Restored CCC Era Lodge To Open August 20th On Spirit Lake

The restored lodge at Mini-Wakan State Park, on the north shore of Spirit Lake, will begin accepting reservations through the local park office on Aug. 20.

The lodge, originally built during the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was renovated over the last two years. A free-standing, open air shelter with a modern restroom adjoining the lodge was added and next fall, a parking lot will go in. The total project cost is $1.25 million.

The project was supported locally with a fundraising campaign that netted more than $500,000, of which more than $200,000 will go into an endowment to fund the Mini-Wakan lodge and the Gull Point lodge for future repairs. The rest of the funds went to the Mini-Wakan restoration.

The lodge will rent for $150 per day on the weekend, and $75 per day on weekdays. It features a galley kitchen for catering and has a maximum occupancy of 125.

The lodge shares the area with a two lane boat ramp. Parking is available in designated areas and along the road. The area where the new parking lot will be installed is currently going through an archeological recovery of Native American artifacts. Once completed, the parking lot will be installed that can accommodate the lodge use and boat ramp traffic.

To reserve the lodge you can call the park office at 712-337-3211.


Muskie Caught in Cass Lake

Allen DeGoei caught and released this 49 1/4 inch Muskie in the Cass Lake chain of lakes in northern Minnesota.

Virus Claiming Deer In Midwest, Iowa Not Immune

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is receiving scattered reports of dead deer around water. This is likely the result of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD.

“Losses due to EHD occur annually, usually at low levels and in localized areas,” said Dr. Dale Garner, chief of Wildlife for the Iowa DNR. “In dry years it can be worse as deer are more concentrated around water and since the disease is spread by a biting midge more deer can become infected. This could be one of those years and DNR staff have been on the lookout for increased incidence of the disease.”

EHD causes high fever in deer and their cell walls in their heart, lungs and diaphragm to weaken and burst. Infected deer are attracted to water to combat the fever and dehydration due to the hemorrhaging.
“The last widespread outbreak in Iowa was 1998. Even then the impact on hunting was minimal,” said Garner.
If anyone sees a sick or dead deer near water, they should call their local conservation officer or wildlife biologist.

“We would like to collect tissue samples to identify what strain of EHD we are dealing with and to rule out any other cause of death,” Garner said.

The disease is also showing up in Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri and Michigan. EHD remains active until rain disperses the deer or a heavy frost kills the midges.