wildlife.

The following is from the Voyageurs National Park web site-
Sleep under the stars in one of over 200 designated campsites in Voyageurs National Park. Be serenaded by loons, and listen for the chance to hear the howl of a wolf. (more…)

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Public meeting to discuss removal of barrier between Kimball and Ossawinnamakee lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a public meeting for residents of Kimball Lake and Ossawinnamakee Lake in Crow Wing County. The meeting will be held August 22, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ideal Township Community Center, 35458 Butternut Point Rd, Pequot Lakes, Minn.

The DNR plans to remove a navigational barrier in Kimball Creek that was installed in 2004 to prevent the accidental transfer of zebra mussels from Ossawinnamakee Lake to Kimball Lake by recreational boaters.

“When the barrier was installed, we agreed we would remove the boulders to restore navigational access between the lakes if upstream Kimball Lake became infested with zebra mussels,” said DNR Ecological and Water Resources district manager, Michael Duval. “Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Kimball Lake, so we are following through with that initial commitment and want to check in with lake residents to ensure they are aware of our intentions.”

The meeting will begin with a brief presentation by DNR staff to share the background for placement of the navigation barrier and the plan to now remove the boulders that were placed in the creek. The remainder of the meeting time will be available to address questions and receive comments from lake residents.

The meeting is intended for lake residents of Kimball Lake and Ossawinnamakee Lake. While other interested individuals are welcome to attend, space in the Community Center is limited and priority seating will be given to residents of the affected lakes.

Questions about the meeting and the project can be directed to Michael Duval at the DNR’s Brainerd area office, 218-203-4353 or email michael.duval@state.mn.us.

Source: Mn DNR

One new lake confirmed after 20-county starry stonewort search

Following an organized search of 178 lakes in 20 counties by 200 trained volunteers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the invasive algae starry stonewort in Grand Lake in Stearns County. This is the first new confirmation of starry stonewort in a Minnesota lake in 2017. 

Two other Stearns County lakes were previously confirmed to have starry stonewort: Rice Lake last year and Lake Koronis in 2015. Koronis was the first Minnesota lake where starry stonewort was confirmed.

DNR invasive species specialists confirmed a light, isolated growth of starry stonewort near Grand Lake’s public access. Treatment options are being considered. To date, starry stonewort has not been eradicated from any lake in the United States.

“Although we were hoping to find no new populations, we are glad this one was discovered early, thanks to the people who participated in the coordinated search known as ‘Starry Trek,’ said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “We’re also encouraged that there hasn’t been a greater number of lakes found to have starry stonewort during this major search.”

“All but one of Minnesota’s nine cases of starry stonewort have been reported in August, when the telltale star-shaped bulbils are most abundant and visible,” Wolf said. “Now is the time for people to look.”

Information on how to identify starry stonewort can be found on the DNR’s website, and any suspicious plants should be reported to the DNR.

“We also encourage anyone interested to consider becoming part of an even larger group of trained detectors next year through University of Minnesota Extension,” Wolf said.

The Aug. 5 “Starry Trek” event was coordinated by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota DNR. A tandem event, called “AIS Snapshot Day,” involved the River Alliance of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin DNR.

Starry stonewort is an alga that can form dense mats, which can interfere with use of a lake and compete with native plants. It is most likely spread when fragments have not been properly cleaned from trailered boats, personal watercraft, docks, boat lifts, anchors or other water-related equipment.

This new confirmation is a reminder to boaters and anglers to follow Minnesota laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Details about starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species are available at mndnr.gov/ais. More information about citizen science at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center and the AIS detector program is available at aisdetectors.org.

Source: Mn DNR

Caribou Falls State Wayside on the North Shore to be temporarily closed for improvements

The Caribou Falls State Wayside on Minnesota State Highway 61 north of Little Marais, Minn. will be temporarily closed for six to eight weeks beginning mid-August while improvements are made to the site. The project will include the addition of 25 parking spaces, installation of a vault toilet, and upgrading the trail to the Caribou River to improve accessibility.

