articles from May, 1995 newsletter:

** President's Message
** 27th Annual Dinner Meeting ... August 5
** Status of Fish Populations in Lake Vermilion
** Orconectes Rusticus
** The Crayfish Lineage
** It's the Law
** The Recipe Corner
** New Shore Lunch / Picnic Sites Well Received
** Loon Lover's Digest
** The Environment, the Individual and Lake Vermilion
** The Monofilament Line . . .
** Membership Notes
** Thank You, Charter Members!
** Rate Your Cabin Against Wildfire
** Summer Most Deadly on Record for Water Scooters
** Buoy PIacement and Maintenance

President's Message

I'LL DO IT. Three simple words. So easy to say. We've all said those words at one time or other. Some of us have said them many times. And what have they done to us? They have put us at long, late-night meetings or weekends doing work that we didn't really have time for. They've gotten us out of bed early in the morning to go down to the hatchery to wrestle flopping, slimy suckers with frozen fingers or for a boat ride on a day best spent curled around a hot cup of coffee looking out the kitchen window.
But let's ask that question a little differently. What have those three words done for us? Individually they've given us the opportunity to meet some pretty nice people. They've given us a chance to express our opinions on issues and influence actions on things we're concerned about. And as a Club, they've allowed us to accomplish all the good things we've done. Where else can you make some calls and get 50 or so people out on a lake counting birds? Sounds loony to me! Or get people to watch over and maintain a flashing light on some lonely point to aid people they don't even know? Where else can you get a bunch of people to get up real early to sell a bucket of suckers to a crazier bunch of people who got there even before the first bunch? Or run around half the lake collecting samples of water, only to pass them on with the sampling gear to another group to do the same thing on the other half of the lake, and then passing all of it off again to someone else to drive them 30 miles to a refrigerator before the water samples get warm? Where do you find these kinds of people? From our Club members who have said, "I'll do it."
Given the current political climate in Washington and before long, in the State Legislature, we're to expect less and less from government. That means if we want to be successful with our Club's goals we'll have to say those 3 words even more often. That means more meetings and more Saturdays, more early mornings and more boat rides. But it also means more new friends and more chances to speak out. And as a Club, it means more influence on decisions and more power to retain control of the destiny of Lake Vermilion. It is our lake and our responsibility to keep it one of the most beautiful in North America. How about it, shall -- WE DO IT?
To the Lake, Rick Pearson

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27th Annual Dinner Meeting ... August 5

It's not too early to mark your calendar for this year's annual dinner meeting - Saturday, August 5 at the Civic Center in Tower. Plans are for a 6 p.m. buffet dinner, preceded by a social hour. Cost of the dinner will be $7 for adults and $1 for children under age 6. Dinner reservations are necessary and must be received no later than Tuesday, August 1. Please contact one of the following to make your reservations: Barb Shook, 666-2222; Vi Harris, 666-2300; Shirley Korpela, 753-3034; or Pauia Bloczynski, 7532107.
The business meeting agenda will include a board of directors election and reports of the past year's projects and activities. Members will also have an opportunity to bring up matters of personal concern regarding club business or problems around the lake. We've had a suggestion from one of our members that a door prize drawing would add interest and fun to the meeting. If you can help us with this idea - either by furnishing a nice door prize or steering us toward one -- please call Rick Pearson, 666-2353; Barb Shook, 666-2222; or Paula Bloczynski, 753-2107.

