Almanac: Lake Minnetonka to have dueling crappie contests this spring

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 17, 2012 - 10:23 PM


Photo: Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Last spring, for the first time in 43 years, there was no Lake Minnetonka crappie contest. After foundering for several years, the once-popular harbinger of spring died for lack of sponsors.

This year, there will be two Minnetonka crappie contests, just two weeks apart.

The Lions Club announced last week that it will hold a Lions Lake Minnetonka Crappie Contest on April 21, with proceeds going to the Orono and Northwest Tonka Lions Clubs.

Lions officials said they decided to hold their contest even though Minnesota Bound host Ron Schara announced in January that he would bring the crappie contest back on May 5, calling it the 44th annual Minnesota Bound Lake Minnetonka Crappie Contest.

Cort Naab, a Lions Club organizer, said he grew up on Lake Minnetonka and fished the crappie contest with his dad.

"We decided to go ahead and do it,'' he said. "The contest was always the third weekend in April. May is just too late for it,'' he said.

But Naab said he believes both contests can be successful, and an expected early ice-out could help.

Weigh-in for the Lions' contest will be at Maynard's Restaurant. Registration is $5 and can be done online at For more information, see the registration website or call 763-458-1460.

Schara's contest will be headquartered at Lord Fletcher's and will have $50,000 in prizes. Proceeds will go to Minnesota Teen Challenge and Fishing For Life. Registration is $5, and anglers can register at all Cub Food stories beginning April 1. More information is at, or call 952-545-9471.

Third duck zone?

The DNR is considering adding a third duck zone in southern Minnesota to provide additional late-season duck hunting opportunities. The agency solicited opinions in an online survey, and also held a series of public meetings around the state. Attendance at those was fairly sparse; only 10 people showed up for the last meeting Thursday night in St. Paul.

More than 2,000 hunters responded to the online survey. Overall, 61 percent supported a third duck zone, and 70 percent favor a zone that extends across southern Minnesota, perhaps using Hwy. 212 as a dividing line, rather than a zone that includes only the Mississippi River. Several at Thursday's meeting said the duck season in the southern zone should start later, rather than open for two days, then close for a period and reopen later.

If established, the boundaries would remain in effect at least until 2016.

Snaring, nontoxic shot

At the public meetings and online survey, the DNR also asked whether the public supported allowing snaring to start the Saturday nearest Oct. 30 in the farmland zone, instead of Dec. 1. About 58 percent support that change.

And the agency asked whether hunters support requiring nontoxic shot for hunting rails and snipe, which usually are found in or near water. The concern is that rail and snipe hunters are depositing lead in wetlands used by waterfowl. About 53 percent support the restriction; 45 percent oppose it.

Fly fishing expo

The recent unseasonably high temperatures probably have fly anglers thinking spring. And Tom Helgeson's Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo this week in Blaine likely will add to fishing fever. The show at the National Sports Center in Blaine runs Friday through Sunday.

Helgeson of Minneapolis, a longtime conservationist, fly-fishing advocate and journalist, created the show. He died in 2010 from cancer, but his family has continued it. Any profits go to the Tom Helgeson Legacy Fund, which supports river restoration and conservation work.

Among the highlights: free fly casting lessons, fly-tying lessons for beginners and numerous presentations, including smallmouth bass techniques, helicopter fly fishing in Alaska, muskie fishing and early season trout fishing. For more information, see

Ice fishing fades

The warm weather has caused Sportsman's Lodge near Baudette to call off ice fishing on Lake of the Woods. "We are done ice fishing for the year,'' the lodge wrote to customers. The lodge also reported that the Rainy River is open 5 miles east of Birchdale. "We anticipate it to be open by early next week at Birchdale,'' the lodge reported.

Did you know?

• Women 18 and older can try shed antler hunting 1-3 p.m. March 25 at the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills, part of the DNR's Becoming an Outdoors Woman program. Cost is $10. Contact Jane Heinks at

• A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would require the Legislature to approve the five-year management plan for Lake Mille Lacs walleye harvest developed by the DNR and Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa.

• The carcasses of two wolves apparently killed by gunshots were recovered recently near Fosston, Minn., and conservation officer Dan Malinowski is investigating.

• Conservation officer Tricia Plautz of Henning received a call from a citizen who checked an elderly person's home and found a deer had broken through the basement window and struggled on the pool table before it crawled under a bed and died.

• Snow geese and mourning doves have returned to the Benson area.

Doug Smith •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.


Denver 7:30 PM
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Denver 6:00 PM
Portland 7:00 PM
Utah 7:00 PM
Toronto 7:00 PM
Atlanta 7:30 PM
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Nashville 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 57 2nd Half 4:42
Bradley 44
Brown 65 2nd Half 2:29
Central Conn St 50
Stetson 38 2nd Half 9:00
Florida State 46
Ill-Chicago 43 2nd Half 3:19
Northwestern 54
Ohio 36 2nd Half 17:48
George Washington 47
Southern Utah 28 1st Half 4:30
Ark-Pine Bluff 16
Elon 28 1st Half 3:39
Kennesaw St 33
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Penn State
Green Bay 3:30 PM
UC Irvine
DePaul 3:30 PM
Lewis & Clark 4:00 PM
SC State 4:30 PM
Abilene Christian
Manhattan 5:00 PM
Truett-McConnell 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Citadel 5:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Ohio 5:00 PM
Ohio State
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Idaho 5:00 PM
Northern Ky
Fairfield 6:00 PM
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Oakland 6:00 PM
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:00 PM
Mercer 6:00 PM
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Columbia 6:30 PM
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
UAB 7:00 PM
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Furman 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Grambling St 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Penn 7:00 PM
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Boise State 9:30 PM
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
BYU 28 2nd Qtr 2:35
Memphis 24
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 52 2nd Half 3:52
Ohio State 84
UMBC 75 2nd Half 3:28
MD-Eastern Shore 69
Cornell 74 2nd Half 3:33
Loyola-Maryland 53
St Bonaventure 61 2nd Half 3:00
Georgetown 61
New Hampshire 49 2nd Half 3:57
Northeastern 55
Eastern Washington 35 2nd Half 16:59
Florida 27
Rice 29 1st Half 4:35
Texas Southern 21
Butler 3:05 PM
Illinois State
UC Davis 4:00 PM
(16) Stanford
Washington St 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Sacramento St 4:00 PM
San Jose St
SIU-Edwardsville 4:30 PM
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Kansas 6:05 PM
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Hampton 7:00 PM
Florida State 7:00 PM
Murray State 7:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question