Voyageur Quote: "Spring is the time for cleansing the earth and soul when fresh starts and new beginnings are made possible by the sun's healing touch."  Susan MP Prom

 

Ice Out!  

 

  

Weather Report

     April started out looking more like February.  We experienced a late season snowstorm on the 3rd that dropped between 8-10 inches of white stuff on the ground.  Another inch of snow fell on the 7th and snow remained on the ground until temperatures gradually increased.

     The warming trend started in the middle of April and temperatures have been holding steady with daytime highs in the 50's and 60's.  Night time temperatures are hovering near and below freezing.  

     A welcome 1-2 inches of rain fell on the 21st and 22nd.  While much of the state is in a drought our late season snowfall and recent rains have kept our area moist. 

     Mother Nature has provided sunny skies, wind and rain to help speed up the thaw.  In a matter of days the lakes will be ice free and we will be free to roam the beautiful Boundary Waters once again.   

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Wildlife Report:  The Whole Gangs Here-  Spring is one of the best times for viewing wildlife in the canoe country and on the Gunflint Trail.  It feels like all of the animals are out gathering and greeting each other after the long winter.  Moose have suddenly re-appeared,  wolf pups were spotted alongside the Trail, and even bears have been seen in the ditches.  Fox and grouse are popping up everywhere and the loons have announced their return by singing their beautiful song.  Ducks are splashing in the open water and birds are forever chatting to each other in the treetops.  All animals seem to be in motion so come on up and see them for yourself.

 

 

Pink Paddles 

How About a Pink Paddle for the Special Moms in your life this Mother's Day? 

 

  

Boundary Waters Blog

  

 

 

 

  

 

What's New? 

Time to Paddle-  The ice is off of many of the smaller canoe country wilderness lakes and before long all lakes will be ice free.  May is a wonderful time to enjoy the solitude and beauty of the Boundary Waters or Quetico Park.  The wildlife is abundant, the bugs are non-existent and the visitors are minimal.  Start the paddling season out right and plan an early season canoe trip for May. 

Check out our Specials Page for great deals and last minute vacancies.

Take a Mom Fishing for Opener- We still have openings in our cabins for the fishing opener and we'd love to have you as our guest.  Take a Mom fishing weekend is over opener this year, May 12-13th.  

 The Boundary Waters Blog Here's what readers of the Boundary Waters Blog are saying... "I just wanted to let you know that your blog is wonderful and very informative."  "Thank you for all of your helpful suggestions."  "I spent a great deal of my day reading through your archives and I look forward to reading more over the next couple months!"

 

 

Sigg 1 Liter Bottles 

Maha and Compass $20.00 plus s&h

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review:  SIGG Water Bottles-  The newest craze in water bottles is the SIGG.  These bottles are designed and manufactured in Switzerland and are eco-friendly, healthy, safe, stylish, and almost impossible to break.  

     Most people are aware that drinking water from a single use plastic bottle is not eco-friendly.  Even though the plastic bottles are recyclable most of them end up in the landfill where they take forever to biodegrade.  The SIGG is designed for multiple use and is 100% recyclable at the end of its long life. 

     Beverages consumed from a SIGG bottle do not contain dangerous particles that may have leached from the bottle.  The lining is non-toxic and due to the finish bacteria is less likely to build up when compared to a plastic bottle.  Plastic water bottles can allow chemicals to leach into the water causing a health hazard.

     The SIGG bottle is a great alternative to purchasing single use plastic bottles as well as the old reliable Nalgene.  We'll have SIGG bottles, cleaning brushes, and accessories available in our store as well as online at the Voyageur Trading Post, so give us a call, drop us an e-mail and purchase your SIGG today. 1-888-CANOEIT

 

 

 

Gypsy Moth Eggs

Voyageur Canoe Outfitters

"Where the Trail Ends Your Voyage Begins"
Mike and Sue Prom
1-888-CANOEIT
www.canoeit.com

Tell us what you think!
email:
vco@canoeit.com

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Please Forward this to all of your friends   

Spiny Water Flea  

 

 

 

 

Skill: How to Prevent the Spread of Non-Native Invasive Species      The spread of Non-Native Invasive Species in the Boundary Waters and canoe country wilderness could cause unwanted changes to the fragile eco-system.  These exotic species that occur both on the land and in the water can cause so much harm as to limit the opportunities for outdoor recreation.  Visitors to the area must educate and act on the information about NNIS in order to control or slow the spread of invasive species.  There are a number of exotic species but there are three I will discuss in detail; earthworms, the spiny water flea, and the gypsy moth.