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Status of Fish Populations in Lake Vermilion

By Duane Williams, Large Lake Specialist for Lake Vermilion, MN Dept. of Natural Resources, Section of Fisheries
Lake Vermilion is part of the statewide Large Lake Sampling Program, which includes annual fish population assessments on the 10 largest lakes in Minnesota. A variety of sampling gear is used to collect the various fish species and life stages. Sampling for each gear type is conducted at the same time and place each year in order to determine population trends for the major species. Data is also collected on length, weight, age and growth for each of the major species. A summary of the 1994 fish population assessment on Lake Vermilion is presented in the balance of this report. I encourage anyone with questions about fish populations in Lake Vermilion to call me at 218-365-7280 or stop by our Ely office for a visit.
The test net catch of walleye in the fall of 1994 was 8.1 fish per net, which is below the long-time average of 12.1 fish per net. Although the walleye population has recently declined, it is still above average compared to similar-type lakes in Minnesota. The primary reasons for the recent decline in the walleye population are the declining influence of a strong 1988 year class and the lack of younger strong year classes. Walleye fishing success in 1995 will depend on a slightly better than average 1991 year class and an average 1990 year class. Most walleye from the 1990 year class (5-year-olds) will be 12-15 inches long in the spring of 1995. Most walleye from the 1991 year class (4-year-olds) will be 11-14 inches long in the spring of 1995. Walleye from the strong 1988 year class (7-year olds) will be up to 20 inches long, however, fish from this year class have been greatly diminished in the last several years and these larger filsh tend to be harder to catch. The 1992 and 1993 year classes both appear to be below average in strength, possibly due to unusually cool summers in those years. Poor reproduction in 1992 and 1993 may mean poorer than average fishing in 1996 and 1997.
Beach seining and electrofishing indicate the 1994 year class has the potential to be a good year class, however, fish from that year class will not start showing up in angler catches until 1997.
The test net catch of northern pike was 0.8 fish per net, which is near the historical average of 1.2 fish per net. The northern pike population has been very consistent over the years with very little fluctuation. The northern pike population in Lake Vermilion has tended to be slightly below average compared to similar-type lakes in Minnesota, although the average weight has been above average. All age classes of northern pike to age 8 were represented in the test net catch.
The muskie population in Lake Vermilion appears to be responding well to an intensive stocking program that was started in 1984. Recent test net catches of muskie were 0.2 fish per net for East Vermilion in 1993 and 0.1 fish per net for West Vermilion in 1994. These catches were slightly below average compared to other muskie lakes in northern Minnesota. Test net catches of muskie should improve as more year classes become mature and are susceptible to the trap nets used to sample spawning fish. The largest muskie caught in the trap nets in 1994 was 42.5 inches long and weighed 25.9 pounds. Reports from anglers and resorts also indicate the muskie population is doing well.
Because smallmouth bass are seldom caught in standard test nets, an electrofishing boat has been used since 1989 to monitor the population. The bass catch in 1994 was 24.7 fish per hour of electrofishing, which is similar to catches in recent years. All age classes of bass to age 9 were represented in the catch. Growth of smallmouth bass in Lake Vermilion is relatively slow, taking six to seven years for a bass to reach 12 inches. The test net catch of yellow perch was 29.8 fish per net, slightly above the historical average of 26.6 fish per net.
The perch population on Lake Vermilion is well above average compared to similar-type lakes in Minnesota. The perch catch was dominated by the 1992 year class, although all age classes were well represented. Lake Vermilion anglers have not paid much attention to perch in the past, however, that may be changing in the Big Bay portion of the lake. Perch in the Big Bay area have experienced an increase in size and growth recently, averaging 8.8 inches in test nets. The reason for the increased size and growth is they are apparently feeding heavily on juvenile rusty crayfish that are very abundant in that portion of the lake. Most of the perch caught in test nets in Big Bay had stomachs full of small, rusty crayfish. A number of anglers reported good catches of quality sized perch in Big Bay during the past winter.
The test net catch of bluegill was 26.0 fish per net, near the long-term average of 25.8 fish per net. Bluegill numbers have stabilized in recent years after an exceptionally high level in the late 1980s. The bluegill population on Lake Vermilion is above average compared to similar type lakes in Minnesota. The bluegill population is currently dominated by a strong 1988 year class (7-year olds), although all age classes were well represented in the catch. Bluegill from the l988 year class have been growing slower than normal, probably due to the unusually cool summers in 1992 and 1993. Most of the bluegill from the 1988 year class will be 6-7 inches long this spring and should provide excellent angling opportunities for the near future.
The test net catch of black crappie was 0.7 fish per net, below the historical average of 1.5 fish per net. The crappie population on Lake Vermilion is slightly below average compared to similar-type lakes in Minnesota, although the average size is slightly above average.
Crappie reproduction on Lake Vermilion is somewhat sporadic, with the population typically dominated by occasional strong year classes. Currently the population is dominated by a strong 1987 year class (8-year-olds) and an average 1991 year class (4-year-olds). The 1987 year class has dominated the population for a number of years, although the influence of that year class has been greatly diminished. Most of the crappie from the 1987 year class will be 12-14 inches long this spring, while crappie from the 1991 year class will be 7-9 inches long.

