DNR names new assistant manager at Hayes Lake State Park

Hayes Lake State Park in northwest Minnesota has a new assistant manager, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.

Jack Pellinen began his new job June 19 and has been with the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division since 2002.

Hayes Lake State Park offers a variety of recreational options. (Minnesota DNR photo)

Hayes Lake State Park offers a variety of recreational options. (Minnesota DNR photo)

Hayes Lake State Park is located in southern Roseau County on the edge of Beltrami Island State Forest.

Pellinen began his career as a mine interpreter and parks worker at Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeast Minnesota. He became a parks worker at Bear Head Lake State Park nearly Ely, Minn., in 2008, and then the administrative specialist. He went on to work as a park specialist at Temperance River, Tettegouche, and George H. Crosby-Manitou state parks in 2013 and 2014.

Most recently, Pellinen worked as the assistant park manager at McCarthy Beach State Park.

“We are excited to have Jack with us to help manage the Northwest Region Parks and Trails operations,” said Allen Lego, manager of Lake Bronson State Park in Kittson County, which has handled management of Hayes Lake. “He brings diverse experiences to our team and will be a big asset and great addition.”

Pellinen holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from Bemidji State University. He enjoys sailing, blacksmithing, reading and playing music.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work at Hayes Lake State Park. It’s a position I’ve been working hard to obtain,” Pellinen said in a news release. “The park offers fantastic recreation opportunities and a great variety of camping options. There’s something for everyone here.”

Pellinen adds he is looking forward to learning more about the horse and ATV trails that connect to Beltrami Island State Forest via the Bemis Hill recreation area.

Minnesota grouse counts similar to last year

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said today that ruffed grouse drumming counts are similar to last year across the state.

Spring ruffed grouse counts in Minnesota are similar to last year, the Department of Natural Resources reported Monday.

That’s either good news or bad news depending on your perspective, but based on what friends and I encountered during last fall’s grouse hunting season, “similar to last year” doesn’t sound half bad.

In a news release, the DNR said this year’s survey results for ruffed grouse showed no statistical change in all regions of the state. In the northeast survey region, which is the core of grouse range in Minnesota, counts were 1.3 drums per stop; in the northwest there were 1.0 drums per stop; in the central hardwoods, 0.7 drums per stop; and in the southeast, 0.4 drums per stop.

Sharptail counts also were similar to last year, with this year’s survey tallying a statewide average of 9.8 grouse per lek, or dancing ground, which is similar to the long-term average since 1980.

The DNR’s 2015 grouse survey report, which contains information on ruffed grouse and sharp-tailed grouse, is available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/grouse.

Inaugural Scheels Boundary Battle Catfish Tournament is in the books

The team of Tim Brooks and Dave Clement weighed in a two-day total of 53.2 pounds to win the inaugural Scheels Boundary Battle Catfish Tournament held Saturday and Sunday on the Red River in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

Brooks and Clement landed $1,160 for winning the tournament. Teams could weigh in three fish each day, and 29 teams fished the tournament. Teams fished north of Riverside Dam, launching at the Whopper John Landing in Grand Forks, the first day, and south of Riverside Dam, launching at LaFave Park in East Grand Forks, the second day.

Rounding out the top five teams were:

  • Second: Darwin Lunski and Trevor Lunski, 53 pounds, $870.
  • Third: Jamie Gudajtes and Dustin Lunski, 51.6 pounds, $725; the pair also won $1,000 for heaviest weight (34.2 pounds) on the first day of the tournament.
  • Fourth: Brian Rud and Jackson Rud, 49.6 pounds, $435; they also won $1,000 for heaviest weight (32.4 pounds) on the second day of the tournament.
  • Fifth: Riley Gregoire and Tony Sirek, 48 pounds, $290.

Winning $100 Scheels gift cards for placing sixth and seventh were Dana Conners and Dick Hinrichsen with 46.4 pounds; and Andrew Vigan and Jared Kovar with 45.2 pounds.

Teams also competed for big fish honors each day. Daily winners were:

  • Day one: Tim Brooks and Dave Clement, 18 pounds, $290.
  • Day two: Brian Rud and Jackson Rud, 18.2 pounds, $290.