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Garden Lake Resort Blog

News from the Northland

Spring Ice Fishing - 2014

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It finally feels like spring is just around the corner in Ely. It has been an unusually long and cold winter here in the northern Minnesota. As temps climb into the 20s and 30s during the day the crappie fishing is also starting to heat up. Garden Lake boasts some of the best sized crappies in the area with minimal traffic, giving you a quiet secluded ice fishing experience. Combine that with beautiful scenery and well furnished cabins and you have the makings for a great weekend getaway!

Not sure where to start? Give us a call and we can help you plan your trip, give you tips on what to bring and show you where to fish when you get here. We look forward to hearing from you this spring!

To make a reservation....

Call us toll free: (855) 365-5498Contact By Email
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BWCAW Reservations & Permits

Stay with us at Garden Lake Resort and fish the Kawishiwi River Chain BWCAWBWCA RESERVATIONS & PERMITS

1-877-444-6777

Garden Lake Resort www.gardenlakeresort.com

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Conditons for Ely area trails! 02-08-13

Snowmobile Trails

MN State Snowmobile Trails officially open on December 1. A recent law change: A snowmobile that is registered after July 1, 2012 and received 06/30/2015 expiration does not need the snowmobile state trail sticker to operate on state or grant-in-aid trails. The snowmobile registration fee was increased to cover the trail sticker cost. An individual who possesses an unexpired MN snowmobile registration that was issued before July 1, 2012 must continue to display a valid snowmobile trail sticker until the snowmobile is renewed. A snowmobile that is not registered in the state of MN must purchase a trail sticker.

Taconite Snowmobile Trail - This trail stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely through many scenic vistas of rolling hillsides, lakes, rivers and forests. There are several trail shelters along the trail located at popular stopping points offering scenic vistas. Groomers will continue to be out on a regular schedule. The trail is in very good shape. Groomers will continue to be out on a regular schedule. Watch for exposed rock in a few locations as well as stumps in new timber harvest areas. 4-8 inch base. Groomed Mileage: 165 Miles

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Garden Lake winter fishing!

While the lakes may be covered with ice and snow, plenty of fish are hungry and waiting to grab hold of one of your fishing lures. This is the best time of the year to go after crappie, as they are now at depths that can easily be reached with “standard” equipment. The walleye and northern fishing can be equally as exciting and productive here on Garden Lake! Many of the lakes that usually are too difficult to get into in the summer are now easily reached by snowmobile, snowshoes, cross-country skis or even a sled dog team. You can break your own trail or travel on any number of well-groomed or packed routes. Your fishing trip can be as comfortable or as rugged as you like. Many people combine winter camping with an extended trip out onto their favorite Ely area lake. Others prefer day trips in the comfort of a heated fish house and at the end of the day they relax in the comfort of their room or cabin.

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Ely Winter Activities in full Swing!

Garden Lake Resort is ready for Winter Festival. Now that the lake is frozen, we are beginning to hear the thumping and moaning as the lake makes ice with single digit nightly temps. Dianna and I are excited about our winter guests returning to fish, dogsled, ski, snowmobile, or just hang out in the peace and quiet of a winter experience at Garden Lake. The economy and the fiscal cliff weigh on all our minds as we enter 2013. Our response to this situation is to have no increase in rates for 2013, and in some instances you will actually see a reduction in the rate depending on your dates and numbers in your party.  Check out the 2013 rate schedule at our web site: www.gardenlakeresort.com If you have never stayed with us in the winter, why not check out Ely’s Winter Festival, February 1st-10th 2013. http://www.elywinterfestival.com or the Wolf Track Classic dog race, February 23rd, 24th http://www.wolftrackclassic.com There is so much going on in and around Ely all weekends and during the week! Queen beds and air conditioning for 2012 were a welcome addition in making your stay at Garden Lake Resort more comfortable. We will continue to do upgrades for 2013 which include all new beds for all cabins, additional new queens in Moose, Loon & Bear cabins and some new bathroom remodeling.  Book early to be guaranteed your cabin and dates. Ely continues to be a top vacation destination for Minnesota and the Nation! Thank you all for your patronage and past business while staying at Garden Lake Resort. We look forward to seeing you all again. Call anytime to book or just chat! Toll free 1-855-365-5498 Mark & Dianna Ellerbroek Garden Lake Resort

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Strap on those Snowshoes!

