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DULUTH, Minn. — Time is running out this winter for Lake Superior to ice over or even build enough ice to jig for lake trout off Duluth or walk to the sea caves near Bayfield. Lake Superior was only an estimated 14 percent ice-covered as of Wednesday, Jan. 31, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. The office uses temperature-sensing satellite data to estimate ice cover. A warmer, windy trend over the past two weeks has helped keep the big lake from forming more ice.
DULUTH — In yet another effort to untangle the mystery behind Minnesota's diminished moose population, renowned wolf researcher David Mech is reporting a stark correlation between wolf population levels and survival of moose calves. Mech was the lead author of a research paper published online this January in the journal Wildlife Society Bulletin that found rapidly increasing wolf numbers in Northeastern Minnesota from 2001 to 2009 coincided with the rapid demise of moose in the region — from nearly 9,000 moose in 2006 to fewer than 4,000 in recent winters.
DULUTH, Minn.—Some of the Lake Superior region's last herd of caribou got a free helicopter ride over the weekend as Ontario wildlife authorities rush to save at least some of the animals from certain death at the hands of wolves. Seven caribou, one male and six females, were tranquilized and taken aboard helicopters from Michipicoten Island on Lake Superior to the Slate Islands, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
ST. PAUL — Dave Quiser decided to go for a ride on Christmas afternoon in hopes of finding a grouse or two along the back roads north of his home near Cook, Minn. But instead the retired St. Louis County sheriff's deputy came close to losing his life in 30-below-zero temperatures. He'll be lucky now if he doesn't lose any fingers or toes due to severe frostbite. He was listed in serious condition Wednesday, Dec. 26, in the burn unit of Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
The last few Lake Superior woodland caribou may be on the brink of extirpation thanks to the freakishly cold winter of 2014 and hungry wolves decimating caribou herds in their last two holdouts. While wildlife enthusiasts mourn the loss of the last remaining wolves on Isle Royale, the opposite problem is happening on Ontario's Lake Superior islands just 100 miles or so away: Too many wolves for caribou to survive.
ELY, Minn.—A proposal to allow motorized wheelchairs as well as bikes, carts and wheelbarrows in federal wilderness areas — potentially including the Boundary Waters and Isle Royale — is advancing in Washington. The U.S. House Subcommittee on Federal Lands is scheduled to hold hearing Thursday on H.R 1349 that could open 110 million acres of U.S. wilderness to mountain bikes and other wheeled devices.
Two Minnesota anglers learned the hard way that Ontario doesn't mess around when it comes to fish and game law violations and big fines. Russell R. Sikkila Jr. of Chisholm was fined $800 (Canadian dollars) for trying to sneak a dozen leeches into Sand Point Lake, while Carl W. Brandt of Forest Lake was fined $1,500 for hiding bags of leeches in a worm cooler as he crossed the border at Fort Frances. Both men pleaded guilty to smuggling leeches into Ontario in violation of the import ban on most live bait. The cases were heard last week in court in Fort Frances.
DULUTH, Minn. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering using sand dredged from the Duluth-Superior Harbor to resupply rapidly eroding Lake Superior beaches along Minnesota Point. The erosion problem, spurred by near-record-high lake levels and made worse during the big lake's epic storms, has eaten away hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of sand — reaching so far onto shore that mature trees in the Minnesota Point forest are falling into the lake.
DULUTH—Two Duluth-area conservation officers chased down two suspected poachers Saturday night, Oct. 21, in what became a haunting tale of paranormal behavior. Conservation officers Andy Schmidt and Kipp Duncan, who patrol the Duluth area for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, were staking out a cemetery near where there had been recent complaints of people "shining" deer.
DULUTH — Video shows Dennis Edlund driving his car out of the parking lot at Gateway Towers in downtown Duluth and onto Michigan Street at 5:13 p.m. on June 2. Edlund, a railroad buff, had been visiting the train museum at the Depot, and apparently took a ride on an excursion train. He was on his way home to Centerville, Minnesota, in the northern Twin Cities suburbs.