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Aitkin County Rivers and Lakes Fair is June 14

AITKIN -- The 18th annual Aitkin County Rivers and Lakes Fair is scheduled for June 14, and is making a move to Aitkin High School. Presentations cover a wide variety of topics from the wildlife around us to how aquatic invasive species are affec...

AITKIN - The 18th annual Aitkin County Rivers and Lakes Fair is scheduled for June 14, and is making a move to Aitkin High School. Presentations cover a wide variety of topics from the wildlife around us to how aquatic invasive species are affecting lakes and rivers.

“Owls to Orchids: Magic and Mystery In Our Northern Bogs” will be one of the featured presentations this year. Photonaturalist Sparky Stensaas will explain why bogs are the place to find some of the most secretive boreal birds including the mythic Great Gray Owl. Through Stensaas’ HD video and still images those attending will explore black spruce and tamarack bogs. Fair-goers will meet the bird that grows snowshoes, the devious orchid that outsmarts bumblebees, and the death defying frog. The stars of the show will be some cooperative Great Gray Owls and Northern Hawk Owl families caught on HD video.

Stensaas is an author, naturalist, photographer, and publisher based in northern Minnesota. He has written five books and many articles on the natural history of the northwoods. He will share this exciting program at 10:00 a.m. and noon.

Wildlife will be featured in other programs too such as presentations and stories of local wildlife helped by “Wild and Free.” Minnesota DNR Fisheries Manager Rick Bruesewitz will explain why landing the big one has as much to do with the land as the lure, and how key habitat components can benefits fish and wildlife along the lakeshore. The Audubon Center of the Northwoods will teach about the differences and similarities between reptiles and amphibians. Various programs will start at the top of each hour, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. June 14.

Fair-goers are invited to play the “Habitat Hideout Game”, test their shooting skills with the Minnesota DNR Laser Shot System, and build a bat house or bluebird house to take home. Minnow races, face painting, fish printing, and informative exhibits are also featured.

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Returning to the fair again this year is the popular “Controlling Aquatic Invasive Species” exhibit. Do you know which exotic species are already found in Aitkin County waters? Are Asian Carp headed our way? How are zebra mussels affecting Mille Lacs Lake? The exhibit will highlight the control of these species and how to keep them from spreading throughout the county. DNR Regional Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist Rich Rezanka will be available to answer your questions.

The Aitkin County Rivers and Lake Fair will offer family programs, a lead free tackle exchange, live fish from local lakes and rivers, exhibits by numerous state and local organizations, and lunch for only $1.50. The event is presented free of charge, and will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 14, at the Aitkin High School. For more information, or a complete listing of programs, call the Aitkin County SWCD at (218) 927-6565, or visit www.aitkincountyswcd.org .

 

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