It’s true, "If you can walk, you can snowshoe." Most people do well without any formal training and it doesn’t require a lot of special techniques. You can start today, and have fun immediately!

Snowshoes are highly maneuverable, allowing one to go places where cross-country skiers and snowmobilers cannot go. Comparing hiking in the other three seasons and hiking in the winter snow via snowshoes, is the experience of the quiet and serenity of the snow-covered landscape.

Snowshoeing can accommodate a wide variety of activities–a casual hike in the woods, trekking into your favorite fishing spot in the BWCAW, or an overnight winter camping trip. It’s also a relatively inexpensive way to get the whole family outdoors together.

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Whales Return to Garden Lake

Here at Garden Lake we not only have walleyes but we have whale-eyes as well. When my son Jesse was small he would call the walleyes, whale-eyes, which always got a laugh! During this time of the year as the temperatures go into the single numbers and there is little snow on the newly frozen lake, there are strange sounds that we hear at night, even in the lodge. There is a groaning, thumping, and almost whale sounding noise that is heard as the lake begins to make ice. Because of the lack of heavy snow on the ice, there is little insulation from the cold temps. As the ice builds, there are cracking sounds from the pressure of the ice expansion, which when standing on the ice, is an exciting experience. Maybe all the thumping and cracking and groaning are the whales trying to come up for a breath of clean Garden Lake air! Maybe next spring and summer when you visit Garden Lake Resort and are out fishing, you might just hook a Whale-eye! That may be the biggest fish story you will ever tell to your friends. Happy Holidays from Garden Lake Resort to you all!

 

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12th Annual Fun Run

Travel by car or snowmobile in Fun Run 2013 January 26, 2013 to the towns of Babbitt, Tower and Ely and increase your chances of winning over 200 prizes. Money raised will go to support Snowmobile Trails in Ely, Babbitt and Tower! Prize drawings will be held at Fortune Bay Resort and Casino at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Your $20 pre-registration will automatically be entered for the Fun Run Grand Prizes. You need not be present to win for these prizes. Plus, Bonus Prize Tickets will be given to you on the day of the Fun Run. When you register at one of the three Check-In Points you will receive your Trail Map and one Bonus Ticket, at your next Check-In Point you'll get two more Bonus Tickets and at your third and final Check-In, you'll get an additional three Bonus Tickets for a total of 6! Support your trails, have a great time with your friends and family and have a great chance of winning prizes. A fun, fun day for ALL AGES with Fun Run 2013 on January 26, 2013!  Stay at Garden Lake Resort for your accomadations                            855-365-5498          www.gardenlakeresort.com          www.snowmobilefunrun.com

 

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Ely area Fishing Report 12-15-12

The lakes in the area are forming some nice clear ice which is suitable for foot traffic up to about five inches in places. While this is the norm for foot travel, no ice should be considered safe. It's always wise to drill as you go and have adequate emergency tools with you. One should wear a life jacket or flotation suit and carry a set of ice picks. If you are going to be out with or near others, a good length of rope and a throwable flotation cushion. Bunching up at this time is not a good idea, so keep your distance from each other so that if someone goes through, they aren't taking others along with them.

Walleyes up to twenty inches have been taken on a local area lake, with many more smaller fish in the mix. Active jigging with small spoons such as Buck shot rattlers, Rattlin Flyers, or Frosties tipped with either waxies or a minnow heads can be deadly for early ice walleyes. Thumping the bottom with Lindy darters and Salmo chubby darters stirs up the bottom sediment and that can be the dinner bell for perch and walleyes which can draw them in from a distance.

