Friday, December 14, 2012

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Recently we were informed by the Ministry of Natural Resources that we needed to take a look at a new fisheries management plan which an Advisory Council had developed for zone 4, the zone in which our camp is located.

We received two large packets of paperwork, one detailing background information for the development of a Fisheries Management Plan in Fisheries Management Zone 4 and the other packet was the actual draft of the Management Plan.

The Advisory Council consisted of two people from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, one person from the baitfish industry, one commercial fisherman, two people from Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters, one environmental person, one outdoor writer, two fishermen, one outdoor communicator and four people from the Aboriginal community.

In the background material on all the different species which the MNR has compiled, they found that in our zone 4 is the highest population of Walleye compared with all twenty zones in Ontario.  Northern Pike was second highest in population of all twenty zones in Ontario.

In the Draft plan that this Advisory Council has developed it states, "The 2005 angler recreational survey revealed that a low percentage of pike are kept.  The over-harvest of pike is not considered an issue in zone 4. "

The current regulation for pike is as follows:
season:  open all year
Limits:  Sport-4- none between 70-90-cm, not more than 1 greater than 90cm
              70 cm is about 27 1/2 inches

The Advisory Council Draft further states, "Since the implementation of the current northern pike slot size regulation, many anglers have complained to OMNR that the regulation prevents the harvesting of the most desired size of northern pike for consumption.  Anglers contend that northern pike below 70 cm are difficult to clean and are generally considered less desirable for consumption.  Angler representatives on the Advisory Council identified the preferred size of pike for consumption as between 70-90 cm with 80 cm identified as the ideal.  Anglers have indicated they want the opportunity to harvest one pike in this preferred size range.  To help reduce the harvest of walleye populations, both tourism and angler representatives agreed northern pike should be promoted and encouraged as an alternative to walleye as a shore lunch and take home catch.  However, some contend the current protected slot prevents anglers from consuming the most desirable size.  A social management objective to provide anglers with the opportunity to consume the preferred size of northern pike was developed. "

The plan they came up with was to remove the slot and say you can keep 3 pike 60 cm (23 inches) or less and one pike greater than 60 cm (23 inches). To remove the slot is a good thing, but to cut the size you can keep down to 23 inches seems very undesirable.

It is our understanding that in zone 5 which is right next door to us, they will now be able to take 3 pike which are 29 inches or less and one greater than that size. Why shouldn't zone 4 have the same size limits?

In the quote above from their draft plan, they already stated that anglers don't like to keep and clean these smaller pike below 70 cm, then they put the limit on three of them well below that size.  When it has already been established that the pike population is very high and in good health, why bring the catch and keep size down so drastically?  Most people let the larger ones go anyway. 

If you disagree with the plan that the Advisory Council has decided upon, you can let your voice be heard by contacting Jennifer Boyko at   They plan to make a decision in early 2013.

Together we can make positive change happen.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Signs of Moose

This afternoon we took a little Sunday stroll in the woods to get some exercise and we came upon an unusual sight.  There was about two inches of snow on the ground .  As we came around a corner, right before us were two large bare spots on the ground surrounded with snow and a pile of moose poop.  You could actually see where the Mama cow's legs were stretched out.  If you look closely at the photo, you will see where the two legs were laying to the right in the large bare spot.  The other bare spot was probably her calf.  Pretty cute.  Nice to know the hunters didn't kill all our moose. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beginnings of the New Dock System

My husband is a workhorse. He tackles one huge job after another. I don't know how he figures out how to do some of them. He says he figures it out as he goes. For instance, we are installing a new floating dock system for our guests, to alleviate the heavy boat traffic at our other docks. John has never built a rock crib for a dock before, but as you can see, he finished that part of the project and did a fine job. I am impressed!!! Where did I find such a man? I guess I'm just blessed. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Trip of a Lifetime

How do I describe such a dynamic, fascinating, encouraging, challenging, touching and heart-warming adventure as my two weeks in Israel during the month of September?

About thirteen years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Israel for the first time with our son Jonathan, who was about fifteen years old at the time.  It was a monumental trip too.  We were overwhelmed as we realized we were walking on the same streets as Jesus walked, viewed the hill where he was crucified and the tomb where he lay.