The Caribou Falls State Wayside is one of five state waysides along the North Shore that are managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). These waysides are generally parcels of land too small to be full-fledged state parks, but with cultural or natural resources that exceed most highway waysides and rest areas.

“This wayside is well-used by visitors to see the Caribou Falls, access the Superior Hiking Trail, fish for trout in the Caribou River, or take a break from driving to take in the view of Lake Superior,” said district supervisor, Christa Maxwell. “Upgrading the parking and trail accessibility will improve safety at the site and better serve the public’s needs.”

During the construction, visitors are encouraged to use the Ray Berglund State Wayside located 16 miles north on State Highway 61 as an alternate rest location. The Caribou Falls State Wayside will be signed during the closure and people are asked to avoid the construction area.

The project is funded by the Federal Transportation Alternative Program with matching dollars from the Legacy Parks & Trails Fund which was created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trail of regional or statewide significance.

Questions about the Caribou Falls State Wayside project can be directed to Christa Maxwell at the DNR’s Two Harbors area parks and trails office at 218-834-1429.

Source: Mn DNR

Minnesota Twins and DNR partner to offer free hat at three upcoming ballgames

Anyone with a 2017 Minnesota fishing or hunting license can receive a free camouflage and blaze orange Twins logo cap thanks to a special ticket offer online at mndnr.gov/twins, with the next game in this offer coming up Sunday, Aug. 20.

As part of the Minnesota DNR Days partnership with the Twins, license holders can purchase a reserved game ticket to three upcoming games and receive a special Twins cap.

Minnesota DNR Days with the Twins:

  • 1:10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, vs. Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, vs. Kansas City Royals.
  • 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 30, vs. Detroit Tigers.

Ticket prices vary by game and seat locations are either in the Field Box or Home Run Porch sections. All ticket holders under this partnership will pick up their cap at the game. Instructions for purchasing tickets are at mndnr.gov/twins.

Buy fishing and hunting licenses at any Minnesota Department of Natural Resources license agent, online with a mobile or desktop device at mndnr.gov/buyalicense, or by phone at 888-665-4236. Mobile buyers receive a text or email that serves as proof of a valid fish or game license to state conservation officers.

Source: Mn DNR

Public input sought on proposed late season deer hunt and regulations

People can give input on a proposed late season antlerless only deer hunt in southeastern Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host two public input meetings about the proposed hunt, potential dates, bag limits and other restrictions.

The first meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, in the Houston Elementary School gymnasium, 310 S. Sherman St. in Houston. The second meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, in the DNR Central Office lobby, 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul. Online input will be taken from Monday, Aug. 28, through Monday, Sept. 11.

“We want to discuss why this hunt is proposed, at both meetings. And DNR staff will explain the purpose of the proposed dates and bag limits,” said Adam Murkowski, Big Game Program leader.

The late season antlerless only hunt is being currently proposed for Saturday, Jan. 6, to Sunday, Jan. 14, concurrent with the late chronic wasting disease hunt in deer permit area 603. The deer permit areas that are proposed to be included are 346, 348 and 349 in the far southeastern corner of the state.

Populations in the three permit areas have been over the population goals established in 2014 for multiple seasons. This proposed additional late antlerless only season hunt would facilitate moving populations toward established goals and provide additional hunting opportunity. The DNR is interested in hearing from hunters, landowners and other citizens who are affected by deer in these areas.

“We are particularly interested in knowing how people feel about some of the specifics of the proposed hunt,” Murkowski said. “For instance, if the proposed hunt occurs what dates should the hunt be held to be most effective, should the hunt be limited to private land only, is a bag limit of five deer appropriate and should the hunt occur at all.”

More information about deer is available at mndnr.gov/deer.

Source: Mn DNR

DNR’s iconic state fair exhibit educates, entertains visitors

A wide range of educational displays, exhibits, presentations along with music and entertainment highlight the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ annual exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 24-Sept. 4. 