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Orconectes Rusticus

For more than a few years now, we here on Lake Vermilion have been forewarned and concerned about the possible invasion to our beautiful waters from certain exotic species. To date, our efforts have been centered around monitoring and educational programs. We have been somewhat successful; we have no indication of Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Watermilfoil, Water Fleas or the European Ruffe, although that possibility does certainly exist. The Ruffe has infested inland lakes within just a few miles of Vermilion. But now, our free ride may well be over. Orconectes Rusticus is among us.
The Rusty Crawfish has arrived and they are proliferating on the bottom of this lake in what may be uncontrollable numbers. Now folks, it is not to the point where they will drag us out of our beds in the middle of the night and devour us down by the boathouse. Yet, the situation is serious and we need to talk about it. One male and one female can reproduce at the rate of 40,000 per year. They are capable of reproduction within about 14 weeks.
Listed are some of the reasons why I am worried. First, "Rusty" will eat the indigenous crawfish to the extent that they will become non-existent. There is documentation they do eat game fish spawn. They are perfectly capable of eliminating what I consider to be our best fish habitat weed, the broadleaf cabbage weed. I can no longer hang a stringer of fish on my dock, not even for so much as a half-hour. The crawfish will render them useless for consumption. And they will bite you too. Rusty is very aggressive. Have you seen the little kids come flying off the dock after swishing their feet in the water? Guess who? Dogs are particularly at risk too. Just ask my springer why she no longer chases minnows.
The species grows to about three times the size of our native "craws." I had a report of one being brought into a resort that was eight inches long. That's almost a lobster! They are identified by a rust-colored spot on their sides. I can remember some fishermen from Tennessee coming up here about 10 years ago with buckets of them. The fish would not take them, so I suppose they dumped them. Now there are zillions of them in the eastern half of our lake, but they do not seem to have migrated much past Oak Narrows. Now good people, I don't know what can be done. We have been in contact with the DNR Fisheries people. They offered very little encouragement. It was not clear if the DNR considered this to be a big problem or not. It may be that nature will take its course. The sea gulls, some ducks and yellow perch will eat a few. But there is no way they can keep up. About a year ago I sent off for a trap. It costs about $25. Each morning I bait it with dry dog food. In the evening I empty it over the crest of a hill. The trap usually contains from 50 to 100 critters and I haven't even made a dent in their numbers. If you want to try this, make sure to empty the trap over a hill. Crawfish prefer to crawl down hill as they move backwards. Othewise they may beat you back to the lake. One good point is they are not bad to eat. Just boil them up in a pot of lightly-salted water. Hull them and remove one little vein, dip them in a little drawn butter. They are not as good as shrimp; but they are not 13 bucks a pound either!
See You on the Lake,

