Bald eagles are returning to state early this year

The eagles have landed — at least some of them have, with more on the way.

Minnesota's mild winter has resulted in an earlier-than-usual return by the state's bald eagle population, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Some eagles already have been spotted along the Minnesota River, said Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer, a DNR wildlife specialist. In Minnesota, the biggest migrations tend to be along the Minnesota River corridor, the North Shore of Lake Superior and around Lake Pepin in southeastern Minnesota, she said.

Only Florida and Alaska have greater nesting populations of bald eagles than Minnesota. Researchers have estimated there are more than 1,300 active nests in the state.

John Reinan


Development continues city's waterfront crawl

Duluth is poised to expand its commercial development along the harbor.

After the high-end Pier B Resort opened last year on the site of a former cement factory next to Bayfront Festival Park, city leaders are recommending the resort's lead developers get access to come up with a proposal for the industrial site next door, referred to as Lot D.

The 12-acre parcel, owned by the Duluth Economic Development Authority, features 1,500 feet of water frontage and a view of the Aerial Lift Bridge. It formerly housed a storage and trucking facility for a local food company.

City leaders want a proposal for the site to include "a mixture of commercial use, unique retail, some housing, and is meant to be a waterfront destination venue with family friendly attractions," according to a city announcement.

Pam Louwagie

Northern Minnesota

DNR: Time to clear ice shelters from lakes

With ice conditions deteriorating on northern Minnesota lakes, the state Department of Natural Resources is reminding anglers to get their shelters off the lakes even earlier this year.

North of Hwy. 200 and U.S. Hwy. 2 in northern Minnesota, dark houses, fish houses and portable shelters must be off the ice of inland lakes no later than midnight on Monday, March 20. Along the Minnesota-Canada border waters, the deadline for removal is March 31.

But after an unusually warm winter, recent rains and high winds, metro-area lakes like Minnetonka are already approaching ice-out, and DNR officials are urging anglers farther north to take action.

"Ice conditions are changing rapidly during this early spring thaw and anglers should not wait until the removal deadline if conditions warrant early removal," DNR Enforcement Division Capt. Tom Provost said. "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 who don't remove their shelters could be prosecuted. For more information, visit: www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/shelter.html.

Jennifer Brooks