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SWCD News: Our conservation heroes

For many years the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District has recognized outstanding conservation efforts by county property owners, contractors, developers, conservation groups, legislators,...


Wild rice season is nigh

Minnesota DNR Wild rice conditions are looking good this year in many areas of Minnesota and the Department of Natural Resources is offering tips and a reminder of important regulations restricting...


$1.1 million to go toward big lake

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will use a $1.1 million grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to support the work of Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, fund three significant local projects and...


Mille Lacs fish rules are relaxed

Effective Saturday, Aug. 1, anglers can fish for walleye on Mille Lacs Lake and use live bait. The walleye fishing closure and live bait restrictions during the month of July were the result of record ice fishing pressure this past winter that...

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 31, 2020

Dig deep for fish during these heated dog days

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been on several lakes all across the upper half of Minnesota. One thing they have in common, they register the highest surface temperatures I’ve ever encountered....


Break free of pandemic grip with some local fun outdoors

The summer of COVID-19. In northern Minnesota, pandemic responses have canceled most local festivals (but not Wrong Days in Wright, and only part of Carlton Daze) and many of the sports leagues that... Full story

 By Ann Markusen    Outdoors    July 17, 2020

On the Mark: Up north swimming vacation hits the spot

Tired of staying home and not hosting friends and family for meals, music evenings and overnights, my husband and I provisioned our small motorhome and set out for a week in the Northwoods. We'd...


Conservation News: Money available to turn yards over to pollinators

Have you heard the buzz? The Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District has been busy helping community members plant pollinator habitat in their backyards. Carlton SWCD recently held its...

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 10, 2020

Out In It: 'Just looking' morphs into unexpected camper buy

The entire Baker crew was in Duluth the other day, and, on a whim, we decided to check out some campers. We pulled into Bullyan RV and proceeded to drive through the line of small travel trailers...


Reader Photo: Busy doe

Pine Knot News reader Toni Hubbell spotted this mama deer and her three thirsty fawns in her yard on South Oak Street last week, and snapped a quick photo to share with the world. "They are in my... Full story

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    July 3, 2020

Out in it: Thanks prop, it was a nice run

A quick yank on the cotter pin, a spin of the wrench and she was loose. Ten years my Honda prop has been with me every second I've been on the water. Unceremoniously, I relinquished her to the... Full story


New maps detail state forest features

Eight new state forest maps from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources feature recreation highlights to help Minnesotans find their perfect adventure. The maps in print and mobile formats, are available for Bear Island, Big Fork, Burntside, G... Full story


Splish Splash

Pine Knot News subscriber and avid wildlife photographer Mike Farmer shared this photo series of a yellow warbler enjoying a splash in their new water feature. According to, studies... Full story


Fire danger high this holiday weekend in northeastern Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources cautions residents and visitors in northeastern Minnesota to be aware of elevated fire conditions this hot and dry holiday weekend. Recent heavy rains in... Full story

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 19, 2020

Out in it: Tech dominates fishing plans

Recently I got a text soliciting some advice about fishing a lake a couple of hours north of Cloquet. Within seconds I responded with a detailed map indicating the wind would blow at 20-plus mph... Full story


Cloquet pair is tops in fundraising again

Once again, Cloquet residents Stu Nelson and Rich Brummer were the top fundraisers for the Minnesota Fishing Challenge, with proceeds supporting MN Adult & Teen Challenge drug and alcohol...

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 12, 2020

Out in it: Trolling in Brookston

If you read my column regularly you're already aware I'm up for new adventures. This week I jumped at the chance to fish a new stretch of the St. Louis River with Cloquet's Chad Vermeersh. We hooked u...


Most state camping areas will be open by Monday

Minnesota DNR The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began reopening campgrounds this month at state parks, state forests and recreation areas in a phased approach this month. Camping is... Full story

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    June 5, 2020

Out In It: An old boat brings new memories, welcome distraction

My two oldest, Hannah and Joseph, were just kids when they saved up their pennies to buy their first boat. They split the cost of a 1984 Alumacraft with an old 50-horsepower Merc hanging off the back.... Full story


Annual take a kid fishing weekend is now

During Take a Kid Fishing Weekend Friday, June 5, to Sunday, June 7, Minnesota residents can fish without licenses if they take children 15 or younger along fishing, too. "Taking your kids fishing is... Full story

 By Ann Markusen    Outdoors    May 29, 2020

On The Mark: Birders delight in nearby refuge

May is a spectacular month for birding in our part of Minnesota. Not just in numbers, but variety, artistry and antics. In April, the early birds touch down for a visit on their way north: snow... Full story

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 29, 2020

Out in it: A shallow mind helps right now

If you are reading this, you should probably stop. Hook up your boat and read this later. The fish are biting. The light switch has been turned on this week. Many different species have moved shallow...

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 22, 2020

Out in It: Red-eye trip to Red Lake pays off

Bouncing along the backroads of Mahtowa, I leaned hard into the glow of my headlights, seeing the fine line between dirt and marsh. My eyes strained and blurred searching for my turn. Cottontail...


Watchful eyes

A Canada goose cuddles with a gosling in this photo taken by Pine Knot News subscriber Mike Farmer, also an avid wildlife photographer. Farmer found the pair at the Rice Lake National Wildlife Refuge...

 By Bret Baker    Outdoors    May 15, 2020

Out in it: Nice opener haul despite short outing

Avoiding the expected crowds, I slid the big blue Lund into the water a little past 4 a.m. on opener morning. By the light of the full moon, David, Joseph and I made our way slowly upstream from Boy... Full story


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