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The Crayfish Lineage

By Tim Friend, USA Today - 4/11/84
The North American crayfish has remained essentially unchanged for at least 220 million years -- making it 170 million years older than believed and turning its family tree upside down, geologists say.
Until now, the oldest known crawdads in America were 52 million years old and the earliest in the world, found in Europe, were 135 to 140 million years old. Since lobster fossils go back 200 miliion years, scientists figured crayfish evolved from lobsters.
"Now, everything we assumed about their evolution has to be thrown out the window," says geology graduate student Stephen Hasiotis, University of Colorado, Boulder, and U.S. Geological Survey.
The new find, presented last week at a meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America, suggests:
* Lobsters evolved from crayfish, which can be found all over the earth in ponds, streams and meadows and have been around since today's continents formed one giant land mass called Pangea.
* Crayfish are one of the most adaptable creatures to have roamed the earth - here before the dinosaurs and surviving their popularity as a delicacy among many human cultures and mammals, birds and fish. The crayfish made burrows in the mud just as they do today. Some were almost entirely aquatic while others lived mostly on land.
"Like the cockroach and the horseshoe crab, these guys just keep going and going," Hasiotis says.

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It's the Law

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources does not deal lightly with exotic species. In 1994 it doubled the number of hours watercraft inspectors were spending on monitoring boat ramps and boats trailered on public roads.
Also stiffer penalties were imposed for transporting exotics. Civil citations with fines, ranging from $50 to $1,000 can be issued to those found transporting Eurasian Watermilfoil or Zebra Mussels over a public road or launching a boat that has these species attached to it. The maximum civil penalties established by state legislation are:
--$150 for transporting Zebra Mussels on a public road.
--$500 for the first offense and $1,000 for the second offense for launching a watercraft into uninfested waters with Zebra Mussels or Eurasian Watermilfoil attached.
--$300 for transporting Ruffe or Rusty Crayfish on a public road.
--$100 for entering a marked Eurasian Watermilfoil area on a lake designated to be a "limited" infestation.
--$100 for damaging, removing or sinking a Eurasian Watermilfoil buoy.
Arrowhead Currents, Fall 1994

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The Recipe Corner

As this newsletter is being assembled (April 15), spring activities at the Pike River Hatchery are under way. Sportsmen's Club volunteers are there every day to assist the DNR-Fisheries personnel and to sell the rough fish (suckers) that have been netted. We sell the suckers for $5/100 pounds and that money is later used for Club projects around the lake. A few years back, when Ruth Murphy was on our board of directors, she put together a booklet of "Sucker Recipes" that we could give to our customers at the annual sucker sale. The booklet is in its second printing and is free of charge. Contact Harold Korpela (753-3034) for a copy, or pick one up at the annual meeting on August 5. Here are a few of the recipes that were submitted for our booklet:

2 quarts fish, filleted and cut into bite-size pieces
5/8 cup plain salt to each quart of fish (not iodized)
Cover with white vinegar.
Let stand 4 to 6 days in refrigerator.
Stir with hand daily.
Take out of solution and rinse in cold water thoroughly.
Use wide-mouth jars and place layers of fish and onions alternately.
Mix solution:
1 quart white vinegar
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 quart port wine
5/8-oz. pickling spice
Pour over fish in jars.
Refrigerate and let stand at least one week before using.

CANNED FISH (Mock Salmon): Certrude H. Rahikainen
Makes enough sauce for 8 pints:
1 cup catsup
1 cup vinegar
3 Tbsp. plain salt (not iodized)
1/4 cup minced onion
2 bay leaves, crumbled
Fillet and chunk suckers.
Put 1/4-cup sauce in each pint jar.
Pack fish in, leaving 1/2-inch head room.
Wipe jar rims and put canning lids on.
Place in pressure cooker for 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

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New Shore Lunch / Picnic Sites Well Received

