Welcome To LakeKabetogama.Org

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.
kabetogama-lake-map-large


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.

 Operating Hours & Seasons

Check out the operating hours & seasons for the three visitor centers of Voyageurs National Park.

Fees & Passes

Your fees benefit the park! Learn more about fees & passes that are available and how they help support Voyageurs National Park.

 Alerts & Conditions

Know before you go, check alerts & conditions before visiting the parks to assist with your trip planning.

Permits & Reservations

A variety of camping opportunities, ranger-led programs are yours to enjoy, but some activities may require a permit or reservation. Also, learn about certain activities that may require a Commercial Use Permit or Special Use Permit, such as organized gatherings or business activites.

Weather

From warm, sunny lake days to our winter wonderland temperatures, learn about average temperatures and current weather conditions of the area.

Pets

Learn about our pet-accessible areas of the park and the responsibilities as a pet owner.

 Brochures

The park offers a wide variety of brochures. From park history, to wildlife checklists, to invasive species concerns, download the same brochures you can pick up at any visitor center.

 

USGS large map, 1958, International Falls MN, Kabetogama Lake, Nett Lake
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1938 Press Photo Emmett Weakley with fish at Lake Kabetogama, Minnesota
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May Walleye Fishing

Fishing has been pretty slow everywhere on Kab. North and east winds and changing weather have really screwed things up. June has got to be better than May was. Looks like the weather will finally warm up and the winds will die down and be from the west/southwest over the weekend. I notice lots of boats by the Ram Island channel marker, but I don't know if they are catching fish or if it is a case of boats following each other because they can't find any fish. Peterson Bay has been OK for sauger in about 25' of water.

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Fishing opener is on; planning and caution urged

Ice or no ice, Minnesota’s walleye and northern pike fishing opener is Saturday, May 11.

Anglers who have traditionally headed north for the first weekend of the season should check ice conditions and the availability of public water accesses and roads leading to them. Good sources of information are bait shops, resorts and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) area offices.

Even if the ice is out, some waters traditionally open may be closed to fishing to protect fish spawning areas. Information on seasonal closures is available by following the seasonal closures link.

Water temperatures will be colder than normal even if ice is out. Frigid water can affect more than the bite; it can have dangerous and potentially fatal impacts. Anglers should exercise extra caution and wear life vests. Hypothermia occurs quickly in cold water and the shock of falling into icy water also can cause cardiac arrest, even for people in good health.

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DNR conservation officers using dogs to detect zebra mussels

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be using three zebra mussel-sniffing K-9 teams for the first time this year to help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS).

Minnesota is the second state in the country to use trained dogs to prevent the spread of AIS. They will be used throughout the state during the open water season.

A video of the dogs is available: http://youtu.be/lHk-aVQebhw.

 

“The use of K-9s is a progressive enforcement tool that will complement and support our invasive species prevention efforts,” said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director. “However, they should not overshadow the fact that preventing the spread of AIS is still everyone’s personal responsibility.”

Earlier this year, conservation officers Todd Kanieski and Travis Muyres traveled to California to learn about the country’s first program successfully utilizing mussel trained K-9’s to prevent the spread of AIS.

“A K-9 can find a mussel on a boat much faster than a human inspector,” said Kanieski.

The Minnesota mussel dogs were trained in-house for five weeks by Muyres, an experienced K-9 handler and certified K-9 unit trainer.

Muyres’ K-9 mussel team partner “Laina” is a Belgium Malinois purchased from a domestic breeder. The other teams include water resource enforcement officers Lt. Julie Siems and her K-9 partner “Brady” and Lt. Larry Hanson and his K-9 partner “Digger.” Siems’ and Hanson’s dogs are Labrador retrievers provided by animal shelters and animal rescue organizations.
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Spring Crappie On Kabetogama

You may have heard that spring crappie fishing is one of the easiest types of fishing you can ever do. However, in reality it can be rather frustrating if you don't know a few good techniques that can help you continue catching crappie after the initial spawning days are over. The first thing that you need to do is understand that this is a busy time for crappie and so they are moving around a lot. Therefore, you have to be willing to move around as well.

The fish will be in the deeper water at the start of this season and they will slowly begin to work their way to the more shallow water as spring begins to set in and the water starts to warm up. They are in search of places to spawn. When summer starts they will be headed back out to the deeper water. Knowing this information will help you figure out where the best places to fish for crappie will be. In Kabetogama, Lost Bay, Lost Lake, Sullivan Bay in the Ash River and Blue Fin Bay are some good spots to start. The deep water east of Martin Island can be hot at times.

