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Outdoors Notebook: Grand Forks man places 23rd in Arrowhead Ultra

Scott Jensen 1 / 2
Brett Nelson weighs a walleye in September 2016 in Warroad, Minn., during the Department of Natural Resources' annual fall fisheries assessment on Lake of the Woods. Nelson, who joined the DNR's area fisheries office in Baudette, Minn., about four years ago as a fisheries specialist, is the new large lake specialist for Lake of the Woods. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald) 2 / 2

GF man places 23rd in Arrowhead Ultra

Scott Jensen of Grand Forks placed 23rd in the the Arrowhead Ultra 135 winter race from International Falls to Tower, Minn.

The 135-mile race started Monday morning, Jan. 29, and contestants had through Wednesday, Jan. 31, to complete the course. The Arrowhead 135 is open to competitors on bicycle, skis or on foot.

Riding a Salsa Beargrease fat bike, Jensen finished the race with a time of 24 hours; that was 19 minutes better than his finish in 2017, when he placed 49th.

This was Jensen's sixth Arrowhead Ultra, and the finish time was his best to date.

"I was very pleased with my race," Jensen said. "Not to say there weren't low moments."

The lowest of those low moments occurred about 3 a.m. Jan. 30, Jensen said. The air temperature had dropped to 33 below zero, and his Camelbak hydration pack was frozen for the last six hours of the race.

He also went off course about 5 miles, which added an extra hour to his finish time.

In large part because of the extreme cold, Jensen said he rested less during the race than he had in previous Arrowheads, adding he was "a little underdressed" for the -33F low temperature.

"I felt lucky to get through with no frostbite," he said. "Next year, I will probably carry something different for water and maybe a GPS."

Other bicycle racers from the area finishing in the top 25 included Ryan Haug of Fargo, who placed ninth with a time of 18 hours and 43 minutes; Pat Adrian of Roseau, Minn., 10th, 18 hours and 54 minutes; and Chuck Lindner of Warroad, Minn., 13th, 19 hours and 35 minutes.

With another race behind him, Jensen said race director Ken Krueger and other organizers, along with perennial volunteers such as Dave Sears of Grand Forks—who manned the finish line—deserve credit for making this year's event a success.

"Conditions made for great memories and great pictures," Jensen said.

About 67 percent of this year's field — 100 of 149 — reached the finish line, the Duluth News Tribune reported, citing the race's website. The average over the years has been about 50 percent.

More info: arrowheadultra.com.

-- Brad Dokken

DNR fills key Lake of the Woods job

Brett Nelson is the new Lake of the Woods large lake specialist for the Department of Natural Resources in Baudette, Minn. He replaces Tom Heinrich, a longtime biologist in the Baudette office who left in January to become the DNR's Mille Lacs Lake fisheries supervisor.

In his new position, Nelson will oversee annual fisheries assessments and other research on Lake of the Woods, one of 10 major walleye lakes in the DNR's large lake program.

Nelson, who begins his new job Monday, Feb. 12, has been a DNR fisheries specialist in the Baudette office the past four years so he's familiar with the area and the big lake.

"He's diving right into it, you might say," said Phil Talmage, area fisheries supervisor for the DNR in Baudette. "One of the things he's excelled at and really helped out with a lot is the large lake work.

"It will be as seamless as can be as far as the fieldwork goes, having Brett running the program this year."

Nelson, who grew up in the Brainerd lakes area of north central Minnesota, has a bachelor's degree from Bemidji State University and a master's degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato. The DNR has begun the process of filling the fisheries specialist position vacated by Nelson, Talmage said.

-- Brad Dokken

N.D. spring light goose hunt opens Feb. 17

North Dakota's spring light goose hunt, officially called a conservation order, opens Saturday, Feb. 17 and continues through May 13.

The spring hunt is held in an effort to reduce overabundant numbers of light geese—snow, blue and Ross's geese. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The conservation order is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.

There's no limit on the number of light geese hunters can have either daily or in possession, and electronic calls, along with unplugged shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, are allowed.

Light geese generally don't arrive in the state until snow begins to melt, following the snow line north enroute to to the arctic breeding grounds where they nest.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will provide hunters with migration updates once geese have entered the state. Hunters can access the department's website at gf.nd.gov or call (701) 328-3697 to receive generalized locations of bird sightings in North Dakota until the season ends or geese have left the state. Migration reports will be updated periodically during the week.

For more information on regulations and licensing requirements, refer to the 2018 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2017 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.

Minnesota's spring light goose hunt opens Thursday, March 1 and continues through April 30. More info: mndnr.gov.

-- Herald staff reports

Did you know?

• Devils Lake and Lake of the Woods are the final two stops on this year's Cabela's National Walleye Tour circuit. The Devils Lake tournament is set for July 26-27, and Lake of the Woods hosts the NWT championship Sept. 5-7. Other stops on the tournament circuit are May 10-11 on the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minn., and June 14-15 on Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay in Bay City, Mich.

• Openings remain for the DNR's Becoming an Outdoors Woman guided sturgeon fishing trip set for Aug. 10-12 on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River near Baudette, Minn. One of the most popular events on the BOW calendar, the sturgeon fishing trip is limited to 12 participants. Cost is $225 per person, which included two nights lodging, guides, boats, rods and bait. For more information, contact Linda Bylander at linda.bylander@state.mn.us.

• Anyone interested in taking the exam to select candidates for the position of a full-time temporary district game warden in North Dakota must register no later than Feb. 19. The test is set for 10 a.m. Feb. 23 at the Game and Fish Department's main office in Bismarck. Applicants must register by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website. More info: gf.nd.gov.

• Monday, Feb. 12 is the deadline for young and adult novice turkey hunters to apply for mentored hunts being offered again this spring in Minnesota through a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation. More info: mndnr.gov/turkeyhunt.

-- compiled by Brad Dokken

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