Construction to begin at Camden State Park

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Bridges to be replaced over Redwood River

Visitors at Camden State Park can expect parts of the park to be closed temporarily during upcoming bridge construction projects. 

Work to replace three bridges on Lyon County Road 83, which runs through Camden State Park, is set to begin on Monday, Oct. 9, and is scheduled to be complete before June 1, 2018. While County Road 83 is closed for construction, there will be no access to the park’s beach, north picnic area and lower campground.

The outdated bridges were deemed structurally deficient and will be replaced with higher and longer bridges, eliminating bottlenecks the old bridges created during high water events along the Redwood River.

The bridges will not only improve safety and river flows, but will also be aesthetically pleasing, fitting in with the overall look of the park.

“The stone imprint designs that are planned on the bridge abutments will look consistent with many of the park’s structures that are made of stone,” said Camden State Park Manager Bill Dinesen. Those structures were built in the 1930s by Veterans Conservation Corp workers.

The three bridges slated for replacement were moved to Camden State Park between 1986 and 1990, however the bridges were used elsewhere when they were first built in 1925 and 1931.

Source: Mn DNR

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Minnesota state parks and trails and HealthPartners celebrate new ‘park prescription’ partnership

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Following a growing national trend, physicians at some Twin Cities HealthPartners hospitals and clinics are encouraging their patients to get active at Minnesota state parks and trails. 

They’re prescribing a healthy dose of kayaking, archery, fishing, geocaching, hiking, biking, and more at a special event on Saturday, Oct. 7, at William O’Brien State Park, about 20 minutes north of Stillwater via Highway 95.

The event celebrates a new pilot partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the local health care provider.

“William O’Brien State Park is excited to host this event with HealthPartners,” said Park Manager Wayne Boerner. “We hope this will show people that you don’t always have to hop on the treadmill or drive your kids to practice to be healthy. You can simply take a walk in the woods together.”

Since early September, physicians at HealthPartners hospitals and clinics within the St. Croix River Valley have been giving out “PowerUp in the Parks” guides to families at well-child visits, reminding families that parks and trails are fun and affordable destinations to get healthy and be happy.

“For kids and families, playing outdoors benefits body and the brain. That is why we are excited to be partnering with Minnesota state parks and trails to bring the PowerUp in the Parks prescription to our HealthPartners clinics in the St. Croix Valley,” said Marna Canterbury, director of community health for HealthPartners. “It makes an impact on kids when their medical provider talks to them about how important and fun it is to get outside and play.”

Activities will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the day-use area near Lake Alice, and free transportation will be provided. One bus will depart from Stillwater Medical Group (Stillwater Campus) at 9:30 a.m. and return by 1:30 p.m. A second bus will depart from Amery High School (North Lot) at 9 a.m. and return by 2 p.m. Bus riders receive free park entry. Park entry fees ($7/day or $35/year) still apply to attendees not riding the bus.

Event registration is recommended. Find more event details and the registration form at

Minnesota is among the first states in the country to launch a park prescription project. Learn more at

If patients and families respond well to this pilot, the DNR hopes to take the partnership statewide or build additional partnerships to help the state become healthier.

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


About Minnesota state parks and trails
Minnesota state parks and trails is a statewide outdoor recreation system that includes 75 state parks and recreation areas, more than 1,300 miles of state trails, countless water recreation opportunities, and much more. Visit to learn more.

About PowerUp
PowerUp and BearPower are community-wide youth health initiatives that work to make it easy, fun and popular to eat better and move more, so that youth can reach their full potential.  It is supported by a designated fund of the Lakeview Health Foundation in partnership with HealthPartners. It operates across the St. Croix Valley in the region served by the area HealthPartners hospitals and clinics (Amery Hospital & Clinic, Hudson Hospital & Clinic, Lakeview Hospital, Stillwater Medical Group and Westfields Hospital & Clinic).

