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Friday, February 15, 2013

Winter Trails Report

Detroit Lakes
The Winter Wonderland Snowmobile Trails running through the Detroit Lakes area received 15-18 inches of snow February 10 & 11. Groomers have been out all week preparing the trails for this weekend. They are currently in excellent shape, with a 10-15 inch base. Over 250 miles of trails in the Detroit Lakes area offer views of rolling prairie to secluded woodlands with abundant wildlife to snowmobilers. Cross country skiers are also enjoying excellent conditions on trails just to the north. These trails have a 10 inch base on average. 

Pelican Rapids/Ottertail/Battle Lake
Maplewood State Park  received nearly 2 feet of snow last weekend, leaving 3 feet of snow on the ground! Grooming has been delayed by the heavy, wet snow, but all trails that are groomed by the weekend are expected to be in very good to excellent condition. At this time, conditions are fair for skiing and very good for snowmobiling. The trails have a base ranging from 10-16 inches deep. Expect some areas of drifting, especially in the open areas. Please drive with caution and watch for icy patches. The nearby Otter Tail Country Trails offer 140 miles of snowmobile trails. These trails should be fully groomed prior to the weekend, at which time they should be in very good to excellent condition. The trails have a base averaging 6 inches system-wide, with nearly a foot and a half of snow on the ground. And at Glendalough State Park, excellent conditions are reported for skiing. The base of the trails measures roughly 3 inches. These trails should be fully groomed by the weekend. Don't miss their Candlelight Ski event this Saturday, February 16. 

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Northwest Minnesota Birding Report- Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, February 14, 2013 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.
 
This has been an interesting week in the northwest, including a snowstorm, some cold weather, and some mild weather. Both birds and birders have been busy. Of interest, it appears that a mini-irruption of northern owls occurred last week in Roseau County. Reports since Sunday show diminished numbers, but of course Sunday was stormy so that may have been weather related.
 
Brad and Dee Ehlers in Otter Tail County reported 14 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS near Amor, and a male COMMON MERGANSER at the inlet to Ottertail Lake on February 11. Seven RED CROSSBILLS were seen near the diversion dam north of Fergus Falls.
 
In Mahnomen County, Kristy May reported lots of feeder birds and also both CEDAR WAXWINGS and BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS this week. A RING-NECKED PHEASANT was seen north of Waubun on US 59 on February 13, and a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS was along MN 113 west of Waubun on February 9.
 
SNOWY OWL was seen by Sandy Aubol a half miles east of Sherack along CR 21 in Polk County on February 9. She reported on February 12, that two adult BALD EAGLES were at the East Grand Forks nest site. Twelve BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were seen in East Grand Forks.
 
GREAT GRAY OWL was seen at Agassiz NWR in Marshall County on February 13 by Sean Lofgren near Parker Pool on the south side of CR 7. Lynda Knutsen reported that two SHARP-TAILED GROUSE have been visiting the headquarters feeders along with the usual winter feeder birds and several PINE GROSBEAKS. Just west of the refuge , Cliff Steinhauer reported 22 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, a BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, 25 SNOW BUNTINGS, twenty COMMON REDPOLLS, and 4 EVENING GROSBEAKS  at his feeders this week.
 
Beth Siverhus reported three NORTHERN HAWK OWLS in Beltrami County on February 9, along MN 72 at mile markers 42, 49 and 50. A BARRED OWL was observed a few miles north of Kelliher.
 
In Kittson County, Larry Wilebski reported SNOWY OWLS between Orleans and Humboldt on February 11. A GRAY PARTRIDGE was also in the area.
 
Roseau County seemed to be at the center of a small irruption of GREAT GRAY OWLS late last week with as many as 20 being reported, most from a small area north of Roseau. Since Sunday, it appears that the numbers have greatly dropped off or the owls have dispersed widely. Sandy Aubol saw a RED-TAILED HAWK north of Roseau along MN 310 on February 9. Gregg Knutsen found several GREAT GRAY OWLS northeast of Warroad on February 10.
 
In Lake of the Woods County, on February 9, Beth Siverhus found a GREAT GRAY OWL just east of Blueberry Hill campground along MN 11. 4 NORTHERN HAWK OWLS were seen along MN 72  and one was at Pitt along MN 11. On the 10th, Jeff Birchem saw two GREAT GRAY OWLS on CR 8 three miles south of Long Point. Two large flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS were seen on February 9 east of Williams along CR 11.
 
