LOADING

Member of the week: Cornerstone Church

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Cornerstone Church  as the Member of The Week! Each week a new business will be featured as a “thank you” for being a part of our membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information!

Cornerstone church

 

You are welcome to Cornerstone Church.  We are a Non-Denominational Evangelical fellowship of Believers in Jesus Christ.  At Cornerstone you will find a welcoming, loving & safe place in which to experience God and grow together in our Christian faith.  You will find something for everyone at Cornerstone Church including Midweek Bible Study for adults; Young Marrieds Group; Young Mothers Study; CLIMB Bible School; Children’s Church and so much more.  Check our website www.cornerstonewalker.org for upcoming events.  Join us for Worship & Fellowship Sundays at 10 AM.  Nursery available.

Member of the week: Circle of Time

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Circle of Time as the Member of The Week! Each week a new business will be featured as a “thank you” for being a part of our membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information!

Circle of time

 

Joel Randell from Edmund, OK sculpted 13 beautiful bronze statues of figures depicting 13 eras of Leech Lake history.  He called the monument the Circle of Time.  Today, the Circle of Time Committee is working on a cultural pavilion to be erected near the monument for all to use & enjoy.

Member of the week Paul Bunyan Broadcasting

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Paul Bunyan Broadcasting as the Member of The Week! Each week a new business will be featured as a “thank you” for being a part of our membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information!

paul_babe_pb_broadcasting

 

For more than 70 years Paul Bunyan Broadcasting has been providing the Bemidji and surrounding areas with five stations covering a variety of music, sports and the most up-to-date regional information available. Located at 502 Beltrami Avenue in downtown Bemidji, Paul Bunyan Broadcasting is radio that works for you.

Why we love Eelpout: Guest Blogger: Mary Nordeen

Why we love eelpout

The February thaw brings a hint of spring to our minds in northern Minnesota.  Warm winter days on the Chippewa National Forest have people thinking about maple taps and planning their summer vacations.  Eagles sit near nest sites, raccoons are raiding birdfeeders and eelpout are spawning.

It is eelpout, actually, leading the charge into spring. These strange fish, deemed the ugliest in the lake, have one of the most interesting stories.

You need to learn about eelpout to really appreciate and fall in love with this fish.

First, recognize all the aliases this fish has.  Eelpout is just one name in a long list, along with burbot, lawyer, loche, ling, ling cod, and cusk.  Its Ojibwe name is Mizay. Some people use the word dogfish to describe it and others can find no words!  This local fish is lovingly called pout in Minnesota.

Pout are the only freshwater cod in North America and can be found in large lakes on the Forest, including Leech Lake, Cass and Winnie. They range from the Arctic Ocean south to the north central United States and thrive in cold clear water.

The eelpout is one of the few fish that spawns in the winter, reveling in the icy waters. This is no small event. Pout spawn in mass, sometimes in groups of dozens and even hundreds.  They do not create a nest and do not care for their young.  A female pout may lay from 300,000 to over 1 million eggs.  The hatchlings are some of the smallest freshwater fish larvae.  These tiny pout babies drift in the water until they gain the ability to swim.

In looks alone, the eelpout could be considered one of our most unusual fish.  Pout are perfectly camouflaged from predators with olive green to brown skin speckled with dark spots. They are both top predators and prey.  The barbell (whisker) just under their broad face is used to track the scent of prey. A pout’s body is slimy and has tiny embedded scales.  If you catch this fish, it may curl its eel-like body around your arm as you try to get it off the hook.  This unique fish may also make an “ugh” sound when pulled from the water.  A pout’s stomach is whitish yellow, and can become distended as the eelpout eats and eats and eats.  The record Minnesota eelpout was caught in December 2016 on Lake of the Woods.  It weighed 19 pounds, 3 ounces.

Eelpout are opportunistic piscivores meaning a majority of their diet is fish, but they will take advantage of any food source.  Pout have triangular jaws and rows of tiny teeth, all engineered to swallow prey whole.  Researchers have also found fish eggs, crustaceans, clams, wood chips, rocks, plastic, and other unrecognizable objects in the fish. A pout’s predatory nature may not be all bad.  Fishery managers have introduced eelpout into lakes that have stunted fish populations in order to restore a balance of fish species.

In the 1920’s, fishery biologists announced eelpout as the “fish of the future.”  Recipes were created for Barbequed Ling, Crispy Pout Puffs, Lakeland Cocktails and Poor Man’s Lobster, but still, the idea of pout as a gourmet food just didn’t hit.  Until the Walker Eelpout Festival.

Eelpout are known to almost anyone who lives in the Walker area, on the south side of the Chippewa National Forest.  The town celebrates the Annual Eelpout Festival each February, where showing affection for this less-than-fashionable fish becomes high-fashion on Leech Lake!

Pout Fishing Tips:  If you want to meet a pout in person, visit the northern lakes in winter.  During the spawn, they are in shallower water, but quickly return to the deeper pools.  Fish at a depth from 15-20 feet or drop to 30-40 feet below the ice. Try jigging with a minnow on a fluorescent spoon or lure at dark.  The eelpout are attracted to the vibrations.