“The DNR building and surrounding park area serves as a landmark, a meeting place and a must-visit educational and entertainment destination,” said Dawn Flinn, who helps coordinate the DNR exhibit. “It’s where generations of fairgoers have created life-long memories.”

About 500,000 people visit the DNR’s building and exhibit area during the fair.

“Minnesotans are passionate about the state’s natural resources,” she said. “This is a great way for us to spread the word about how interesting, important and exciting nature is.”

This year’s DNR State Fair theme is Wonderful Water. “We’ll have displays and signs that emphasize the link between clean water and natural resources heath and recreation,” Flinn said.

What’s new?

  • Step inside a giant hiking boot surrounded by huge leaves for a unique Minnesota photo. Just imagine what it is like to experience a real Minnesota forest.
  • Wonderful Water Day, booths and presentations related to water (Sept. 1).
  • Explore a life-sized white pine tree, complete with roots a person can walk on and learn how forests create clean water.
  • Gaze upon a wall of tree cookies 11 feet tall – all native, Minnesota trees.
  • A kayak and paddleboard simulator so people can experience two of fastest growing paddle sports.
  • Interactive theater production: “Da Range – Minnesota Iron Range Comes to Life” (Aug. 28).
  • Iron “Ore” man, photo op of person dressed in a northern Minnesota clothing from early 21st century (Aug. 28).
  • Explore interactive displays to learn how to prevent spread of invasive species.
  • Small children’s nature play area with climbing boulders and rock interpretation.

Displays inside the DNR building cover a wide range of natural resource topics including state parks and trails, rocks and minerals, watersheds, aquatic invasive species, state lands and forests. People can also buy hunting and fishing licenses at the DNR building.

The outdoor fish pond and indoor fish tanks give visitors a chance learn about the different fish that call Minnesota home. This year’s exhibit features about three dozen fish species.

The DNR fire tower will be open for people who are interested in climbing the 84 steps to get a bird’s-eye view of the State Fairgrounds.

There also will be a number of presentations and musicians on the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage, the Garden Stage and the Forest Stage.

For schedule of events, visit the state fair webpage.

The DNR’s State Fair building and surrounding park area are located at the corner of Carnes Avenue and Nelson Street in Falcon Heights. It will be open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily during the fair.

Source: Mn DNR

2017 DNR State Fair exhibit fact sheet

Theme – Wonderful water 

Main building

  • Historic DNR building at State Fair is celebrating 83rd anniversary this year.
  • The 40-foot-high building opened Sept. 1, 1934.
  • Approximately 500,000 people visit DNR building and surrounding park area each year.
  • Gate tickets in 1934 cost 25 cents. Today, a regular adult admission ticket costs $14.
  • Funding came from federal and state emergency relief administration and State Fair funds.
  • Civilian Conservation Corps erected the building in less than six months using machined logs.
  • DNR building is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fish pond

  • Fish exhibit is one of State Fair’s most popular attractions.
  • Pond holds about 50,000 gallons of water. It is kidney-shaped and is about 100 feet by 50 feet.
  • Fish pond talks take place at quarter to the hour daily, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Indoor aquariums

  • There are five tanks that show fish in their native Minnesota habitat: trout of southeastern Minnesota; fish of the St. Croix River; and species of central, southern and northern Minnesota lakes.
  • Aquariums are built lower to the ground, making it easier for more guests to see the turtles, fish and other species.
  • Combined aquarium capacity of more than 5,000 gallons of water, the same amount of water the average family of four uses in a month.
  • When full, tanks weigh about 118,000 pounds or about the weight of 118 Minnesota moose.
  • Aquariums are open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fire tower

  • Specifically built for State Fair to provide a wildfire prevention message to visitors.
  • Opened in 1966 and was closed in 1978 because of safety concerns. Was repaired and reopened in 2006.
  • It is 65 feet tall and there are 84 steps from bottom to top.
  • There is no charge to climb fire tower stairs to get birds-eye view of fair.
  • Weather permitting, fire tower open daily during fair from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Land and minerals display

