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DULUTH — It has been the April of our cold discontent and the impacts of our frigid weather so far are going to last well into May, with near record late ice-outs expected across the Northland. That means if you have plans to fish open-water lakes in far northern Minnesota on May 12 — that's less than four weeks away now — you may want to remain flexible on where and how you fish. Maybe try a river. Or bring an auger.
DULUTH—The Kawishiwi River near Ely, Minn., which flows out of and then back into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on its way north, has again made a list of "most endangered" rivers in the U.S. The environmental advocacy group American Rivers said the Kawishiwi faces imminent peril from the proposed Twin Metals copper mine, which would be located along the river, just outside the federal wilderness.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — The first zebra mussel babies, called veligers, were confirmed in Lake Winnibigoshish in 2012. By 2016 the first adult mussels were spotted. By 2018 the invasive filter-feeders are everywhere in the lake, located west of Grand Rapids. "They've just exploded in number in just a couple years. It's amazing. They're on every smooth substrate down there," said Gerry Albert, Lake Winnibigoshish large-lakes fisheries specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
VIRGINIA, Minn. — James Larson says he drives past a lake near his home in Aurora, Minnesota, and, if the rainfall has been right, sees a flourishing stand of wild rice. "Every year it gets thicker and thicker and thicker," said Larson, a union employee at United Taconite. Larson's comments joined a chorus of Iron Range residents, business and civic leaders who asked state Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter to reject the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's proposed rule to limit sulfate and sulfides in waters where wild rice grows.
DULUTH — Drivers on Minnesota highways are slightly more likely to hit a deer this year than last according to an annual assessment by State Farm Insurance. The company said an estimated 1-in-74 Minnesota drivers will hit a deer or other large animal this year, up from about 1-in-80 drivers in 2016. Minnesota retained its rank as No. 7 among all 50 states in how likely drivers are to hit a deer on the road.
DULUTH — Minnesota's wolf population jumped 25 percent in the past year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday, Sept. 25, in large part to an increasing northern deer herd. The DNR said its annual survey showed an estimated 2,856 wolves spread among 500 packs, up from 2,278 wolves in 438 packs in the 2015-2016 survey. Wolf numbers had remained flat or declined some for several years before this year's jump.
DULUTH — Seasonal weather experts at the National Climate Prediction Center on Thursday, Sept. 21, forecast a warmer-than-average start to the coming winter but said a developing La Nina cooling of the Pacific could bring colder weather here early in 2018. The meteorologists said current trends show the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, eastern states and the southwest U.S. have a better-than-average chance of seeing above-normal temperatures from October through December. No portion of the U.S. is expected to see colder-than-normal temperatures through December.
ST. PAUL — State Auditor Rebecca Otto on Wednesday, Sept. 20, became the first and maybe only candidate for Minnesota governor to propose a state "price on carbon," part of a proposed multi-point energy independence plan that's heavy on renewable energy. Her "RenewMN" carbon tax aims to reduce carbon dioxide, the pollutant that the vast majority of scientists who study the issue say is causing global warming, but also aims to create Minnesota-based jobs in renewable energy and energy conservation industries.
DULUTH — Twenty northern Minnesota residents and tribal members will try to join environmental groups as parties directly impacted by the proposed Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The 20 have filed paperwork to join the contested case hearing set for November in the Twin Cities, a quasi-legal process that's part of Minnesota's public utility regulations.
DULUTH, MINN.—"Brady" looks like any other law enforcement officer of his rank — an eager, aggressive disposition, a long snout and wagging tail. But unlike most of his fellow K-9 officers, Brady doesn't search for illegal narcotics or bombs. The 6-year-old golden retriever mix sniffs for zebra mussels. Brady's partner, Minnesota Conservation Officer Julie Siems, was showing off Brady's skills Thursday at the Pike Lake boat landing outside Duluth. Siems hid a rock encrusted with zebra mussels in the splashwell of a fishing boat.