 

Critter Information – Guest Blogger Mary Nordeen

The difference between….

Just the other day, someone asked me “What’s the difference between a snowshoe hare and a rabbit?”    I realized I was able to answer automatically because I get that type of question quite often.  What’s the difference between two similar animals?  So many fun little facts separating similar animals.    With that in mind, here’s a few quick facts about three commonly seen critters.

Hares vs Rabbits

We have three “bunnies” in Minnesota, the snowshoe hare, the cottontail rabbit and the white-tailed jackrabbit.  Did you know, despite its name, the jackrabbit is a hare!

Range:    The Chippewa National Forest is home to the snowshoe hare and cottontail rabbit. Snowshoe hares are found in the northern half of the state, cottontails live in the lower three-fourths of the state.  The white-tailed jackrabbit tends toward prairie habitat and is found more to the west of the Forest.

Winter White:  Both snowshoe hares and white-tailed jackrabbits turn white in the winter.  Cottontail rabbit fur remains brown year-round.

Rabbit feet and bunny ears:   Snowshoes hares have…snowshoes!   Big rear feet to stay on top of the snow.  Cottontail rabbits have smaller feet and are just a bit smaller overall.  Jackrabbits are noticeably bigger and have big ears.

Born to run:  Hares are precocial, meaning when they are born, they are fully furred, eyes open, ready to run.  Rabbits are born without fur, eyes closed and stay in the nest for three weeks.

Crows vs Ravens

We get so used to seeing miscellaneous black birds in the trees and along the highways that we don’t often stop to think about what bird we are looking at.  Crows and ravens are in the corvid family—some of the smartest birds in the world.  Get to know them.  They are so interesting!

Snowbirds:   Crows are summer residents in northern Minnesota and migrate south in the winter.  Ravens are year-round residents here.   Crows are found across the United States, including all of Minnesota.   Ravens are found only in north-central and north-eastern Minnesota, and across the western United States.  Both are found on the Chippewa National Forest.

Listen for the difference:  Crows have that “caw caw” classic call.  Ravens have a croak and rattle sound, loud and low.

Size:  Ravens are the size of a red-tailed hawk, much larger than a crow.  A raven’s beak is chunky looking, noticeably bigger than a crow’s beak.

Look at the tail!   Tail feathers on a crow are all the same size. When they fly, the tail feather opens into a fan shape.  Ravens have longer center tail feather, and have a distinct wedge-shape to their tail.

  

Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle:

The Chippewa National Forest is home to one of the largest breeding populations of bald eagles in the lower 48 United States.  Our staff and visitors see bald eagles every day, throughout the year.  Now and then, we have someone report a golden eagle sighting.  But, how can you tell the difference?  Do golden eagles live on the Forest?

Range:  Golden eagles have a range that stretches across North America, but is year-round mainly in the western states.   Your best chance to see a golden eagle in Minnesota is in the winter!  The MN DNR reports that over 60 birds overwinter in the bluffs of southeastern Minnesota.  Bald eagles in Minnesota show mainly as a summer breeding range in northern Minnesota and a winter breeding range in southern Minnesota.    Bald eagles are seen throughout the year on the Forest, but in much smaller numbers during winter months.

Size: Golden eagles are larger in body size than a bald eagle, but bald eagles have a bigger head.    When flying over, a bald eagles head and talk seem to be proportioned the same.  A golden eagle flying over you seems to have a longer tale and smaller head.

It’s all in the leg:  Golden eagles have feathers on their legs that go all the way to their toes.  Bald eagles have leg feathers that stop above the toes, exposing a yellow leg.

Golden eagles are considered rare sights in the eastern United States, but many people on the Forest will swear they’ve seen golden eagles.  Most likely, what they are seeing is the immature bald eagle.  Eagles do not gain their white head and tail feather until they are four years old.  Immatures are golden brown, and are as large (or larger!) than there parents by July of their first year.  Easily mistaken for goldens, young bald eagles are mottled brown and white under the wing as they fly overhead.   Juvenile golden eagles have white as well, but in more of a pattern on their shoulders and tail feathers.

 

Mice and Voles and Shrews and Moles

Finally, just for fun….a quick guide to small rodents that might be running around this winter.  Trust me, next time you see a rodent, you’ll find yourself looking at ears, nose and tails!

Mice:  Big ears, long tail, pointed nose

Voles:  Short ears, short tail, small eyes, rounded nose

Shrews:  Tiny, long nose, short tail, no ears, tiny little eyes

Moles:  Big bodied, star-nosed, small eyes, big claws to dig through snow and dirt

 

Enjoy your explorations out in the winter world!   Pay attention to when you start seeing the seasons change.  Note when the crows come back!  Start a phenology journal with all your sightings!

Member of the week: Community Church of Walker

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Community Church of Walker – United Church of Christ as the Member of The Week! Each week a new business will be featured as a “thank you” for being a part of our membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information!