During 1994, the Sportsmen's Club of Lake Vermilion initiated a cooperative project with the U.S. Forest Service to create two shore lunch / picnic sites on Lake Vermilion. The two sites are designated for day use only and feature docks, picnic tables, fire rings and latrines. One is located about a mile northeast of Norwegian Point on Norwegian Bay and the other is located on the north shore of the lake, north of Pine and Matson Islands, about one mile west of Glenwood Lodge. Both sites are easy to identify with signs on the liftout docks.
The Sportsmen's Club has received very positive reparts from people who have used the sites and has noted people have been very conscientious about making sure fires are out and litter is removed.
Because of this positive response, the Club has decided to pursue the creation or two more of these sites in 1995 and perhaps more in the coming years. The cost of establishing such sites, however, is high - approximately $3,000 each. For this reason the Sportsmen's Club is establishing a special Shore Lunch / Picnic Site construction and maintenance fund. Anyone wishing to make a personal or memorial contribution to this fund is asked to make their check payable to the Sportsmen's Club of Lake Vermilion and send it to:
Shore Lunch / Picnic Site Fund
8721 Raps Rd.
Cook, MN 55723
The Sportsmen's Club has also become aware of the increased use of campsites on State and Federal lands on Lake Vermilion. Many of the campsites are in poor condition and need upgrading. The Club is exploring the possibility of assuming the responsibility of inspecting and maintaining these campsites so anyone using them will have a quality experience.
Installation of docks at selected sites is also a possibility. If the Club's efforts to raise funding for the shore lunch / picnic sites is successful, the inclusion of campsites into the program would become feasible. Public input on these proposed programs, as well as contributions of money and labor, is welcomed.

A special thanks to the family and friends of Marjorie Betker, who through their generosity have established a memorial fund for the construction and maintenance of the Club's new picnic site on "Wolf Point."

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Loon Lover's Digest


The back-riding of chicks is primarily to protect against heat loss, but also serves as protection from underwater (snapping turtles or pike) or overwater (eagles) predators.
31. How high can loons fly?
According to information from radar, at least 7,000 feet. Most flights in the summer, however, are at altitudes of only several hundred feet.
32. Can loons lay more than one set of eggs a season?
Yes, if their eggs are lost to predators, loons will lay another clutch of eggs. Sometirnes loons will even nest a third time if the second batch of eggs is lost.
33. Do loons have a brood patch?
While loons do not have a featherless brood patch (an incubation hot spot), they do have an area of their breast where blood vessels in the skin increase in size during the roughly one-month incubation period. This physiological change better transfers the bird's body heat to the eggs.
34. What does the "wing flap" signify?
The "wing flap" is done by many water birds. It probably has no social significance and is simply a way to shake water out of feathers.
35. Why don't loons nest every year?
Being a long-lived bird with the potential to raise dozens of young, loons don't need to attempt a nest each year. If the conditions aren't quite right, they often forego nesting. Typically, loons nest three of every four years.
36. Do loons have accents?
No. Loons from Minnesota sound just like loons from Maine or New Hampshire.
37. What is a "rogue loon"?
The term has been given to non-territorial birds or unsuccessfull parents that wander around lakes in late summer. Occasionally, they kill other loons' chicks. This is not unusual behavior in the animal kingdom. Young, unattended birds and mammals are often killed by nonparent adults.
38. Will loon eggs die if the nest is left uncovered?
Loon eggs are susceptible to cooling. If left uncovered for long periods, the embryo could die. However, on hot days an egg might survive six or eight hours without incubation. .Typically large eggs hold heat better than small eggs, so loon eggs are better protected than the eggs of most birds.
39. Why do some loons tolerate people better than others?
It appears that loons habituate to people over time. Apparently each loon has individual characteristics regarding tolerance of disturbance.