On this trip with Cherish, we visited some of these same sites, but being it was the second time for me, it was a deeper experience.  We started out in Jerusalem with the Jerusalem House of Prayer All Nations Convocation.  There were over 3,000 Christian delegates from 180 nations of the 230 in the world.  Awesome.  The underground church of China had 275 delegates; Indonesia had 90 delegates.  Other countries represented were Malaysia, Tahiti, Algeria, Morocco, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, France, Iran, Iraq, the U.S. Canada and so many more.  We stayed in a hotel with a lot of these beautiful people, ate with them, rode buses with them and got to hear such interesting stories of their lives and their lands.  I feel like a huge expansion took place in my mind and heart for a vision for the nations. 

What a grand experience to be in the Convocation meetings worshiping with this wide variety of humanity.  I'm sure it will be what heaven is like.  In quite a few of these countries, believers are giving their live as martyrs for the sake of their faith in Christ.  In fact, we were not allowed to take pictures when some people shared from certain nations because they could get in big trouble with their governments if they knew where they were.  They could not have their passports stamped in Israel.  They came in via other nations.

One huge revelation I received was the power of continual 24 hours a days, seven days a week worship and prayer.  When committed believers keep a vigil of prayer and worship going in their country, revival bursts forth and many give their lives to the Lord.   Whole nations are turned around from corruption to righteousness and the people flourish.

After visiting special sites in Jerusalem like the Old City where our group of six from the U.S. paused and sang songs of praise at the Jaffa Gate, the wailing wall, Golgotha, and the tomb, we had a unique side adventure.  Our small group went to the Jordan River and were baptized where it is believed that Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptist.  The usual place where tourists get baptized in the Jordan River is on the south end of the Sea of Galilee.  They have a large tourist attraction there along with a store to buy souvenirs of the country.  But where we went was the southern end of the Jordan River right next to the city of Jericho where there is a large Muslim population.  We went through a sort of check point in a fenced area with mines planted on either sides of the road.  It was quite sobering.  But what a tremendous experience. 

The next day we went to the Dead Sea.  Nothing is alive in the Dead Sea.  It is truly Dead because of the huge concentration of salt and other minerals.  It makes your skin feel very soft and if you have any skin problems etc., they tend to heal right up after soaking in it just a little while.  The weirdest thing is how you float so easily.  Cherish and I went out into deeper water and literally bounced up and down to try to go under and the water only went up to our shoulders.  You have to be careful not to get the water in your eyes because it burns.

 Several days later, we traveled north staying two nights in Nazareth, which is the largest city in the north.  For several days we visited different sites, like Mt. Carmel where Elijah the prophet of God put the false prophets of the god Baal to the test.  Their god did not answer them, but Elijah's God, the Creator of the universe sent fire from heaven that consumed the sacrifice lapping up every bit of water poured on it.
We then visited the Sea of Galilee and the Golon Heights which Israel acquired during the six day war of 1967.   All over the country, you see neat rows of banana trees, olive trees, orange trees and so many more kinds of fruits and vegetables being grown in what used to be barren areas, but which are now irrigated with lots of hoses with little holes in them releasing water.  Israel reuses 80% of all its water for agriculture.  

Our last night in the country, we all gathered in a 2000 year old outdoor coliseum in Cesarea right on the Mediterranean.  There were 500 holocaust survivors present for the program which honored them by handing out a white rose to each one.  Representatives from different nations including China, the U.S. and Iraq to name a few, asked them forgiveness for not helping them during their time of need, for turning a deaf ear, for forsaking them and leaving their families to perish in Hitler's death ovens.  It was a very moving, deeply emotional moment.  The culmination of the event was a spectacular fireworks display celebrating Jerusalem House of Prayer's 25 years as a ministry to Israel and the nations of the world.  It was a trip never to be forgotten.  I hope I can return again in the future.

