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GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — The first zebra mussel babies, called veligers, were confirmed in Lake Winnibigoshish in 2012. By 2016 the first adult mussels were spotted. By 2018 the invasive filter-feeders are everywhere in the lake, located west of Grand Rapids. "They've just exploded in number in just a couple years. It's amazing. They're on every smooth substrate down there," said Gerry Albert, Lake Winnibigoshish large-lakes fisheries specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
A timber wolf that had earlier become entangled in a wire trapping snare was shot and killed by a Duluth police officer Saturday afternoon along Rice Lake Road near Marshall School. The wolf had first been reported near Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior's North Shore earlier in the week, then near the Sucker River outside Duluth. Several people had reported the entangled wolf earlier Saturday along the North Shore Scenic Highway, with the wire wrapped around the wolf's muzzle.
ST. PAUL — Dave Quiser decided to go for a ride on Christmas afternoon in hopes of finding a grouse or two along the back roads north of his home near Cook, Minn. But instead the retired St. Louis County sheriff's deputy came close to losing his life in 30-below-zero temperatures. He'll be lucky now if he doesn't lose any fingers or toes due to severe frostbite. He was listed in serious condition Wednesday, Dec. 26, in the burn unit of Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
HIBBING, Minn. — Two adults are dead and two children suffered life-threatening injuries in an early morning house fire in Hibbing on Tuesday, Dec. 26. The Hibbing Fire Department said it was called to a fire at 212 42nd St. East at 1:37 a.m. While en route to the scene, crews were updated that there was heavy fire on the back of the home and that there were several people trapped inside.
Two Minnesota anglers learned the hard way that Ontario doesn't mess around when it comes to fish and game law violations and big fines. Russell R. Sikkila Jr. of Chisholm was fined $800 (Canadian dollars) for trying to sneak a dozen leeches into Sand Point Lake, while Carl W. Brandt of Forest Lake was fined $1,500 for hiding bags of leeches in a worm cooler as he crossed the border at Fort Frances. Both men pleaded guilty to smuggling leeches into Ontario in violation of the import ban on most live bait. The cases were heard last week in court in Fort Frances.
ST. PAUL—Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Minnesota state regulators on Wednesday reported finding three children's jewelry products containing toxic levels of cadmium. The jewelry — a butterfly necklace, ladybug charm necklace and penguin charm necklace — were among 89 toys purchased online and in stores by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as part of a joint effort to enforce the state's Toxic Toys Act.
DULUTH — Minnesota's wolf population jumped 25 percent in the past year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Monday, Sept. 25, in large part to an increasing northern deer herd. The DNR said its annual survey showed an estimated 2,856 wolves spread among 500 packs, up from 2,278 wolves in 438 packs in the 2015-2016 survey. Wolf numbers had remained flat or declined some for several years before this year's jump.
DULUTH, MINN.—"Brady" looks like any other law enforcement officer of his rank — an eager, aggressive disposition, a long snout and wagging tail. But unlike most of his fellow K-9 officers, Brady doesn't search for illegal narcotics or bombs. The 6-year-old golden retriever mix sniffs for zebra mussels. Brady's partner, Minnesota Conservation Officer Julie Siems, was showing off Brady's skills Thursday at the Pike Lake boat landing outside Duluth. Siems hid a rock encrusted with zebra mussels in the splashwell of a fishing boat.
A dozen Great Lakes states senators have sent a letter to Trump administration officials urging them to move ahead with a plan to stop Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes by stopping them at a Chicago-area lock and dam. The carp project, which was supposed to be outlined in a February study released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was held back by the Trump administration at the last minute with no set date for release.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's troubled moose population remains in the dumps, with only about 3,710 animals according to the annual winter survey by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and tribal resource agencies. The DNR on Monday released the results from the helicopter survey of random sects of the moose range in the state — namely St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties — showing the population has remained relatively stable since 2012. That stability, a statistically insignificant drop from the 4,020 estimate in 2016, is the good news.