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The Environment, the Individual and Lake Vermilion

The newspapers and TV are full of accounts of the verbal, legal and financial battles currently raging between the so-called "environmental activists" and "economic activists" over the fate of the environment. Locally, the debate revolves around such things as timber harvesting and the limitation of recreational access of public lands such as the BWCAW and Voyageurs National Park.
One side argues that people left to their own ignorance and greed will ultimately destroy the environment. The other side argues that dangers to the environment are being grossly exaggerated and that jobs and economic growth are the highest priority. As is usually the case in such struggles, the truth lies somewhere in the middle along with most of us confused and concerned people.
The key word and ultimate determining factor in how this will all play out is "people." The reality, which is often overlooked and seldom brought up in this debate, is the fact there are getting to be quite a few of us "people" living on this rather small planet. Each of us requires food, shelter and a very extensive and complex system of products and services to live our lives. Because all of these things require natural resources and lots of energy, each of us has a very significant impact on our environment. When our, seemingly insignificant, individual impact is multiplied by a few million in Minnesota or by billions world-wide, the effect "people" can have becomes obvious. Ultimately, the fate of the environment hinges not upon the protection of Spotted Owls or the creation of jobs, but how each one of us chooses to live our daily lives.
How all of this relates to Lake Vermilion occurred to me when a summer resident of the lake recently suggested to me, during a discussion of this environmental struggle, that those of us involved in the Sportsmen's Club of Lake Vermilion were what he called "active environmentalists." I hadn't heard the exact term before, but it was intended as a compliment. He defined it as someone who believes that "people," if properly educated and motivated, can and will protect their environment while carefully utilizing and enjoying it. "Active environmentalists" lead by example, personally practicing what they advocate. I feel this accurately describes our Club members. We, as members, strive to learn how to best protect Lake Vermilion's fragile ecosystem and then adjust our activities to have the least amount of impact upon it. We do our best to educate and motivate those around us too.
Our beloved Lake Vermilion, like our planet, is going to be enjoyed and utilized by an ever-growing number of people. The key to protecting its water quality and scenic beauty into the future is for more of us to become "active environmentalists." How can we accomplish this? An obvious place for us to start is to greatly increase the membership in the Sportsmen's Club of Lake Vermilion. The Club currently has about 1,500 members while there are more than 5,000 property owners on the lake. We should make it our goal to make every property owner on Lake Vermilion a member. Each one of us needs to get out and personally invite our neighbors and friends to become members and eventually . . . "active environmentalists." We can start by using the membership form on the back of this newsletter or by contacting a board member for more membership forms. Let's see how many new members we can sign up by the ANNUAL MEETING in August.
I know we can count on you for your enthusiastic support of this effort!
Dale Lundblad - Board Member

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The Monofilament Line . . .

I love spring ... everything seems upbeat. Our ducks and loons and herons, etc., etc., etc. all come back for us to enjoy for a few months.
Last spring it was a great pleasure to have a mallard and her family find our shoreline and dock as a safe haven. We saw them day after day. She started out with five babies -- then there were four, then three, then two. So each night was Shooks' lodge for bed and breakfast.
However, one morning I looked down and Mama and one of the babies had already left for the day, but one was still on the end of the dock lying on her side.I thought it unusual, so I went down to investigate - I could have cried. There she was -- she had made it to the dock and up on it, but she was completely wrapped in monofilament line. She of course was dead, but she had struggled so hard, the line had slit her throat and all but severed one leg. So sad ... I picked her up, cut all the line and buried her.
Please, please - don't discard line in the lake and if you are snagged, try to cut the line as short as possible. She made it to her "safe haven," but how many end up being caught, drowned, etc. Please be careful!
Barb Shook - Director

