See more of the story

Fishing on Red Lake’s tribal waters has reopened for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians after council members met with the families of two fishermen who apparently drowned in early November.

Red Lake Nation News is reporting the special council meeting action this week, saying it breaks with a tradition that no fishing on the lake would take place until lost fishermen were found or recovered. But after two months of unsuccessful searching, it was decided that more people out on the lake as anglers could raise the prospects of finding them, the News said.

The two missing fisherman — 29-year-old Deland Beaulieu and 17-year-old Jacob Kingbird — went under on the eastern side of Lower Red Lake when their fishing boat capsized Nov. 6. A third fisherman, Dominic Johnson, swam to shore and was treated for hypothermia. Extensive searches have been conducted for the missing anglers.

The Red Lake Tribal Council issued a statement after its recent vote, saying its members had consulted with the families of the missing anglers. “The families agreed they wanted fishermen on the lake in hopes of covering more areas and bring their boys home.”

Red Lake Tribal Chairman Darrell Seki also issued a statement, reminding area anglers that fishing on reservation waters is reserved for band members only.

CWD special hunt

Southeastern Minnesota’s special late-season deer hunt continues through Sunday to help control an outbreak of chronic wasting disease in Fillmore County’s wild deer herd.

The Department of Natural Resources said private land dominates the areas where deer can be harvested. In addition, public permits are sold out to hunt at Forestville State Park and Pin Oak Prairie Scientific and Natural Area.

The hunt is governed by detailed rules, including mandatory CWD testing for any harvested deer. Because CWD is contagious between deer, the purpose of the special hunt is to further thin the area’s whitetail population to reduce the chances for an infected deer to spread the disease. Results of the harvest will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Fishing freebie

Minnesota residents 16 and older won’t need a fishing license to drop a line this weekend if they bring along a youngster and teach them how it’s done.

“Take a Kid Fishing Weekend” runs Saturday through Monday as part of Minnesota’s effort to increase youth participation in the outdoors. Weekend rules allow darkhouse spearing or fishing with hook and line. The DNR cautions all participants to check ice conditions before they go out.

“Ice fishing is a fun way to get outdoors in the winter,” said Jeff Ledermann, the DNR’s angler recruitment and retention supervisor.