Fishing in Minnesota? Better buy a new license

Better get a new license if you’re going fishing  in Minnesota; 2014 fishing, game and trapping licenses expire Saturday.

This could be a point of confusion for some people, because Minnesota fishing licenses for a few years didn’t expire until the end of April.

No longer; some hunting and fishing seasons continue past the end of February when the old licenses expired, and new licenses now are required.

The exception is ice shelter permits, which remain effective through April 30.

New licenses are available at all Electronic Licensing System outlets, online at and by phone at (888) 665-4236.


Fish photo reminder

The recent cold snap — hopefully, it’s short-lived — provides an opportunity to remind anglers to be careful when photographing fish that will be released.

Jason Hamilton, a Lake Winnipeg guide who provides occasional fishing reports for the Herald, posted an item on Facebook this week reminding anglers not to pose with big fish outside in cold weather and scolding those who do.

Lake Winnipeg, of course, is a hotbed for trophy walleyes, a destination where there’s a better than 50-50 chance that anglers will catch the biggest walleye of their lives.

It’s also known for extreme cold temperatures, and that’s where photo problems can occur.

In cold weather, take those fish photos inside the heated shelter — which most of us use if we’re fishing in these extreme conditions. The photo might not be as striking and the lighting not as good, but exposing a fish to subzero temperatures will freeze its eyes and layer of protective slime in seconds.

The fish might swim away when put back down the hole, but it soon will die.

That’s an unintended consequence that easily can be prevented. Unless you plan to keep the fish, don’t take outside fish photos until temperatures improve.

EGF fundraiser showcases vintage snowmobiles

Lack of snow didn’t put a damper on Saturday’s Fourth Annual Vintage Snowmobile Day outside the Blue Moose in East Grand Forks.

Saturday’s Fourth Annual Vintage Snowmobile Day featured 115 old sleds on display outside the Blue Moose in East Grand Forks.

According to Merlyn Werner of East Grand Forks, one of the event’s organizers, 115 vintage sleds were on display along the east bank of the Red River for the vintage show, a Relay for Life fundraiser in memory of Anna Kozel, East Grand Forks, who died of cancer in 2010.

Sleds had to be manufactured in 1980 or before to be on display.

I served as a judge in the media category, and picking a winner wasn’t easy. In the end, I narrowed it down to four sleds: a restored Alouette from Garson, Man.; a restored Polaris TX300 from Ham Lake, Minn.; an Arctic Cat Puma from Bemidji; and a 1970 Arctic Cat in showroom shape owned by Wayne Kuster of Grand Forks.

A 1967 Silverline T-Bird was among the more obscure snowmobile brands on display during Saturday’s vintage snowmobile show in East Grand Forks.

In the end, I picked Kuster’s sled as the Media’s Choice winner, though it just as easily could have been any of the other three snowmobiles. There were some beautiful old sleds on display Saturday afternoon. I thought I knew my old snowmobiles fairly well, but there were a few on display Saturday I’d never heard of, including a 1967 Silverline T-Bird from Aneta, N.D.

Other winning sleds during the event were as follows:

Mayor’s Choice: Lloyd Gering, Garson, Man., restored Alouette.

Original: First, Allen Carlsrud, Twin Valley, Minn., Viking; second, Mark Olson, Devils Lake, Skiroule; third, Loren Machart, Park River, N.D., Ski-Doo 779 Blizzard.

Restored: First, Scott Wurzbacher, Ham Lake, Minn., Polaris TX300; second, John Anderson,Thief River Falls, Ski-Doo TnT; third, Jon Sundberg, Thief River Falls, Polaris  Mustang.

Youngest Participant: Mathew Klopp, Argyle Minn.

People’s Choice: Kyle Kozel, East Grand Forks, Polaris TX race sled.

Participants Choice: Jon Sundberg, Thief River Falls, Polaris Mustang.