Source: Mn DNR

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DNR makes progress on conservation and outdoor recreation goals

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The Department of Natural Resources continues to make progress on its goals spanning many areas of conservation and outdoor recreation, from hunter recruitment and environmental permitting to fire management and wildlife monitoring. 

“Our mission is to steward Minnesota’s waters, lands and habitats for current and future generations,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “Through scientifically-based management of our natural resources and by setting ambitious but achievable goals, we can work with partners to achieve great outcomes.”

The DNR’s achievements are detailed on the agency’s performance and accountability reporting website, which tracks the DNR’s progress toward achieving conservation goals through 87 performance measurements and targets.

The DNR has been setting targets and tracking progress for most of these metrics for over a decade. Measurements on the website cover all aspects of the agency’s work.

Some examples of significant results include:

  • The number of visits and overnight guests to Minnesota state parks and recreation areas climbed 10 percent between 2015 and 2016 to 10.3 million visits. Sales of one-day and year-round permits continue to steadily increase. To strengthen the connection of Minnesotans to the outdoors, the DNR continues to innovate as the agency increases its understanding of recreational needs and motivations, builds partnerships, and expands successful programs.
  • Over 51,000 students participated in DNR’s safety courses during fiscal year 2016, a 19 percent increase from the previous year. The DNR provides a number of courses – like firearm and snowmobile safety – to introduce new and existing users to recreational opportunities, and encourage safe and responsible use of Minnesota’s resources.
  • Thirty-one homes and businesses were removed from floodplains to prevent flood damage between 2015 and the present. The DNR and communities are now spared the future expense and danger of protecting them when floods do occur. The cumulative number of buildings removed since 1995 is 2,826. In addition to providing funds to communities to buy and remove flood-prone buildings, the DNR provides data for flood forecasting and promotes sound land-use in floodplain areas.
  • DNR facilities and fleet emitted greenhouse gases totaling 23,429 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2016. Facilities and fleet emissions have decreased 14.5 percent since 2010. The DNR aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent from 2010 levels by 2020.
  • The DNR re-inventoried over 126,000 acres of its forest lands. Over the last decade, over one million acres have been inventoried. Forests change as they grow and age, and as they experience fire, windstorms, harvest, and other issues. An updated inventory is essential for tracking these changes and providing information for making sound forest management decisions.

The DNR updates the performance and accountability website annually, and the agency will work with interest groups, the public, and elected officials in providing important context for these measurements as well as strategic advice on how to best achieve Minnesota’s conservation goals and targets.

Explore the Performance and Accountability Reporting website.

View the Conservation Agenda: DNR’s 10-year Strategic Plan.

Source: Mn DNR

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Apply now to serve on DNR fish work groups

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Volunteers can apply to join one of the citizen-agency work groups that discuss how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages fish.
There are individual work groups for bass, catfish, panfish and walleye, and one focused on both northern pike and muskellunge. New members are needed for all of these work groups except the panfish group.

“Fisheries work group members have valuable discussions about topics like fish habitat, bag limits, water quality, fishing’s ties to local economies and angler trends,” said Don Pereira, DNR fisheries chief. “These groups improve DNR’s relationship with citizens and they go in-depth on fisheries issues and angler points of view.”

Volunteers can apply to one of the groups from Monday, Oct. 2, to Monday, Oct. 30. Each group of about 15 people will include volunteers and DNR staff who meet two or three times per year to discuss new research, population, harvest trends and fisheries management. Meetings average three to four hours, not including travel time. Applicants must be Minnesota residents age 18 or older.

Participants will be selected by the DNR and can serve a term of either two or three years. The groups are advisory and do not make decisions on policy or fish management. For more information or an application form, visit or call 651-259-5182.

Source: Mn DNR

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Michael Sieve wins DNR pheasant habitat stamp contest

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Rushford artist Michael Sieve won the Minnesota Pheasant Habitat Stamp contest. The painting was selected by judges from among 15 submissions for the annual contest sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Sieve is a first-time winner of the pheasant stamp contest and his painting will be featured on the 2018 pheasant habitat stamp.