     Earthworms did not naturally occur in Minnesota and can cause significant damage to forested areas.  They eat the leaves off of the forest floor that would normally create a spongy layer of duff that serves an important function by controlling erosion and allowing wildflowers and ferns to grow. Without this layer soil erosion occurs and small trees and ground dwelling animals are prevented from thriving in the forest. 

  • To protect the forests anglers must dispose of crawlers and unwanted bait into a garbage. It is illegal to throw crawlers onto the ground or into the water. For more dirt on the earthworm check out this site.                                                                                                  

     The ability of the Gypsy Moth to travel from one place to another while hitching a ride is how the Gypsy Moth got it's name.  Females do not fly so the only way the moths can travel is when their eggs are transported on something such as camping equipment, wheel wells, or fire wood.  Gypsy Moths can devastate an entire forest by eating all of the leaves on a tree and leaving it weak and vulnerable to disease.   Where there is one Gypsy Moth there are usually hundreds so they can cause alot of damage. 

  • In order to prevent the spread of Gypsy Moths do not bring firewood from an infested area.  Inspect wheel wells for egg masses and report any you may find.  You can learn more about the Gypsy Moth at this website.  

     The Spiny Water Flea is an invasive species that is now found in Saganaga Lake.  Once it is transported into a lake by humans it doesn't take long for it to establish itself in the new environment.  It reproduces rapidly and easily and since there aren't many predators interested in eating the barbed tail it tends to thrive.  Although it is less than a centimeter long it eats large quantities of zooplankton which diminishes the food supply for other small bait fish.  With a limited supply of food the baitfish are unable to grow adequately and some do not survive.  What this means for anglers is larger game fish may not be able to find as much food as before the Spiny Water Flea was there and their population may suffer. 

  • In order to prevent the further spread of the Spiny Water Flea anglers should be extremely careful not to transport them. Anglers should drain their live wells, clean fishing gear and lines, power wash their boats, and/or allow their boat/equipment to dry for five days after use in an infected lake.  This website has more information about the spiny water flea.

     There are a number of plants and animals that are NNIS in our area.  These fast spreading exotics can bring unwanted changes to the land or lakes in a hurry.  We must all do our part to protect our wilderness area by controlling the spread of these unwanted species. 

 

 

Eat a Smallmouth 

 

 Fishing:   Quetico Park Fishing-   Quetico Provincial Park Superintendent Robin Reilly's goal for the Quetico is to have a healthy aquatic eco-system in an "Environment as healthy as possible."  Some changes were to take place in 2007 but delays will prevent the changes from happening until 2008. 

       In 2008 the Quetico will no longer allow any live, dead, frozen, or salted bait to be used within the Park.  Only artificial lures will be allowed and hooks must be barbless or crimped back.  Some anglers fear this will hurt their fishing experience but the Park is quite confident the fish will be more than willing to bite on artificial bait.  The new artificial baits on the market do look quite convincing and get better every year so hopefully the success rate will not be impacted.

     The Quetico Park was also hoping to be lead free but for now will only strongly recommend the use of lead free jigs and tackle.  Many jigs and sinkers are made out of lead which can be fatally harmful if consumed by an animal.  Loons are susceptible to eating lead sinkers and jigs because of how they scoop rocks up from the bottom of the lake to aid in their digestion.  Eagles and other birds that eat fish can also be injured or killed if the fish has swallowed a lead lure.  We do carry a large variety of lead free tackle at Voyageur and encourage all anglers to use these items. 

     There isn't anything better than a fresh meal of fish when you're out on a canoe camping trip.  The preferred fish to eat for many anglers is the walleye. They may catch 30 smallmouth and 3 walleye in a lake and only save the walleye to eat.  The Quetico Park would like to encourage anglers to consume smallmouth bass as well so the natural balance of fish species is maintained in each of the lakes.  The fish that come from the cold, clear lakes of Canada taste remarkably similar when eaten fresh from the water so it shouldn't be a sacrifice to eat what you catch.

     The Quetico Park hopes the implementation of these practices will preserve the precious eco-system of the Quetico Park.  With the proposed changes successful fishing trips into the Quetico should continue for many years to come.  Those who love to paddle and fish the Quetico know how important it is to keep the Quetico a pristine wilderness where future generations can enjoy the same remarkable experiences year after year.     

 

 

 

 

 Thank you for reading our newsletter.  We hope you enjoy it and tell others about it. 

  Mike, Sue and the Voyageur Crew