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Archive for January, 2015

WHITE OTTER CASTLE

There are many lakes in Canada as we all know. One lake was always very special to me. White Otter Lake near Atikokan Canada. My dad, brother, and I fished this lake for over 15 years back years ago. This lake is known for it’s great walleye and lake trout fishing. It also has lot’s of smallmouth and some nice pike. For those who have fished this lake a number of times they probably discovered that White Otter is also known for it’s White Otter Castle. Really a fascinating structure built by one man many years ago all by his lonesome. I think I will let the video tell the story of this man in the wilderness and the castle he built. Thanks to Dan who sent me the link. Brings me many memories of the years I spent on this lake. I have some pictures of the times we had on the lake in the Fishing Up North page. Enjoy the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SueKFSvJRDE.

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THEY’RE BACK

I posted about the eagle cam before and here is an update from the DNR. The pair of eagles visiting the DNR eaglecam nest this year seems to be the same birds that saw two eaglets fledge and fly off last year. We were able to get a good view of the female’s leg-band, and it appears to be a match. As you may recall, these eagles laid their eggs during the first week of January in 2013 . In 2014 eggs were laid in mid-February [starting on Valentine’s Day]. We are seeing some activity in the nest, stick moving and sitting, but are hopeful that the recent cold temperatures [-15 F- actual air temp] will delay egg laying until later in February. Help us keep watch at http://www.webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/eagle.

WINTER TROUT FOOD

What do stream trout eat during the winter? With the expanded catch-and -release season now underway on southeastern Minnesota streams, winter anglers can expect to find insect hatches they might not have encountered before. Several members of the midge family are only present as adults in the winter, and they produce special antifreeze molecules within their bodies to tolerate frigid temperatures once they emerge from the stream. The most abundant of these midge species in southeastern Minnesota is Diamesa mendotae, which resembles a mosquito in both size and body shape. It is common to see swarms of them crawling on streamside snow banks, and a single trout may consume several hundered midges on a cold winter day.

Brachycentrus caddisflies also make up a significant portion of winter trout diets. Caddisfly larvae, often green or brown in color, detach from rocks and are picked off by trout as they drift through the water column. Aqatic amphipods, commonly known as scuds or freshwater shrimp, are another important winter food source for trout, especially in streams with abundant aquatic vegetation.

Interestingly, trout have been known to eat frogs that hibernate in many Minnesota streams. Larger trout also eat plenty of fish such as minnow, sculpin and even other trout. Mice and shrews are on the menu as well, so anglers would be wise to experiment with different size offerings. Vaughn Snook, Lanesboro assistant area fisheries supervisor, and Will French, DNR fisheries specialist.

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