The pheasant stamp validation for hunting is $7.50 and is required for pheasant hunters ages 18 to 64. For an extra 75 cents, purchasers can receive the validation as well as the pictorial stamp in the mail. It also is sold as a collectible. Revenue from stamp sales is dedicated to pheasant habitat management and protection.

Seven entries advanced as finalists and were selected Sept. 21 at DNR headquarters in St. Paul. Other finalists were Thomas Miller, second place; and Edward DuRose, third place.

The DNR offers no prizes for the stamp contest winner, but the winning artist retains the right to reproduce the work. The 2018 pheasant stamp will be available for sale in March.

Source: Mn DNR

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Zebra mussels confirmed in Grant County’s Elk Lake

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Numerous juvenile zebra mussels near public beach

The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in Elk Lake, in west-central Minnesota’s Grant County. 

Maintenance staff with the city of Hoffman contacted the DNR when they found suspected zebra mussels on cement blocks anchoring buoys near a public beach. DNR staff confirmed juvenile zebra mussels scattered about a quarter mile from the initial report location.

Water from Elk Lake flows north toward Spring Lake, but the outlet is currently dry. As a connected water, Spring Lake and other connected lakes may also be added to the infested waters list.

Zebra mussels can compete with native species for food and habitat, cut the feet of swimmers, reduce the performance of boat motors, and cause expensive damage to water intake pipes.

Whether or not a lake is listed as infested, Minnesota law requires boaters and anglers to:

  • Clean watercraft of aquatic plants and prohibited invasive species.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keeping them out during transport.
  • 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.

People should contact area DNR aquatic invasive species specialist if they think they have found zebra mussels or any other invasive species that has not already been confirmed in a lake.

More information is available on the aquatic invasive species page.

Source: Mn DNR

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Drowning On Lake Kabetogama

An Illinois man drowned and his fishing buddy was arrested Wednesday following a boating accident on Lake Kabetogama .

Stanislaw Kozaczka, 55, Harwood Heights, Ill., was arrested for criminal vehicular operation — alcohol (0.09, barely 3 beers)— resulting in death after Wlodzimierz Dziechciowski, 66, Chicago, fell out of the boat Kozaczka was driving.

Kozaczka was lodged at the St. Louis County Jail in Hibbing pending formal charges by the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office.

Kozaczka told the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office that at nearly 5 p.m. the boat struck the wake of another boat (did they check blood alcohol of the driver of the big boat that nearly swamped them?) and Dziechciowski fell overboard. He said with the help of a passerby, he was able to pull the unconscious Dziechciowski from the water and back into the boat, and they traveled to Park Point Resort where they made a 911 call for help.

Medical staff responded to the scene where they provided life-saving efforts, but Dziechciowski was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of death is pending autopsy results by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Anoka.

The incident remains under investigation by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, which was was assisted by the Kabetogama Fire & First Responders, International Falls Ambulance Service, Life Link air medical, St. Louis County Rescue Squad, Kabetogama Commercial Club, Rocky Ledge Bar and Grill, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bill Roden, my dog and assorted others.

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DNR Lake Kabetogama Info Including Test Netting Data


DNR Lake Kabetogama Info Including Test Netting Data

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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New Owners at the Gateway Store

New owners are Jason and Robyn from Park Point Resort

Gateway General Store

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June Crappie’s

We were able to find some crappie yesterday, June 7th between the storms and wind.  We ducked in behind Cutover to get out of the wind and anchored just off Nagurski Point in the Rock Garden area.  We were fishing in about 20-25 with slip bobbers waiting for the weather to calm down and started catching crappies on a jig and fathead.  Another spot that has started is along the SW side of Bittersweet Island right at dark.  Try an Uncle Buck Crappie Killer and bobber right in close by the weeds.  Some nights are really good, with some occasional 14-15" fish.  Bittersweet is real close to Woodfrog campground.


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