Published June 06, 2010, 12:00 AM

Field reports: Grouse drumming count results due soon; little change expected

Ruffed grouse drumming counts should be announced within a couple of weeks by the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources. It will be interesting to see what the counts turn up.

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

Ruffed grouse drumming counts should be announced within a couple of weeks by the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources. It will be interesting to see what the counts turn up.

Last year, the counts of drumming males increased dramatically in Northeastern Minnesota and less dramatically in Northwestern Wisconsin, and it was a decent hunting season.

Martha Minchak, DNR assistant area wildlife manager in Duluth, said counts were down just slightly along seven routes in the Cloquet management area (Carlton County, southeastern St. Louis County and Pine County).

“Three were up moderately. Three were down moderately. And one was down dramatically,” Minchak said. “I think it’ll be similar to last year. There were plenty of birds out there, but the leaves held on for a long time, and when leaves left the trees and the weather turned nice, people had moved on to other things.”

Tom Rusch, DNR area wildlife manager at Tower, said he heard a lot of drumming this spring. His office, however, did not run their drumming-count routes because they were too busy fighting wildfires.

Lots of fishing contests coming up

Several fishing contests in the Duluth area will be held this coming weekend. Here’s a list of them:

  • The Duluth Sail and Power Squadron will hold its Captain’s Platter Fishing Contest June 12 on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. Cost is $15 per person or free for kids 15 and under. Contest hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for first through third places in four categories: walleye, lake trout, king (Chinook) salmon and coho salmon. Cash prizes are based on total entries but have been about $100 for first place, said Todd Carlson, commander of the squadron. Headquarters will be at the Sail and Power Squadron’s dock on Allouez Bay in Superior. Entry tickets are available at Bear’s Den, the Bait Box, Chalstrom’s, Fisherman’s Corner, Marine General Supply and Northwest Outlet.

    In addition, free vessel safety checks will be available from 6 to 9 p.m. June 11 and from 2 to 5 p.m. June 12 at the Sail and Power Squadron’s dock.

  • Grand Slam Walleye Contest: June 12, St. Louis River, Spirit Lake Marina, Duluth. Entry fee, $25. First prize, $500 cash; 25th place, $1,000 cash; 13th place, casino trip to Nevada. Proceeds go to the Boys and Girls Club of the Northland. Tickets are available at the Bait Box, Fisherman’s Corner, the Limit Bar, Mr. D’s Bar and Grill and Marine General Supply. For more information, go to or contact Tom Pfister, (218) 348-0700.

  • Take a Kid Fishing event: June 12, Fish Lake. Sponsored by Northwoods Children’s Services. Entry fee, $5. Open to kids age 4 to 18, contact Brent Wetzel, or (218) 728-7166.

  • United Northern Sportsmen’s Club Summer Fishing Contest: June 12-13, Island Lake. Entry fee, $5 donation, may be purchased at Chalstrom’s Bait and Tackle or at the UNS Clubhouse during the contest. For more information, call (218) 721-4843.

    Tagged fish contest all summer at Ashland

    Chequamegon Bay will hold its annual Tagged Fishing Contest from now though Oct. 31.

    Participants must purchase a 2010 Tagged Fishing Pin, $5, before catching a tagged fish. Twelve fish have been fitted with Department of Natural Resources tags. The top prize is $1,000 on a smallmouth bass. For more details, call the Ashland Chamber at (800) 284-9484 or check out

    Edmondson to lead photo workshops for teachers

    Duluth photographer Dudley Edmondson has been selected to lead photo workshops in Northeastern Minnesota for a new DNR project aimed at getting students outdoors.

    Edmondson is one of nine workshop leaders statewide in the just-announced “Digital Photography Bridge to Nature” project of the non-game wildlife program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and several other agencies.

    The Legislative-Citizen’s Commission on Minnesota Resources has funded the project for two years with $160,000. The project hopes to reach 1,000 teachers in 80 workshops. Teachers will then be able to check out kits of 12 digital cameras, card readers and wildlife field guides. Project organizers say they hope to reach 30,000 students.

    The workshops will teach digital photo skills and wildlife photography and will identify sites where nature photography can be conducted.

    Edmondson is a free-lance photographer and author of “The Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places” and has done extensive photography of raptors in the Duluth area.

    Funding requests sought by Heritage Council

    The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council seeks requests for funding for fiscal year 2012. The requests are due July 15. The Council anticipates recommending more than $80 million for programs that “restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.” The funds will be available beginning July 1, 2011.

    This call begins the third round of recommendations by the council. To date, more than $140 million in on-the-ground habitat programs has been appropriated.

    The Council, composed of eight citizens and four legislators, makes recommendations to the Legislature for funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The fund was established as result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment, passed in November 2008.