Thanks to Beth Siverhus, Brad and Dee Ehlers, Cliff Steinhauer, Gregg and Lynda Knutsen, Kristy May, Larry Wilebski, Leon Thoreson, and Sandy Aubol for their reports.
 
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at ajjoppru@mncable.net OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber's toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, February 21, 2013.
 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Upcoming Area Events

Polar Fest 
Over one week packed full of events to celebrate winter. Enjoy the One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Races, a presentation by Polar Explorer Will Steger at the Historic Holmes Theatre, a Polar Plunge into Detroit Lake, the Freeze Your Buns 5K, spectacular fireworks at the beach, Ice Tee Golf Tourney, theatre performances, curling bonspiels, hockey tourneys and Polaritaville Dance! 

Frazee Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous
On Saturday, February 23, enjoy the Frazee Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous. Watch multiple races with a mass start for all classes beginning at noon at the Hostel Hornet. That evening, head to the Holiday Beach Bar & Grill in Detroit Lakes for live music by "Boomtown." 

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

Upcoming Area Events

February 8-17, Detroit Lakes
Polar Fest 
Over one week packed full of events to celebrate winter. Enjoy the One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Races, a presentation by Polar Explorer Will Steger at the Historic Holmes Theatre, a Polar Plunge into Detroit Lake, the Freeze Your Buns 5K, spectacular fireworks at the beach, Ice Tee Golf Tourney, theatre performances, curling bonspiels, hockey tourneys and Polaritaville Dance! And don't miss the 2nd Annual Poles 'N Holes Fishing Derbyon Saturday, February 9. Bring your family and test your ice fishing skills as you try to land the largest fish, with prizes totaling over $30,000! 


February 23, Frazee
Frazee Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous
On Saturday, February 23, enjoy the Frazee Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous. Watch multiple races with a mass start for all classes beginning at noon at the Hostel Hornet. 

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Ice Fishing Report

Detroit Lakes
Roads to popular fishing spots are plowed on several area lakes. Travel off-road can be challenging and is best using a snowmobile. Some areas are experiencing some minor flooding due to heavy snow, especially in crowded areas or where ice is less than 24 inches thick. Most ice is averaging 30 inches thick, however, on most area lakes. The light is not able to penetrate as it had previously due to abundant snow cover and some action is taking place earlier than it had--the best windows are now just before dark or during mid-morning hours. Crappies can still be found in the deep basin areas in roughly 25-35 feet of water feeding on bugs. Sunnies and some crappies remain in the healthy weeds found in depths of 10-15 feet--fish just above the weeds for the best bite. Walleye are holding deeper than they were before the severe cold snap. For the most fish, check depths of 22-30 feet water off the sharp breaks. And don't miss the Poles-n-Holes Fishing Derby on the north side of Little Detroit Lake offered by the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary this Saturday, February 9 from noon until 3:00 p.m. The gate opens at 9:00 a.m. at the West Lake Drive public access. Bring your family and test your ice fishing skills as you try to land the largest fish, with prizes totaling over $30,000!

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Trails Report

Detroit Lakes
The Winter Wonderland Snowmobile Trails running through the Detroit Lakes area received 1-3 inches of snow earlier this week. The trails will be fully groomed by the weekend. They are currently in excellent shape, with a 3-8 inch base. Over 250 miles of trails in the Detroit Lakes area offer views of rolling prairie to secluded woodlands with wildlife to snowmobilers. Cross country skiers are also enjoying excellent conditions on trails just to the north. These trails have a 4-7 inch base on average. The Mountain View Recreation and East Frazee cross country ski trails have also been groomed. Ski trail conditions are excellent!

Pelican Rapids
Maplewood State Park  currently has 17 inches of snow in the woods. Six kilometers of ski trails have been groomed and skiers report excellent conditions. The trail base measures 4-5 inches. The snowmobile trails have also been groomed, and are in very good condition. The trail base measures 2-3 inches. Expect some areas of drifting, especially in the open areas. Please drive with caution and watch for icy patches.

posted by Nick Leonard at
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Northwest Minnesota Birding Report- Thursday, February 7, 2013

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, February 7, 2013 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.
 
