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Outdoor Notes for April 21

Shooting sports events at Deep Portage

Fun Shoot—10 a.m. Sunday, April 28

Ssporting clays Fun Shoot, sponsored by the Deep Portage Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society. The entry fee is $50 for adults and $25 for participants under age 16. The cost includes two rounds of 50 sporting clays, as well as lunch. The shoot starts at 10 a.m., with a picnic lunch at noon and door prizes at 2 p.m.

Side by Side Shoot—9 a.m. Saturday, June 8

A fundraiser to support youth, shooting and conservation education at Deep Portage Learning Center at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 8. The shoot (160 targets, two runs of 80 birds each) is open to any gauge side-by-side shotgun. Bring your own shells. Cost is $160 per person and includes Continental breakfast from 8-9 a.m., lunch, dinner and refreshments.

Call 218-682-2325, toll-free 888-280-9908 or email portage@uslink.net for more information or to reserve a spot for either of these events. Deep Portage is located 10 miles east of Hackensack, off County 46. Visit the Deep Portage website at www.deep-portage.org for information about summer camps for kids and families.

Mission Lakes Association annual meeting is May 25

Mission Lakes Association will hold its annual meeting 9 a.m. to noon May 25 at Center Town Hall. Speaker will be Jeff Forester, executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, who will talk about Lake Improvement Districts and other topics if time permits.

Lakeshore Club announces spring events

The Lakeshore Conservation Club has announced its full slate of upcoming events for the spring season.

Sunday, April 21: Trap, Skeet and 5-Stand will be closed for the day. The rifle and handgun ranges are open for our members.

Saturday, May 4: "Teach a kid trap shooting" will be held at the range.

Saturday, May 25: League shooting starts. Get your team together and sign up with Bob at the range.

Sunday, May 26: The spring kick-off event, originally scheduled for April 13, will be held with pulled pork sandwiches available at 11 a.m. Annie Oakley game at 3 p.m.

The club's hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays until Memorial Day. The handgun and rifle range are closed during this time on Sundays.

The clubhouse will be closed on Memorial Day.

Family memberships for 2019 are still available. Applications can be obtained on the club's website, and the clubhouse and at Viking Land Harley-Davidson in Baxter. The cost is $60. Membership gives members year-round access to the rifle and handgun ranges and reduced prices for clay shooting.

DNR fisheries seeks comments on Aitkin area management plans

Citizens interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strategies for managing Aitkin area lakes and streams have until April 29th to ask questions or submit comments.

"Lake management plans lay out past management efforts, describe the current status of the fish community and set goals for what we would like to see," said Rick Bruesewitz, Aitkin area fisheries manager. "Reviewing plans gives the public an opportunity to share their insights and provide comment on fisheries management activities planned for that lake over the next five to 20 years."

Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake and stream management plans for several waters in each management area. In the Aitkin area, plans for the following lakes will be reviewed. All waters are located in Aitkin County.

• Vanduse (01-0058).

• Waukenabo (01-0136).

People can review the current plan for these lakes as well as recent fish population assessment information at the DNR's Aitkin area fisheries office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S, in Aitkin 56431. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Individuals also may call 218-429-3033 or email aitkin.fisheries@state.mn.us to obtain copies of the draft plans for review. Comments may be submitted via mail, email or phone.

Suggestions for management of any of the other lakes and streams in the Aitkin area are welcome at any time and will be considered when those plans are due for review.

The DNR's lake and stream management activities are largely funded through the sale of fishing licenses and the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Act.

DNR: Variable ice and water conditions highlight need for caution

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urges people to exercise extreme caution around bodies of water in the state, as conditions vary widely.

While some lakes and rivers — especially in the south — already are attracting boaters, many in the north remain locked in ice. Conservation officers throughout the state report conditions are changing quickly and say last week's snowfall on top of already weak ice have made things particularly precarious.

"This tends to be a dangerous time of year because people are excited to be on open water for the first time in months, or they're trying to soak up every minute of ice-top recreation before the ice melts," said Lisa Dugan, recreation safety outreach coordinator for the DNR Enforcement Division.

There have been five ice-related fatalities in Minnesota during the 2018-2019 ice season. But each year there are incidents in the waning days of the season. Last year, for example, an ATV rider died after breaking through the ice in late April.

The most effective way for people to ensure their safety, whether atop the ice or on the water, is to wear a life jacket. People who choose to venture onto ice at any time of year should always carry a pair of ice picks and check ice thickness frequently. This is particularly critical in the late season, as conditions change rapidly.

In addition, during the late season, people should double the DNR's ice thickness recommendations, which apply to new, clear ice. While ice thickness can vary widely even on the same body of water, people should avoid areas such as bridges, channels, culverts and streams.

For more information about ice safety, visit mndnr.gov/icesafety.

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