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Dear Editor,
It was May 1 at about 3:30 as my 3-year-old son and I were up at our family cottage getting things ready for the 1994 season. We were trying to get the water system going, cleaning off the roof, raking the leaves, etc. When all of a sudden we heard the sound of the ever so common loon. The sound seemed very close so we decided to take a break from our chores to go and take a look: We walked down the woodland trail to the lakefront, and to my surprise, a sight that I have never before seen. I was expecting to see a mating pair of loons. But there they were, coming from what seemed to be all directions; some as close as 40 feet from the end of the dock: loons, loons and more loons. A quick count -- at least 70 loons. Diving and dancing. The strangest dance I have ever seen, standing erect, flapping their wings, and diving.
One loon in particular got up on its feet and while flapping its wings, with the wing tips just barely grazing the water, it seemed to be running across the water. He kept going and going. It stopped when it was only but a speck on the water. In my approximation it traveled at least one quarter to three-eighths of a mile.
When 1 looked to the east I saw another group of loons. In this group I approximated there to be at least 35 loons. Our neighbor, Mylo V. was also up doing similar chores. I called over to him to take a look at the spectacle that we were watching and his comment was that he has never before seen more than two or three loons together at one time. Then it dawned on me: no camera in the car, the video camera was neatly packed away in our front hall closet at home in Hibbing. My folks were up at their cabin just down the point. They always have their camera! So I got Taylor into the pickup truck and traveled the half-mile or so to the chalet. Mom and Dad quickly gathered their camera, binoculars and their thoughts (Dad was taking an afternoon nap) as I was blurting out bits and pieces of what we hadjust witnessed.
When we arrived back at the cabin and made the quick trip down the path to the lake, just what I hoped wouldn't have happened, did happen. They were gone. Camera at the ready, but nothing but water to fill the lens. Dad then pulled out his binoculars and scanned the horizon. The total loon count at that time on the visible portion of Big Bay was 42. After Mom and Dad left, Taylor and I stayed on to see if the loons would come back. There were 10 loons that returned abouf one-half hour later. This is when I saw the strange behavior that I had alluded to in the above paragraph. (Loon running across the water.)
Gregg W. French
2425 Seventh Avenue East
Hibbing, MN 55746
P.S. An observation: Referring to the article, when Gregg describes the one loon running across the water .. even with the large wing span of up to 58 inches, the loon body weight is disproportionate to the wing area. Hence it takes off with great difficulty, after a long run, sometimes up to one-quarter of a mile, with much flapping of wings and running. Observation 2: The other observation known as flocking/socializing will occur, sometimes in early spring and sometimes in the early fall on large lakes. This flocking can occur in a buffer area in which large groups of loons will mingle peacefully with only occasional defensive posturing and for some reason where unpaired loons can wander at will and don't bode any danger or threat to resident pairs.
(This information is from a wonderful book called "Loon Magic" by Tom Klein.)

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Membership Notes

It is the start of a "new season" on the lake and while your response to the membership drive has been gratifying, there are still well over 100 of our former members who have not yet responded to the billing statement. We do need your continued support as we have several projects in mind that will cost the Club some extra dollars.
In addition to their annual dues, a number of you have been extra generous with additional donations. Thanks to them and to H.K. Jorgensen, Tom and Gail Johnson, D. Lisowski, Sophie Welsh in memory of John, R. Kronholm, Loretta Seppi, Dr. R.L. Sellers, K. Kuehn, C. Mars, P.A. Ohman, K. Grosshauser, R. Sampson, J. McPeak, T. Carron, P. Indihar, J.E. Wall, T. Bartoz, J. Zupert, R. DeAngeio, D.A. Fredricks, Ann G. Anderson, Ron E. Rafter, R.J. Poor, J. D. McKinney, B. Raps, S. R. Hildestad, D.W. Anderson, K. Grabarek, T. Phillips; S. Lipton, J.E. Stamy, E.E. Everhart in memory of R.E. Everhart and Ruth Miller, D.J. McKinney, Jerry Bolda in memory of Clem and Mary, Vermilion Club and a memorial to Marjorie Betker established through her family and friends which will be used to establish another day use picnic site in her memory. We have also received some extra donations for the picnic sites from Rod Paavola, Voyageur Cove Resort, T. Hartley and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Schultze.

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Thank You, Charter Members!

This has been fun ... I am still hearing from charter members and some still have their original membership card. I received copies of cards from Duwayne Evenson, Clark Stromlund and G. Bradford Dunn, and Marcella Gwilt sent the original card registered to her late husband, Harold. Also I heard from Mildred Davis, M/M R.L. Child and Walden R. Anderson .,.all still members. I even received a copy of her cancelled check dated March 13, 1968, from Kathleen Rhoades as a charter and still member. I also heard from Jerry BoIda who sent copies of the charter membership dated May 1968 for Clem, James and Jerome.