Pike fishing and spearing is also picking up momentum. Suckers under a tip-up are working well and some big pike are being drawn to the hole with either artificial decoys or large suckers.

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December 2012 Newsletter Garden Lake Resort

Garden Lake has experienced another mild fall and early winter. Now that the lake is frozen, we are beginning to hear the thumping and moaning as the lake makes ice with single digit nightly temps. Dianna and I are excited about our winter guests returning to fish, dogsled, ski, snowmobile, or just hang out in the peace and quiet of a winter experience at Garden Lake.  

The economy and the fiscal cliff weigh on all our minds as we enter 2013. Our response to this situation is to have no increase in rates for 2013, and in some instances you will actually see a reduction in the rate depending on your dates and numbers in your party. Additional savings of 5% is available when paying your stay in advance at your time of booking. Check out the 2013 rate schedule at our web site: www.gardenlakeresort.com  If you have never stayed with us in the winter, why not check out Ely’s Winter Festival, February 1st-10th 2013.   http://www.elywinterfestival.com   or the Wolf Track Classic dog race, February 23rd, 24th   http://www.wolftrackclassic.com  There is so much going on in and around Ely all weekends and during the week!

Queen beds and air conditioning for 2012 were a welcome addition in making your stay at Garden Lake Resort more comfortable. We will continue to do upgrades for 2013. With the New Year just around the corner, many of you will be booking with your new vacation schedules. Book early to be guaranteed your cabin and dates. Save an additional 5% off your stay for 2013 by paying your balance in full when booking. Ely continues to be a top vacation destination for Minnesota and the Nation! Thank you all for your patronage and past business while staying at Garden Lake Resort. We look forward to seeing you all again. Call anytime to book or just chat! Toll free 1-855-365-5498

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Take Lutheran Airlines to Ely via Duluth

Dis is da latest air service to sprout up in Minnesnowta.Also serving Visconsin, Nort Dekota, and Moontana. Try it - you vill like it.“If you are traveling soon, consider Lutheran Air, the no-frills airline. You’re all in da same boat on Lutheran Air, vere flying is an uplifting experience. There is no first class on any Lutheran Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows 1-6, bring rolls; 7-15, bring a salad; 16-21, a main dish, and 22-30, a dessert. Basses and tenors please sit in the rear of the aircraft.Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by freewill offering and the plane will not land until the budget is met.Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acquaint you with the safety system aboard this Lutheran Air 599. Okay then, listen up: I’m only gonna say this once. In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly going to be real surprised and so vill Captain Olson because ve fly right around 2000 feet, so loss of cabin pressure would probably indicate the Second Coming or something of that nature, and I vouldn’t bother with those little masks on the rubber tubes. You’re gonna have bigger things to worry about than that. Just stuff those back up in their little holes. Probably the masks fell out because of turbulence vhich, to be honest with you, ve’re going to have quite a bit of at 2000 feet, sort of like driving across a plowed field, but after a vile you get used to it. In the event of a water landing, I’d say forget it. Start saying the Lord’s Prayer and just hope you get to the part about “forgive us our sins as ve forgive those who sin against us, vich some people say trespass against us,” vich isn’t right, but vat can you do? The use of cell phones on the plane is strictly forbidden, not because they may interfere vith the plane’s navigational system, vich is seat of the pants all the way. No, it’s because cell phones are a pain in the wazoo, and if God meant you to use a cell phone, He vould have put your mouth on the side of your head. Ve’re going to start lunch right about noon and it’s buffet style vith the coffee pot up front.Then ve’ll have the hymn sing; hymnals in the seat pocket in front of you. Don’t take yours vith you ven you go or am going to be real upset and I am not kidding!Right now I’ll say Grace. “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and let these gifts to us be blest. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may ve land in Duluth or pretty close. Amen.”