Pictures. #1- Two young men in our team from U.S.,Cherish and I overlooking part of Jerusalem; #2  Cherish and I at Convocation; #3 Cherish and I standing in front of the wall and Old City of Jerusalem;  #4 the western wall of the ancient temple of the Jews known as the Wailing Wall;  #5 An alleyway in the Old City;  #6 Building in Old City;  #7  The dessert outside the city of Jerursalem where quite a few Bedouins live;  #8 The Dead Sea;  #9 Nazareth at twilight;  #10 Sea of Galilee; #11 Jordan River where most tourists go;  #12 The Jewish Quarter of the Old City;  #13 Jaffa Gate of the Old City where we stopped to sing;  #14  Coliseum at Cesarea.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Moose Hunter Prizes

Each fall, the men in orange visit us here at camp with the hopes of seeing and taking home a moose to fill their freezers.  Two groups of our hunters were successful in bringing home the beef, or rather moose.  Most of our groups at least got to see some adult moose in the area.

The top two pictures show our Italian Stallions who got a nice young bull not too far from camp.  Orlando, in the second picture, is the one who actually shot the moose.  He seems to have such good luck.  He shot the moose last year.  The guys in his group think it could be the moose like his smell the best.  I'm not sure what that means.

Nona Baker, John's mother, was able to stay with us for a week during moose season.  She decided to stroll up to the moose hanging pole to get a closer look at that large hairy creature.  In comparison to the moose, she looks quite petite.

The fourth picture is Lee Larviere's group from Windsor and Kingsville, Ontario.  Also pictured are Mirko, Jason and Raddseau.  They along with some friends who were camping in the bush came across this bull.  They didn't realize it at first, but there were actually two bulls in the same area, one was laying down.  When the shot was fired, this bull fell to the ground and the other bull laying down got up and ran.  At first they thought they had missed, but when they got up to the site, they found this bull on the ground dead. 

The fifth picture is the man who actually shot the bull. I didn't get his name.

The general consensus among the hunters is that they so enjoy just getting out in the woods, being surrounded by the beauty, the smells, and virtual silence of Northwestern Ontario that taking home a moose is a bonus.  According to studies recently conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources, the moose population is increasing in our area.  This is good news. 

Our dog sled trip customers enjoy seeing moose at a distance along the trails we run in the winter.  They are such majestic creatures.  Hopefully, their numbers will continue to rise in the future. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Move the Deer Crossing Signs

A well-meaning lady called into a talk show one morning to tell them something she was really frustrated about.  If you need a good laugh, you should take a look at this video.  It is hilarious!

Eggstremely Serious Business

While I was gone on my trip to Israel, Joanna had quite an experience while boiling some eggs in a pan on the stove.  I will let her tell the story herself...

"I had an embarrassing and hilarious event take place this afternoon that I am still laughing about... two police officers came here this afternoon and we were in the office visiting when suddenly we heard a loud bang upstairs in our house. Oh man, I forgot my hard-boiled eggs on the burner! As I raced up the stairs I heard
sizzling sounds and smelled, then saw billowing smoke!!! "There's a fire on the stove!" I yelled to my dad but as I ran into the kitchen I saw it wasn't on fire, just smoking bad. However.... an explosion had taken place... hard-boiled eggs were everywhere!!!!  Everyone had come quickly running up the stairs after me when I hollered and we all stared in amazement at the huge mess! It was even on the ceiling lol!!! Thankfully the officers politely offered not to include my egg explosion in their report! Whew! I know I will never live this one down... beats all my moms burned eggs big time! lol Needless to say... I spent several hours cleaning the floor, then the ceiling and working my way down the walls/cabinets...:) Sabre helped with the floor eating all the biggest chunks of egg... he enjoyed my explosion! What can I say? We try to keep things exciting here in the woods! ;)
Oh and at least they were free eggs! Given to us by some guests before they left, didn't mean to blow them up but who knew eggs exploded???

Monday, October 8, 2012

Goliath Has Fallen

Our nephew, Luke Krueger is pictured here with a recent brown bear kill in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska where he lives.  He and his brother have been bear guides with their Dad Tom Krueger for years up in Alaska.  Everytime we get to see them, we hear all kinds of scary stories of their adventures hunting the grizzly and brown bears.  I don't think I need that kind of adrenalin rush, but I guess it's a man thing.