Weather has been more normal the last few days as the moderating temperatures came in and some snow fell. Birds have been busy at the feeders.
 
Northern owls are the big news in Roseau County this week. Something of an irruption is occurring there as almost everyone reporting has mentioned GREAT GRAY OWLS and several NORTHERN HAWK OWLS along MN 310 and along other roads north and east of Roseau. Several GREAT GRAY OWLS are also being reported north of the Warroad airport this week. One BOREAL OWL was reported by Beth Siverhus in Roseau County this week, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE was also seen. Craig Mandel reported 5 LAPLAND LONGSPURS along MN 310 about two miles north of US 11.
 
Paul Clay observed 5 GRAY PARTRIDGE in the town of Hallock in Kittson County on February 2.
 
Ron Erpelding, Craig Mandel, Kelly Larson, and Mark Junghans relocated the NORTHERN HAWK OWL along Clearwater CR 30 south of US 2 on February 2. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and NORTHERN CARDINAL were seen at Kelly Larson's feeding station, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen along 340th St a half mile east of CR 30.
 
Brad McDonald saw two NORTHERN SHRIKES at Agassiz NWR in Marshall County on February 2,  one a quarter mile east and one an equal distance west of the tower. At the headquarters feeders were RUFFED GROUSE, and PINE GROSBEAKSGREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKENS and SHARP-TAILED GROUSE were seen near the southwest corner of the refuge in farm fields. TJ Bass observed about 12 EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES at Alvarado, and a flock of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS was seen. Craig Mandel's group found WILD TURKEY along CR3 south of 240 Ave NW. A NORTHERN CARDINAL was seen in Warren.
 
Shelley Steva found 6 GRAY PARTRIDGE in Pennington County near the intersection of CR 23 and CR 3 on February 3. Gary Tischer reported a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER at his home in Thief River Falls on February 1.
 
Shelley reported a BALD EAGLE halfway between Plummer and Oklee in Red Lake County on February 5. Craig Mandel's group found RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and NORTHERN SHRIKE near Huot on February 4. An AMERICAN ROBIN and BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were seen in the town of Red Lake Falls.
 
Sandy Aubol found a GOLDEN EAGLE eight miles north of East Grand Forks on MN 220 in Polk County on February 2. Two adult BALD EAGLES were seen a couple of miles east of East Grand Forks on CR 19. A SNOWY OWL was seen by Gary Tischer a half mile east of Sherack on February 3. Another was reported northwest of Angus.
 
Kristy May in Waubun, Mahnomen County reported  BALD EAGLEPILEATED WOODPECKER , female NORTHERN CARDINALCEDAR WAXWING, and BOHEMIAN WAXWING this week. On February 2, Craig Mandel's group found GRAY PARTRIDGE along MN 113, a quarter mile west of 140 Ave.
 
In Norman County, a MERLIN was found in Ada by Craig Mandel's group on February 3.
 
Linda Schumann  saw a NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL at Rainbow Resort in Becker County on February 3. Both PINE GROSBEAKS and EVENING GROSBEAKS were seen at the resort feeders. A RUFFED GROUSE was seen north of the resort.
 
Gary Otnes found three EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES near a grain elevator in Wendell just south of Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County on February 4. Several HOARY REDPOLLS are still being seen at his feeder. Brad and Dee Ehlers observed HORNED LARKS, DARK-EYED JUNCO, and a BALD EAGLE at a nest site near Fergus Falls. They also mentioned that now is a good time to photograph TRUMPETER SWANS in the Otter Tail River in downtown Fergus Falls where 50 to 100 can be found.
 
Of note, HOARY REDPOLLS were observed by Craig Mandel, Ron Erpelding, and Mark Junghans in eleven northwest counties last weekend.
 
Thanks to all who sent in sightings this week.
 
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at ajjoppru@mncable.net OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber's toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, February 14, 2013.