 

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ICE FISHING ON GARDEN LAKE

While the lakes may be covered with ice and snow, plenty of fish are waiting to grab hold of one of you fishing lures. This is the best time of the year to go after trout, as they're at depths that can be reached with "standard" equipment. Walleye, northern and crappie fishing can be equally as exciting and productive. Many of the lakes that are too difficult to get into in the summer are now easily reached by snowmobile, show shoes, cross-country skis or dog team. You can break your own trail or travel on any number of well-groomed or packed routes. Your fishing trip can be as comfortable or as rugged as you like. Many people combine staying at a warm lakeside cabin like Garden Lake Resort with an extended trip into their favorite lake. Others prefer day trips in the comfort of a heated fish house. All in all, don’t let a little cold and ice stop you from fishing all year round. Follow this link to the MN DNR site for your fishing license and information. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/licenses/fishing/index.html?type=fishing While in Ely, try out all the local restaurants and stores for the perfect Christmas items on your list! www.gardenlakeresort.com

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Dogsledding in Ely, MN

 For a breath-taking winter dogsledding adventure, nothing compares to driving a dog team or just riding along in a dog sled. In Ely there are more sled dog trip providers than anywhere else in the world.

No experience required! Your sled dog guide has spent countless hours training their dogs all year long so that you can experience an enjoyable trip. Your sled dog guide will teach you everything you need to know for your mushing experience and you will learn how to harness the sled dog team and maneuver your very own sled.

Mush from a cozy northwoods lodge or head out on a camping trip. Enjoy the winter scenery of the lakes and trails on the back of a dogsled. Run a team of sled dogs to a remote yurt or cabin, or access remote ice-fishing lakes to experience winter solitude at its best. Enjoy dog mushing for a day or plan a week-long dogsledding adventure.

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Ely Mn Black Bear Hybernation

As the temperatures drop, black bear in NE Minnesota are foraging for food to build fat to sustain themselves throughout the winter months.In the Ely, MN , residents have reported that bird feeders have been ripped out of trees by the black bear. Another favorite foraging activity for bear is to rip open bags of trash and search the contents for anything edible.During the late fall and early winter, it is best to remove and store bird feeders if you live in an area where bear are populous. Another helpful way to prevent bear damage around your property is to store your garbage in a locked shed and put it out to be picked up as close as possible to trash pickup.Bear throughout the U.S. hibernate on different time schedules, according to bear.org. In Ely, Minn., and areas in the central and western parts of the U.S., bear tend to begin hibernation in September or October. In states in the eastern parts of the U.S., the bear don't usually begin their hibernation until late November or early December. Bear in the southern U.S. may not hibernate at all due to the warmer weather and food available all winter long.During hibernation, the bear go through five different stages.

First Stage The spring until midsummer or fall is the time when the bear are in their normal activity. If food and water are available, the bear will consume about 5,000 to 8,000 calories each day. If they are unable to consumer enough food and water during this time, they will be unable to successfully hibernate in the winter.

Second Stage This stage is known as hyperphagia. During this stage, bear eat and drink excessively as they build up fat stores for hibernation. When food and water are plentiful, black bear have been know to eat as many as 15,000 to 20,000 calories a day. The need large amounts of water to process the food and flush nitrogenous waste from their bodies.

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21 Tips for Deer shed hunting

 

With an early spring in Ely, what a great time to shed hunt in the Garden Lake wintering area for deer!

Shed hunting can be nearly as fun as deer hunting and it gives you an excuse to hit the woods. Finding a shed off a hit list buck will certainly get your blood pumping. Knowing a good buck, or one with potential made it through the season can raise the excitement for next season. Whether you’re an experienced shed hunter or a beginner, there are some shed hunting tips that should make your hunt more successful.

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SPRING WALLEYE FISHING TACTICS

If hooking a big walleye while staying at Garden Lake Resort is the plan, spring is generally considered the time to go. While walleye are rather active and generally much easier to find during the spring, it still takes some tactics to reel them in. If the plan is to drop a line, hook a fish and go home happy within a few minutes, chances are disappointment will ensue.

Although springtime is the favorite for walleye fishing, anglers need to keep a few things in mind. Everything from actual weather conditions to location and bait can impact the outcome of a fishing trip. The trick is really gauging the action carefully before picking a spot to stick in.

