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Outdoor Notes - March 12

Maple sap, sugar and syrup demo Join museum staff for a demonstration of traditional and contemporary methods of harvesting and processing maple sap from noon to 3 p.m. March 25 at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post. Guests will observ...

Maple sap, sugar and syrup demo

Join museum staff for a demonstration of traditional and contemporary methods of harvesting and processing maple sap from noon to 3 p.m. March 25 at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post.

Guests will observe the process of gathering maple sap and boiling it into syrup and sugar. Samples of maple sugar will be available.

Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. In the event of bad weather, this event will be moved indoors.

Ice fishing shelter removal dates approaching for northern Minnesota lakes

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Ice anglers in northern Minnesota are reminded ice shelter removal dates are approaching for lakes located north of Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 2, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Because of rapidly deteriorating ice conditions, anglers may need to remove their shelters early and not wait for the deadline.

Dark houses, fish houses and portable shelters must be off the ice of inland lakes no later than midnight on March 20. For Minnesota-Canada border waters, the deadline for removal is March 31. Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier if ice conditions warrant.

Enforcement action will be taken if shelters are left after the deadline. Anglers who don't remove their shelter can be prosecuted. Conservation officers may remove the structure and confiscate or dispose of it. It is also unlawful to store or leave a shelter at a public access.

"Ice conditions are changing rapidly during this early spring thaw and anglers should not wait until the removal deadline if conditions warrant early removal," said Capt. Tom Provost, DNR Enforcement Division. "Ice shelters and their contents left on a lake too long can become irretrievable and can end up as unwanted trash in our lakes."

Anglers should also remove any refuse or litter from the lake. Wood blocks used to support a shelter or any type of anchoring device need to be removed.

After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended.

It is unlawful to improperly dispose of ice fishing shacks anywhere in the state. Anglers should check with local refuse providers or landfills for disposal of unwanted items.

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Find more information at www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/shelter.html .

Rare bird alerts and recent sightings

A harlequin duck was observed by David Brislance on March 4 in the Grand Marais Harbor. Harlequin ducks are considered "rare regulars" in Minnesota, according to Minnesota DNR news release.

On March 4, a hermit thrush was found by Jon Swanson in the Reno State Forest. These birds are considered "uncommon" in Houston County in the spring.

A red-bellied woodpecker was discovered March 3 in Cook County by David Brislance. Red-bellied woodpeckers are considered "uncommon" in Cook County in the spring.

Emerald ash borer quarantine set for southeast St. Louis County

ST. PAUL-The Minnesota Department of Agriculture this week announced it formalized a quarantine for emerald ash borer in southeast St. Louis County. The quarantine limits the movement of firewood and ash material out of the quarantined area of the county. This will reduce the risk of further spreading the tree-killing insect, according to a Department of Agriculture news release.

The quarantined area runs from Minnesota Highway 33/U.S. Highway 53 on the west to the Lake County border on the east. The northern border of the quarantine runs from U.S. Highway 53 along Three Lakes Road (County Highway 49) east to the intersection of Vermilion Trail. It then continues along the northern edge of Gnesen, North Star, and Alden townships. This extends south to the Carlton County/state of Wisconsin border.

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The biggest risk of spreading the insect comes from people unknowingly moving firewood or other ash products harboring larvae. There are three easy steps Minnesotans can take to keep emerald ash borer from spreading:

โ€ข Don't transport firewood. Buy firewood locally from approved vendors, and burn it where you buy it;

โ€ข Be aware of the quarantine restrictions. Those living in a quarantined county, should be aware of the restrictions on movement of products such as ash trees, wood chips, and firewood; and,

โ€ข Watch ash trees for infestation. If people think their ash tree is infested, go to www.mda.state.mn.us/eab and use the guide "Does my tree have emerald ash borer?"

12th annual Family Education Day

See the majestic bald eagle and other raptors at the annual Family Education Day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., March 18 at the Northland Arboretum.

Learn about the role raptors play in the environment, the key features of all raptors and how they differ from other birds.

Wild & Free may show up to hold and release a raptor if any are ready to be released.

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The Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota in the past has brought in an eagle, a falcon, a hawk and an owl for all to see and learn about.

No registration is necessary, for cost and more details contact the Northland Arboretum at 218-829-8770.

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