  • “Blast Shack” takes historical look at mining in Minnesota and features actual footage of iron ore blasted from an active mine that includes sound. Old-fashioned plunger provides kids with opportunity to get a feel of what it’s like to set off a blast.
  • “What is Under Your House,” display will allow people to check out geology/type of rocks under their house.
  • A “Minnesota Bedrock Geology Quilt” – an 84-inch wide by 108-inch long quilt using 80 colors that show the bedrock geology of Minnesota.
  • A hands-on display of Minnesota-found fossils, co-sponsored by the Science Museum of Minnesota.
  • Interactive theater production: “Da Range – Minnesota Iron Range Comes to Life” (Aug. 28).
  • “Living statue” of an iron miner available for photo opportunities on Monday, Aug. 28 from noon until 5 p.m.
  • Display open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located inside DNR State Fair building.

Camper cabin

  • Fairgoers can step inside the 24-foot by 12-foot camper cabin that’s on display.
  • Cabins are built to provide a “camping out” experience within the comfort of four walls.
  • Cabin has two sets of bunks. Also includes a picnic table and fire ring with grill.
  • There are more than 80 camper cabins available to rent in state parks and recreational areas around the state.
  • Many cabins include electricity, and some are wheelchair accessible.
  • Camper cabin display model open daily during the fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Located in DNR Park, near southwest corner of DNR building.

DNR forestry display

  • Three new interactive exhibit areas.
  • Step inside a giant hiking boot surrounded by huge leaves for a unique Minnesota photo. Just imagine what it is like to step into a real Minnesota forest!
  • Explore a life-sized white pine tree, complete with roots a person can walk on and learn how forests create clean water.
  • Gaze upon a wall of tree cookies 11 feet tall – all native, Minnesota trees.
  • Walk into a “forest” of interactive, informational trees on: forest stewardship, urban trees, forest products, fire and forests and Minnesota’s biomes.
  • Play with a puzzle of dimensional lumber to learn how much wood comes from a log.
  • Explore the tools foresters use in the woods every day – clinometer, increment borer and drip torch.
  • Exhibit is open 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. in DNR Building.

Stand-up paddleboard and kayak simulators

  • Stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking are the fastest growing paddle sports in Minnesota.
  • Simulators are free and located near the DNR fish pond.
  • Experience lasts about three minutes. All ages welcome; parental participation required for children under 8 years of age.
  • Variety of life jacket styles, including inflatables, will be available to try on.
  • Simulators open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Wall of Shame trailer – Turn in Poachers

  • Mounted animals and stories about how they were taken illegally.
  • 16-foot long lighted trailer.
  • Display located on south side of DNR building.

Wildlife Wing

  • Fairgoers can learn about Minnesota species and wildlife habitat.
  • Special sound and lighting effects help create an experience of moving from day to night and through the four seasons, as visitors walk through the display.
  • Master naturalist volunteers available to answer wildlife questions.
  • Display located in DNR building and is open daily during fair from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Invasive species display

  • Learn about the invasive species present in Minnesota.
  • Explore interactive displays to learn the actions people can take to prevent invasive species. People can clean, drain and dispose to stop aquatic invasive species and PlayCleanGo to stop invasive species on land.
  • Check out the PlayCleanGo pledge wall to pledge to clear gear to Stop Invasive Species In Your Tracks.
  • See examples of invasive animals and plants and the impacts they can have.
    Talk with DNR staff and volunteers about invasive species questions.

Smokey Bear

  • Smokey Bear is celebrating 73 years of reminding children and their parents about the dangers of wildfires.
  • Smokey Bear makes daily appearances at DNR Park at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Source: Mn DNR

Reminder: Outdoor skills workshop for women scheduled for Sept. 29 to Oct. 1

Women who want to learn outdoor skills with other women still have time to sign-up for a three-day workshop set for Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at Deep Portage Learning Center in central Minnesota. 