Community Church

 

The Community Church of Walker, United Church of Christ mission is:  to offer a welcoming church home to all, where friendships grow, spiritual needs are met, community concerns are addressed, and where “God is still Speaking”

Wherever you are on life’s journey, your voice is welcome here!

Youth Hockey Tournaments make a difference: Guest Blogger Mitch Loomis

We host hockey tournaments here at the Walker Area Community Center (WACC).  We have just one sheet of ice, so our hockey tournaments can accommodate a bracket of no more than eight teams.  Our tournaments almost always fill.  Teams come from the north shore, from Duluth, from the range, the Canadian border, North Dakota, the twin cities and all over Minnesota.  They fill hotel rooms and chairs in our restaurants.  Why?

Why would a hockey team comprised of 9 and 10 year old children travel 200 or more miles to spend the weekend playing hockey in Walker?

First, you need to understand a little about hockey in Minnesota.

Our kids play hockey in a league adroitly named Minnesota Hockey.  Minnesota Hockey is an affiliate of USA Hockey.  In the 2013/14 season (most recent numbers found), Minnesota Hockey included 54,507 youth players.  Minnesota ranks first in the nation in number of players, although hockey in Minnesota is mature and hockey in several other states is growing quickly.

That Minnesota ranks #1 with USA Hockey is especially impressive considering we play high school hockey.  In general, only our kids ages 14 and under play hockey in a USA Hockey / community-based program.  Then, our kids play hockey in high school in the Minnesota State High School League.

OK, so that is a little bit about the organizing of youth hockey here.  To answer the question we started with, you only need to understand one other thing.  People love to visit Walker.

Walker Youth Hockey deserves great credit for hosting tournaments bringing eight visiting hockey teams into our community for a weekend.  But, good volunteers and a well-run tournament isn’t enough.  Regional cities like Duluth, Bemidji and Brainerd attract teams into invitational tournaments.  However, many (most) small towns would love to draw teams to spend a weekend in their town like we do here in Walker.

Our town is quaint with lots of great little shops, choice in restaurants and plenty of great lodging; nice hotels with swimming pools for the hockey kids.

We’ve been hosting hockey tournaments for quite a few winters now.  Walker businesses have seen the value of these tournaments.  The visiting hockey families enjoy their time here.  We are fortunate to have an indoor rink and a town people love to visit.  Hockey gives the families in our part of the country another reason to spend a wonderful winter weekend in Walker.

Walker SquirtsFarmington SquirtsFargo Squirts

Member of the week: Habitat for Humanity

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Habitat for Humanity as the Member of The Week! Each week a new business will be featured as a “thank you” for being a part of our membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information!

image00042-780x500

 

Begun in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller, Habitat for Humanity is the 3rd largest builder of homes in the world and the 5th largest builder of homes in the United States. The vision of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate poverty housing form the face of the earth.

In the past 25 years, we have completed over 100 homes in Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard Counties. Active in 100 countries, Habitat for Humanity International has built over 500,000 homes, providing more than 2 million people in 3,000 communities with safe, decent and affordable shelter.

Member of the week: Once Over Home Inspection

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Once Over Home Inspection as the Member of The Week! Each week a new business will be featured as a “thank you” for being a part of our membership. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information!

Once over home inspection

 

Once Over Home Inspection offers professional home inspections for home buyers, as well as proactive owners and sellers.

 As a Minnesota, licensed contractor, Phil Beverly has been involved in everything from high-end design/build new construction to complex remodeling projects. From footings and fill to roofs and ridgelines, Phil has personally constructed and repaired all the major systems of a home. He is known throughout the Leech Lake area as an experienced professional.

Member of the week: Culligan

The Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce presents Culligan as Member of the week.  Each week a new business will be featured as a “Thank you” for being a part of our membership.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce please give us a call at 218-547-1313 and we will be happy to give you some more information.

Culligan

 

Since the beginning, Culligan’s mission has been to deliver high quality water treatment products that will benefit every part of our customers’ lives.  We hope to raise the quality of life by purifying its most essential element, water.

We’ve seen about every water problem imaginable and we’re solving these problems to deliver the refreshing, clean and pure water that’s become our hallmark.  Free of contaminants and minerals, water treated with Culligan softeners or filtration systems will make an impression on your and your household or work.

Culligan of Bemidji was established in 1946 in the area that is Bemidji City Hall. Bill and June Bender bought the Culligan franchise from Clarence Oside in 1961.  They purchased the dealership in Parks Rapids in 1974 and combined both stores to operate out of Bemidji.  In 1981 a new office and shop were built in the current  location of 1400 Neilson Ave.  The Bender family retired and the business was sold  to John Packerd.  John owns and operates 31 dealerships through out the United States.  It is important to our company that each Culligan dealership is active and connected to the communities  they service.  Let’s begin by having Nora do a in home water analysis, then Frank or Jeff will install your whole house water treatment, and Adam will customize your delivery needs.  Contact Connie today and she will get you started on the way to a happier healthier life.  Our hours are 8 AM to 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday.  Culligan, Better Water, Pure and Simple.