Luke killed the bear with a single shot of his arrow.  Imagine that.  My brother asked if he used one of those Rambo arrows that has a bomb on the head of it.  No, he is just an experienced hunter and knows where to shoot.  Luke has a job of protecting men who work on highlines for the electrical company, to protect them from bear attacks.  I think they found the right man for the job.

Fall Catches

Fall is a great time, second only to spring in getting in some good fishing.  It's when the spring fishermen decide to come back for a second time knowing the feeding area has changed for the walleye and they know just where to find them.  Plus you don't have to worry about bugs like you sometimes have to in June.  It's a very pleasant time to be out on the lakes and rivers.

The top three pictures are the Allick family who camp here for almost two weeks each August.  They never have trouble getting their limits.  The last picture is Steve Hummel holding a handsome Lake Trout. 

It's been a very good season all around and so enjoyable visiting with our guests.  Now as things slow down here at camp, we press into high gear to get some major projects done before next year.  I almost look forward to snow season when we give ourselves permission to relax a bit.  Yeah!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This is Earl Gillis from Thunder Bay, Ontario. He and his lovely wife Susie started coming this year to our camp and are quite the fishermen. Earl caught this 42 inch, 40 pound Lake Trout right here on Indian Lake. It is the biggest Lake Trout I have ever seen.   He said it might be an older one, but it was very healthy. Earl released it to let it live another day.

Picture Perfect Pike

-The Jack and Renee Anderson family and Steve and Marie Mickelson recently stayed at camp and really hit upon some good Northern Pike fishing in a nearby lake.  Steve has come to this camp since it began and to the area well before that.  So, he is pretty familiar with the lakes in the area and all the best fishing spots.  However, this time it was Marie, his wife who outshined them all.  She caught both the Pike she is holding and the one Steve is holding as well.  Who says women can't catch fish, eh?

New Sign In

This spring we finished putting together a new sign to replace the old one just a mile up the 325 road from Hwy 599.  We realized the timing was right because the old one was rotting away and fell apart as we took it down.  We know from our first experience driving down the 325 road to Agimac River Outfitters, that it is very comforting to know you are on the right road since it seems to be a fur piece to the camp. 

Fishing Fun at Agimac River Outfitters

Pete Oettinger, his Dad and some of his brothers and close friends joined us for a stay at Agimac River Outfitters last week.  They did very well bringing in the fish, traveling to different lakes and out on Indian Lake.  His brother Mark brought his sons Kadin (11) and Keegan (9) along as well who are pictured here with Grandpa Tom.  Kadin actually caught the fish he is holding.  Pete's group and others from camp enjoyed a memorable time around our new campfire ring one night.  We have found it is a great way to spend time with our guests and get to know each other better. 

The Grandbaby is Here

Our son Jonathan, his wife Reseth and their 14 month old son Aaron came for a visit in August along with our daughter Cherish.  Our greatest treat is to have all our children and grandchild home.  It seems I live in a state of always longing to see them more.  Aaron, our only grandchild, is growing by leaps and bounds.  I want to be involved with every stage of his growth and maturity.  Children are absolutely precious and he was our entertainment for almost two weeks.  How he loves music.  Every time someone starts to sing or play a song, he wiggles his body, claps his hands and hums along.  Music is in his little heart.  He is game for anything.  He has only been walking a few months and never on the uneven ground of the forest floor.  We took him on a hike to the falls and he began walking that trail all by himself, lifting his feet over large roots and stabilizing himself when he would encounter rocks sticking up.  He actually got into a run.  Then he would stop and clap and laugh, so pleased with his new accomplishment.  Jonathan and Reseth also took him on his first boat ride and on a four wheeler ride.  I think he fell asleep on that one.  Can you tell I'm a new grandma???

About the middle of our visit, my mother passed away, so Jonathan and Cherish accompanied me as we drove to Winnipeg to fly down to Atlanta, GA  then drove up to Franklin, NC for the funeral.  It was a whirlwind three day trip.  Cherish officiated at the funeral and did a superb job.  It was a beautiful celebration of Mom's life, bringing glory to God and a very special time with family and friends.