In an area where the outdoors is commonly front-page fodder, Brainerd area lakes provided their share of Page 1 stories in the Dispatch in 2010.
Because of its size, the annual Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Ice Fishing Extravaganza is always big news. But this year’s event was special — a milestone. In its 20th year, the Extravaganza again attracted more than 10,000 anglers to Gull Lake’s Hole-in-the-Day Bay on Jan. 23.
Gull Lake again was in the state headlines in October, when the DNR confirmed that Zebra mussels had been found in Brainerd’s most popular lake and that it was designated as infested waters. It marked the second time in four months that zebra mussels had been discovered in a popular Minnesota lake. In July, the DNR found them in Lake Minnetonka.
In late September, residents of Upper and Lower South Long lakes were embattled with the DNR over a proposed muskie stocking plan for the two lakes south of Brainerd. Residents went before the Crow Wing County Board and wrote countless letters to the media and DNR opposing the plan. A decision is expected from the DNR in early 2011.
In May, members of two northern Minnesota Chippewa Indian bands seeking to reclaim hunting and fishing rights under an 1855 treaty protested with some members fishing out of season the day before the state fishing opener.
While not on an area lake — the “event” was on Lake Bemidji — the Leech Lake band was involved, along with the White Earth band. The event ended quietly.
Off the water, the Pequot Lakes area got a rare visit from a moose in September. The bull moose spent about a month in the Pequot Lakes-Jenkins-Pine River area.
And on July 21, Terry McGaughey, the driving force behind the creation of the Paul Bunyan Trail and a champion of recreation throughout the state, died at his Brainerd home. In the spring, McGaughey earned a lifetime achievement award from the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota for his more than 25 years of supporting, lobbying and promoting the trail.