 

 

posted by Nick Leonard at
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Winter Trails Report

Detroit Lakes
The Winter Wonderland Snowmobile Trails running through the Detroit Lakes area received 10-13 inches of snow earlier this week. Trails are being groomed and will be fully groomed by the weekend. Trails are currently in very good to excellent condition! Over 250 miles of trails in the Detroit Lakes area offer views of rolling prairie to secluded woodlands with wildlife to snowmobilers. Don't miss the Midnite Riders Classic Old Timers' Snowmobile Run & Swap Meet held in nearby Lake Park on Saturday, February. 2. Cross country skiers are also enjoying all of the fresh snow. Area resorts report roughly 10 inches of fresh, dense snow on their trails, with a base of 5 inches after grooming. The Mountain View Recreation and East Frazee cross country ski trails have also been groomed. Ski trail conditions are considered excellent!

Pelican Rapids
Maplewood State Park  received 10-12 inches of fresh snow on January 28, leaving 16 inches of snow in the woods. Some of the ski trail system has been groomed and skiers report excellent conditions. The trail base measures 4-5 inches. The snowmobile trails are in fair condition at this time, but they should be fully groomed by the weekend at which time conditions should greatly improve. The trail bases measure 2-3 inches. Please drive with caution and watch for icy patches.

Ottertail
Otter Tail Country Trails are being groomed for snowmobiling. The trail base averages 3 inches system-wide, with 6-10 inches of snow on the ground. The northwest side of the trail system (Perham/Wolf Lake) has the best conditions.

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Northwest Minnesota Birding Report- Thursday, January 31, 2013

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, January 31, 2013 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.
 
After a few mild day, the cold has settled in to northwest Minnesota for a few days, bringing many birds to the feeders for high energy foods.
 
Ben Eckhoff  reported from Lake Carlos State Park in Douglas County that 20 PINE GROSBEAKS were seen at the park on January 26. 13 RING-NECKED PHEASANTS were also observed that day near Carlos. Two PILEATED WOODPECKERS were seen at the park on January 30.
 
Dave and Betty Hochhalter in Detroit Lakes in Becker County reported that they had seen RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERNORTHERN CARDINALPINE GROSBEAKSRED CROSSBILLS,  and HOARY REDPOLL in their area on January 25. At Rainbow Resort near Waubun, Linda Schumann reported one RUSTY BLACKBIRDCOMMON REDPOLLSPINE GROSBEAKS, and RED CROSSBILLS at the resort feeders on January 29.
 
The VARIED THRUSH is still coming to the feeders of Kathy Bresee in Moorhead, Clay County.
 
Heidi Hughes at the Audubon Center in Polk County near Warren found a BOREAL OWL there on January 25. Sandy Aubol in East Grand Forks reported a small flock of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS there on January 29.
 
In Roseau County, Heidi Hughes got a report of another BOREAL OWL hanging around the home of Gloria Borgen in Greenbush on January 31.
 
Thanks to Ben Eckhoff, Dave and Betty Hochhalter, Heidi Hughes, Kathy Bresee, Linda Schumann, and  Sandy Aubol for their reports.
 
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at ajjoppru@mncable.net OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber's toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, February 7, 2013.

posted by Nick Leonard at
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Fishing Report

Detroit Lakes
Lake travel has changed over the last few days. While there is approximately 30 inches of ice, the foot of snow received January 28 has drifted in some areas making travel more challenging. Popular fishing lakes already have roads plowed to the main fishing areas, however, if you plan to fish in areas off these roads you will need a plow truck or a snowmobile. Crappies remain active in 25-35 feet of water in the mud bottom basin areas. Sunfish are still in the weedy areas. Anglers working small jigs tipped with waxies or small plastic tails tight to the weeds are taking the most fish. Walleye are being pulled from 20-30 foot depths off the sharp breaks. Jigging spoons, Swedish pimples and buckshot rattle jigs are working well when tipped with minnow heads; also try shiners or rainbow chubs on bobbers or tip-ups. Lots of smaller walleye have been reported this week. Some large northern pike were taken last week by anglers fishing large suckers in 12-15 feet of water on several area lakes. And be sure to plan ahead for the Detroit Lakes Polar Fest, February 8-17, and the 2nd Annual Poles 'N Holes Fishing Derby, Saturday, February 9. Bring your family and test your ice fishing skills as you try to land the largest fish, with prizes totaling over $30,000! 

posted by Nick Leonard at
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