When the weather conditions are not very favorable for the crappie you need to make it easy for them to catch the bait you are presenting to them. An example of this time would be early spring when it has been warm for a few days and then a sudden cold front moves in. This will startle the fish and they will try to return to the deeper water for comfort. It will also make them slower to bite. Therefore, if you use a technique that makes it easy for them to catch the bait during this confusing time you will catch more crappie.

One technique that seems to work really good during this time of year is called "bumping bottom" and you use a dropper rig to accomplish this technique. The way it works is by presenting the minnow to the crappie vertically with a dropper rig. Of course, to do this type of fishing you need to know where the fish are hiding out in the deep water. They will be found in ledges, rocks, stumps and similar areas.

You must present the bait by bumping it on the bottom in these locations or allowing it to hover around the openings. The best method to use is a 1/2 ounce bell sinker tied to the end of the swivel to prevent the line from twisting and a minnow will work great for the bait. It does require calm weather conditions to perform this technique or the line will be moving too fast for you to have any success.

Another technique that will require practice is leaning the difference between the fish biting and the bait brushing up against something. The reason this is so difficult is because the crappie has such a soft bite. You may get a little frustrated at first but remember with time and practice you will learn the difference.

Trolling is another crappie technique that you will find very useful for spring crappie fishing. With this technique you will align several rods in a row with the same type of line and bait on each one. Be consistent and patient and you can catch a lot of fish with this method. However, you do need to check the regulations for trolling for each lake before going out because the rules for each one may vary.

A technique that combines trolling and "bumping bottom" together is called "pushing" and it is good for catching spring crappie when they are located in the shallow water. It is a very simple technique that is accomplished by using live bait. All you need to get started are a few rods with lightweight reels positioned off the edge of the boat. Add a bell sinker and a couple hooks about a foot apart and you are ready to start fishing.

It is the best method found to get the bait in positions where the biggest fish can get to it. It allows you to put the bait right where you want it and keep it there until the crappie become interested. Remember, you must always move very slowly to use this technique correctly or you will not get the response you are hoping for.

DNR places burning restrictions on additional counties

Statewide fire conditions have led the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to place burning restrictions on additional counties.

Burning restrictions take effect Monday, May 13, at 8 a.m. in the following counties: Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau, and parts of Cass, Polk and St. Louis counties.

The portion of Polk County is south and east of County Road 6 from the Manhomen County line to state Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line. In Cass County, the restrictions affect that portion of the county south of Highway 200.  In St. Louis County, the restrictions affect the area south of a line running from Silica on the west to Central Lakes and Brimson on the east. The exact line is a township line between 55 and 56 north and includes all of township 56.

The following counties are already under burning restrictions:  Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Pope, Stearns, Todd, Wadena Washington and Wright  and southern Cass (that portion south of Highway 200). Continue reading

2014 Minnesota Fishing Opener

The 2014 Minnesota Fishing Opener is Saturday, May 10, 2014. With the way this winter is going, we might be ice fishing. If you are coming up to Kab and need some spots to try, here are a few. The west end will be the best. Try Tom Cod Bay up in the weeds in 5-6 feet with a 1/8th ounce jig and minnow. Three Sisters Island is one of the top early season spots, just look for the boats. Bald Rock Bay in 15-18 feet is a good spot. Harris Island is always a good opener spot. Fish shallow for the trophies and move deeper for the keepers. Bittersweet Island with a jig and minnow on the north side out to the channel marker is sometimes real hot. The southwest corner of the island can be good for Crappie in the evening.

May 1, 2014- Ice is real thin, with more and more open water every day.  We should be ice free or close to it by the 10th.

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Flooding Continues!

Record high water levels continue on Lake Kabetogama.  Docks, other than the floaters, are under water with water levels still rising.  Nearly everyone on the lake has suffered some damage, especially after a couple of hard winds on top of the high water.  There  is a lot of debris in the water, docks, old boats, bodies of tourists who didn't slow down, etc. so be careful.  If you are on the water in a boat, PLEASE SLOW DOWN when within 300 yards of any docks!  I watched numerous assholes yesterday come into shore at pretty fast speeds, throwing up way more wake than necessary.  The docks have been beat up enough, don't add to the problem.  I have a stockpile of rocks for just those people!  Rumor has it that some resorts are closed until the water recedes.  Call before coming.

Fishing Kab

She is watching her dock with bow in hand!

SLOW DOWN OR SHE'LL PUT AN ARROW THROUGH YOUR HULL!!!!!!

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Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report

March 3

In response to a recent lone wolf sighting in the Ash River area, Voyageurs National Park staff have rerouted sections of the park’s snowmobile trails.

