Brad Dokken is a reporter and editor of the Herald's Sunday Northland Outdoors pages. Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and joined the Herald staff in 1989. He worked as a copy editor in the features and news departments before becoming outdoors editor in 1998. He also writes a blog called Compass Points. A Roseau, Minn., native, Dokken is a graduate of Bemidji State University.
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If just the thought of forest tent caterpillars is enough to make your skin crawl, there's favorable news in the woods this spring as trees begin leafing out across the region. This year's tent caterpillar season looks pretty meek across Minnesota, forest experts say. "It's hard to know exactly, as it is every year, but we're not poised for a major outbreak or anything like that," said Mike Parisio, forest health specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji. "I'd say we're in for a pretty typical year."
If you're one of those goofball anglers thinking it would be fun to go ice fishing on Minnesota's fishing opener, prepare to be disappointed. There very likely will be ice floating around some northern Minnesota lakes come opening day, but you'll need a boat to reach it. That annual rite of spring known as the Minnesota walleye opener kicks off at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 12.
North Dakota doesn't have the anticipation of a walleye opener because fishing season is continuous, but Lake Sakakawea is looking like the go-to destination for North Dakota walleye fanatics this open-water season, biologists say.
Somebody asked me the other day if I had a favorite fish to catch—or try to catch. I had to think about that before responding. Walleyes are right up there, to be sure—I think that's almost a requirement if you live in Minnesota or North Dakota—but I'm content reeling in pretty much any fish that graces the end of my line.
To get an event in the Outdoors calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at email@example.com . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events Park vehicle passes are required for all events at North Dakota and Minnesota state parks. Vehicle passes are $7 daily and $35 annually in both states.
Continued dry conditions have prompted officials in Grand Forks County to issue a burning ban until further notice. The Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office issued a proclamation Thursday afternoon outlining the ban. Anyone willfully violating the ban will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine per incident, as well as any costs resulting from putting out the fire, the sheriff's office said.
A fire that broke out Sunday night in western Roseau County was 90 percent contained as of Tuesday morning, officials say. Known as the "County Road 7 Fire," the wildfire burned about 4,000 acres of mostly grass and swampland habitat north of Roseau County Road 7 about 15 miles northwest of Greenbush, Minn., said Christi Powers, an information officer for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids, Minn.
To get an event in the Outdoors calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 148 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursdays. Events Park vehicle passes are required for all events at North Dakota and Minnesota state parks. Vehicle passes are $7 daily and $35 annually in both states. • May 2: Red River Valley Catfish Club early sign-up night, 7 to 9 p.m., Up North Pizza Pub, East Grand Forks. Info: rrvcatfish.com or www.facebook.com/rrvcatfish .
The email arrived nearly three weeks ago, hinting at the prospect of a Minnesota walleye opener four of us who got together in 1996 will never forget. "Ice fishing on Lake of the Woods for the opener?" the subject line read. "I'd say the odds are 50/50 right now," the sender said in his email. "We should plan on re-convening our 'Opener Ice Team' for 2018, conditions allowing. "Just saying. ..." On the opening day of Minnesota's walleye season in 1996, four of us ventured onto a part of Lake of the Woods off Graceton Beach that still was very much frozen.
ON THE RAINY RIVER, Minn.—For people who fish, there's something about getting in a boat again after a long winter that's difficult to put into words. Excitement is part of it. So is anticipation. Anticipation for the sound of an outboard motor rumbling to life for the first time in months. Anticipation for the sound of water lapping against the hull of the boat, a sound as soothing as it is hypnotic.