Location Matters in The Spring

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Gray Wolves {Timber Wolves} no longer endangered!

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that gray wolf populations in the Great Lakes region have recovered and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is publishing a final rule in the Federal Register removing wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, and in portions of adjoining states, from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants.

“Once again, the Endangered Species Act has proved to be an effective tool for bringing species back from the brink of extinction,” Salazar said. “Thanks to the work of our scientists, wildlife managers, and our state, tribal, and stakeholder partners, gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region are now fully recovered and healthy.”

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Redpoll's Vacation at Garden Lake

The Common Redpoll is a circumpolar denizen of the taiga and tundra of the high arctic. They range across the northern reaches of North America, Europe, and Russia. Redpolls are from 5 to 5.5 inches long with a wingspan of 8.25 to 8.75 inches. They are characterized by their red cap, black chin, reddish wash on the breast, pink rump, somewhat forked tail, whitish under parts and overall brownish streaking. Weights range from 13 to 14 grams (0.5 ounce). Redpolls live in high Arctic regions where winter darkness lasts up to 6 months and temperatures plunge well below freezing. Research has shown that Redpolls are able to survive temperatures down to minus 67 degrees C (89 degrees F below zero).    How do these little birds survive these harsh conditions? Redpolls have anatomical, physiological and behavioral adaptations that enable them to survive and to thrive in these harsh winter conditions.        One of the most important anatomical adaptations that allow Redpolls to thrive in severe cold weather is their esophageal diverticulum, a partially bi-lobed pocket situated in their neck. Redpolls use the esophageal diverticulum to store seeds, especially before nightfall or before a storm. The extra seeds allow them to “feed” while sheltering from the cold. The birds knock seeds from trees, gather the seeds from the ground and store them in the esophageal diverticulum. They then fly to a sheltered spot where they can regurgitate, shell, and consume the seeds at leisure while protected from predators and harsh weather conditions. Behavioral adaptations are also important. Redpolls, as do other species of birds, can fluff their contour feathers to trap layers of air to insulate their body and greatly reduce heat loss. Redpolls will sometimes burrow into the snow to escape especially cold weather.

With the mild winter at Garden Lake, it has been noted that their conversations while eating black oil sunflower seeds is how nice it is to be south in the warm temperatures while on Vacation!

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Winter Snow Fleas

Who would ever think fleas could survive in Northern Minnesota in the winter. The other day as I was out near a balsam fur tree I noticed that the snow was moving with black specs? The first thing that crossed my mind was “Horton Hears a Who”, who are these tiny little things?

At close examination, tiny black flecks might be found sprinkled in the snow. They probably look like bits of dirt at first glance, but they are actually tiny soil animals known as snow fleas. Officially, they are called springtails and are not actually fleas (or even technically insects).

On any given summer day, hundreds of thousands of springtails can populate one cubic meter of top soil; at 1-2 mm, they largely go unnoticed by people. In the winter, however, two species of dark blue springtails— Hypogastrura harveyi and Hypogastrura nivicol—can be easily spotted against the white backdrop of snow. These hexapods may have acquired the nickname of snow fleas due to their ability to jump great distances, a feat fleas boast as well. Whereas fleas use enlarged hind legs, springtails have a tail-like appendage called a furcula that unfolds to launch the hexapods great distances.

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GOING TO THE DOGS IN ELY

 Winter recreation in Ely offers many opportunities but none as exciting as a Day with the Dogs! Mushing down a trail or on the lake, offer amazing sights and sounds in an incredibly beautiful environment, as the dogs work together in perfect rhythm with you in control! You can just ride or mush, fish or snack, you decide. There are half day and full day trips with options of where you can go and what you can do. Bring your own warm winter gear or be totally outfitted for all your needs. Remember to book early and stay at Garden Lake Resort as your base winter lodging location. Let us help you set up your trip and suggest other activities for you as well. Experience the opportunity of a lifetime and check this one off your bucket list!

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