Out and About with Bob


Nuisance beaver trapping has resumed down at Ol’ Tom’s boathouse.
La Crosse’s Mike Roskos, his dad Rollie and I met at the boathouse at noon Wednesday. Mike intended to set one Conibear trap in the water near a beaver den just across from the boathouse. After feeling the river bottom with his feet in waders, Mike discovered a second run entering the den, so he placed another Conibear trap over that.
We hoped the river raised enough overnight to fill the hole leading to the lodge below the walkway and dock leading to the boathouse, but not yet. We may have to wait another day or two because it is illegal to place a Conibear trap on dry land. A leghold trap wouldn’t work either because - as we found out last fall - when trapped, a beaver will simply chew off its foot.  
Tuesday night, Mike did some reading in an outdoors magazine about live trapping bobcat and beavers. He has a live trap for bobcat at the family cabin up north and plans to pick it up and try it down at Ol’ Tom’s boathouse soon, too.
“Wouldn’t that be great to get a video of a beaver being live trapped?” Mike said with a big smile.
Mike has a video-equipped trail cam set up pointing directly to the hole where he will place the live trap. All we need now is the live trap and a beaver.
Elsewhere, eagles are congregating along several ice shelves near open water. Shopko Bay is the most popular viewing area and is attracting not only lots of eagles, but many onlookers as well.
Increasing numbers of duck and Canada geese are returning along with many songbirds.
The pair of sandhill cranes have also returned to the lowlands that our condo association owns. They raised two colts last year.
Anglers continue fishing below locks and dams on the Mississippi River, but I haven’t heard of any trophy walleyes taken yet. Action has picked up a little for sauger and perch, according to a few reports.  
Meanwhile, across the Mississippi River, Minnesota DNR conservation officer Tyler Ramaker, in La Crescent, spent the week conducting airboat training for Minnesota, Wisconsin, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers. New operators received training in maintenance, patrol and emergency/rescue operations.
DNR conservation officer Tom Hemker, in Winona, reports fishing pressure for open water along with ice fishing has slowed. The people who were out fishing did well. He also received several calls about injured wild animals.
DNR conservation officer Mitch Boyum, in Rushford, reports assisting at an airboat training on the Mississippi River. Time was also spent checking anglers on the Mississippi River. Fishing was fair, but most anglers were pushed off the river by the rain and wind. Boyum took calls of injured deer and checked trout anglers.
As always, remember to take a kid hunting or fishing. It’ll be the best thing you ever did.
Until we meet, have a great day outdoors!