The weekend workshop, offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, includes classes on shooting, archery, bowhunting and more.

“Autumn is great time to come together, enjoy nature and develop new skills in a friendly and supportive environment,” said Linda Bylander, BOW coordinator. “Deep Portage is an ideal place for this because of its great mix of classrooms, a rock climbing wall, safe shooting ranges and more.”

Also offered at the workshop are classes on finding and cooking wild mushrooms, birding, pine basket making, Dutch oven cooking, orienteering, rock climbing, dressing for the outdoors, walking stick-making and beekeeping.

“Minnesota’s outdoors has so much to offer, and learning new ways to enjoy it is truly empowering and can lead to a more personally rewarding and healthy lifestyle,” Bylander said.

The workshop is designed largely for women ages 18 and up but girls ages 14 to 17 are welcome to attend with parents or guardians. Visit the BOW webpage for more information and to register.

Source: Mn DNR

DNR opens public comment period on draft PolyMet water appropriation permits

The Department of Natural Resources has opened a 30-day public comment period, Aug. 11 until Sept. 12, on draft water appropriation permits for the proposed Poly Met Mining, Inc. (PolyMet) NorthMet mining project in northeastern Minnesota.

State law directs the DNR to manage water resources to provide for reasonable use while ensuring long-term sustainability and natural resource protection.

The proposed NorthMet project would require six water appropriation permits for various construction and operation activities at the mine site and plant site. In addition to these six water appropriations permits, the project would also need six additional DNR permits, as well as several other state, federal and local permits and approvals in order to proceed.

PolyMet submitted its initial water appropriation permit applications in July 2016 and updated those applications in January 2017. PolyMet is proposing to develop a mine and associated processing facilities for the extraction of copper, nickel, and platinum group elements. If permitted, the mine would be the first of its kind in the state.

The DNR recently completed its comprehensive review of the company’s six water appropriation permit applications and considered input from state, local and tribal governments. These applications are consistent with rates and volumes evaluated and discussed in the NorthMet Environmental Impact Statement.

The DNR is now seeking public review and input on draft permit language before making any permitting decisions.

This public comment period concerns only the six draft water appropriation permits. The DNR’s review of PolyMet’s other pending applications – dam safety, public waters work, and permit to mine – is ongoing and there will be future public comment opportunities.

The DNR will accept written public comments on the draft water appropriation permits from Aug. 11 until Sept. 12. Commenters should include the words “NorthMet Water Appropriation” in the title of their comment emails and letters.

Written comments may be submitted by email to NorthMetPermitting.DNR@state.mn.us or by U.S. Mail to:

MN Department of Natural Resources
ATTN: PolyMet NorthMet Project
500 Lafayette Road N, Box 45
St. Paul, MN 55155-4045

Before proceeding with the proposed NorthMet Mining Project, PolyMet must obtain a total of 12 DNR permits as well as other state, federal, and local permits and approvals. The DNR permits and approvals that are needed include the permit to mine (including financial assurance and wetlands replacement), water appropriation permits, dam safety permits, public waters work permit, burning permit, and an endangered species takings permit.

A timeline of the permitting process is available from the DNR’s PolyMet website.

PolyMet’s water appropriation permit applications, along with DNR’s draft water appropriation permits

Source: Mn DNR

DNR closes access to Minnesota River in Jordan, citing safety concerns

The Department of Natural Resources has closed the Thompson Ferry Public Water Access on the Minnesota River in Jordan. Recent river bank slumping caused extensive damage to the boat ramp, creating unsafe conditions. 

Until the Thompson Ferry site can be repaired, boaters seeking access to the Minnesota River can use the public water accesses in the cities of Belle Plaine and Carver. The DNR does not yet know how long it will take to repair the Thompson Ferry site.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

Source: Mn DNR

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