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Rate Your Cabin Against Wildfire

In past articles that I have written for the SCLV newsletter, I have described the effects of wildfire and the potential for future fires. I have also written about the forest age dynamics and insect/disease outbreaks in relation to fuel build-up on the forest floor. This build-up is an indication of ignition probabilities, a fire's intensity and growth potential. This article will try to identify some hazardous situations and ask you to rate your own cabin.
After rating your home, look about your property and ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is your access road gated and locked? Remember, both wildland and structure fire crews may need to access your property.
2) Is your road wide enough to allow emergency vehicles through? Many driveways on Vermilion are too narrow.
3) Do you have a turn-around at the end of your drive?
4) Do you store flammable materials under your deck or cabin? This includes lumber, firewood, gas cans, etc,
5) Are the tree species found on your property primarily balsam fir or other coniferous (with needles) trees? If so, does there seem to be an inordinate amount of dead material lying on the ground?
6) Is your cabin located at the top of a hill, sloping down to the lake? Fire preheats fuel in its path, consequently a fire burning upslope travels faster than a fire backing down a slope. South-facing slopes also dry much faster than others. This causes a fire to burn with more intensity.
If your answer to these questions trigger some concerns or a your cabin's hazard rating falls in the moderate risk or higher range, perhaps you should think about making some changes. At the very least, you should get a second opinion from your local wildland firefighting agency. In the Lake Vermilion and surrounding area, this agency is your local DNR-Forestry offices in Cook and Tower. In the case of an emergency, we are dispatched through the 911 system.
Mike Hanson, Forester 666-5385

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Summer Most Deadly on Record for Water Scooters

According to MnDNR, personal watercraft (also known as Jet Skis) account for less than two percent of the registered boats in Minnesota, but have been involved in 27 percent of the fatal boating accidents and 24 percent of the nonfatal boating accidents last year. In 1994, there were 20 personal watercraft accidents, three of which were fatal. In 1993, there were 14 of these accidents during the entire summer.
Personal watercraft are the most rapidly growing segment of the new boat market. According to registration statistics, their numbers have more than doubled in Minnesota since 1989.
Boat dealers are required by law to provide copies of the personal watercraft laws to Jet Ski buyers and also to provide safety training upon request, but many operators have borrowed the machine from the original purchaser and may not have received safety instruction.
There are a number of laws that apply specifically to water scooters, as well as age restrictions, and it is the operater's responsibility to know the laws and obey them. Some of the laws include, but are not limited to:
* All riders and passengers must wear a life jacket.
* The machines may not be operated between sunset and 8 a.m. the following day.
* You may not travel at more than a slow no-wake speed within 100 feet of any shoreline, dock, swimmer, swimming raft, moored anchored watercraft, or non-motorized watercraft at any time.
* You may not travel at greater than a slow no-wake speed through emergent or floating vegetation.
* You may not operate a personal watercraft if any part of the spring loaded throttle has been altered so it interferes with the return-to-idle system.
* You may not chase or harass wildlife.
* 13-year-olds must be under unaided visual observation (no binoculars or telescopes) by a person at least 18 years of age.
* You may not weave through congested watercraft traffic, or jump the wake of another watercraft within 100 feet of the other watercraft. This includes other personal watercraft.
Focus 10,000 - Minnesota's Lakeside Magazine
September/October 1994

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Buoy PIacement and Maintenance

To report any buoys missing or having drifted off mark, please call any of the following numbers:
Fred Smith - Tower
  1. 753-6723 (Home)
  2. 753-6004 (Pier #77)
  3. 343-4457 (Cellular)
These numbers are valid from opening of fishing to September 15, 10 a.m. until dusk.

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