The wolf appears to be alone with no pack and has followed three snowmobilers. In order to ensure visitor safety, park staff are taking precautions by monitoring the wolf and re-routing small sections of the park’s Green and Yellow Trails.

“We are taking precautions for the protection of the visitors and the wolf,” Superintendent Mike Ward said in a release. “Visitors are encouraged to continue to enjoy the winter wonderland by accessing the open trails throughout the park and multiple gateway communities.”

Temporary closures

The Green, or Voyageur, Trail from the Moose River Grade to Namakan Lake will be closed.

A short section of the Yellow, or Kettle Falls, Trail from the Green Trail and Yellow Trail connection in Moose Bay to the Orange, or Rudder Bay, Trail and the Yellow Trail connection will be closed.

Reroute

The Green Trail will be rerouted from the closure on Namakan Lake to the connection of the Yellow, or Kettle Falls, Trail and Orange, or Rudder Bay, Trail running along the south side of Big Namakan Island.

When travelling from Ash River south to Crane Lake, a visitor may take the Ash River to Crane Lake land trail. If travelling through the park, they may take the Green Trail northwest to the Rudder Bay Trail, then head northeast to the newly formed Rudder Bay Trail, Kettle Falls Trail, and Voyageur Trail connection.

When travelling from Crane Lake to Ash River, a visitor may take the Crane Lake to Ash River land trail. When travelling through the park, a visitor may take the Green Trail to the Yellow and Orange Trail connections, turn onto the Orange, or Rudder Bay, Trail until the Green Trail connection, and turn southeast to Ash River.

I saw a wolf up near the clinic in the Falls, shouldn't the DNR close those streets?:)

wolf

Release Date:  February 11, 2015

Contact:           Tawnya Schoewe, tawnya_schoewe@nps.gov, 218-283-6670

Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – Voyageurs would like to welcome the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MNUSA), who will be riding the park and area trails this weekend. Fresh snowfall this week has helped improve all trails and portages just in time for their 2015 Winter Rendezvous. Snowmobilers can enjoy the ease of traveling on groomed surfaces at Voyageurs National Park thanks in part to the park’s gateway community snowmobile clubs: International Voyageur, Ash River – Kabetogama Snowdrifters, and Voyageur Trail Society.

 

Visitors to the park can enjoy the groomed trails by visiting a scenic rock formation, Grassy Bay Cliffs. Located on Sand Point Lake between the communities of Ash River and Crane Lake, Grassy Bay received its name from being a portage that was most likely used during the fur trade. The portage was a short cut between Sand Point Lake and Namakan Lake, and its earliest map reference was in 1913 on the International Joint Commission map.

Outstanding geologic outcrops, such as Grassy Bay Cliffs, are one of the reasons Voyageurs National Park was established. Visitors to this area of the park can see a unique outcrop of the Lac La Croix biotite granite, the same rocks that make up much of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. While the geologic story of the park dates back 2.8 billion years and shows a variety of different geologic features, this outcrop shows some of the “younger” rocks of the park, “only” 2.6 billion years old. In addition to its impressive age, this rock outcrop reaches more than 80 feet high and is truly a scenic experience.

Please remember the snowmobile speed limit within the park is 45 mph on frozen lake surfaces and 25 mph on all overland portages. Speed limit signs are posted at trailheads and portages.  The speed limit for the ice road is 30 mph.

 

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DNR Lake Kabetogama Info

Status of the Fishery (as of 06/12/2010)

Spring came early in 2010 and while it was not a particularly warm summer it did provide an extended growing season and an early start for many of Lake Kabetogama's fish species. Record early ice outs in the area and only one cold snap during the month of May allowed Kabetogama's black crappie and smallmouth bass to spawn successfully. Low water levels in early spring deprived northern pike and
perhaps perch of the vegetation preferred for spawning which may have delayed or reduced the success of those species spawning efforts. Strong year-classes of walleye are not occurring as frequently as they once were. While at this time we are unsure of the cause, high juvenile mortality appears to be affecting walleye recruitment and therefore production of strong year-classes.
This high juvenile mortality has dropped considerably in the last two years, but the effects of that decrease may take several years to become apparent in the walleye community of Lake  Kabetogama. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

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Lake Kabetogama Ice Road

The Park Service will have the ice road from Lake Kabetogama Visitor Center to the Ash River Visitor Center again this winter, approximately 9 miles. This has really opened up some new areas for ice fishing. We fished around Chase Island one day last winter and had great walleye action. The Ash River opening has been great in the past for walleye and crappie;try from 40-42' of water. I noticed a couple of permanent houses up their last year. The east end of Cuculus Island and south of Headlight have also been pretty good in previous winters.

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