As things go, I spent some time with a DNR agent today:
Yeah! Funny enough, after I dropped the ball a bit in correspondence, we ended up meeting by chance at a bar last night, which led to plans for this morning. So, my friend Jack and I drove southwest, through Gary, through New Duluth, across the Highway 23 bridge, and met Randy at a trailhead right near the Minnesota/Wisconsin border. He was taking us on a short walk to the St. Louis River and the Fond Du Lac Dam.
It was an ideal morning for a walk — clear skies and perfectly cold. We walked through an older forest with plenty of white and red pines, chatting about all sorts of things, especially Randy’s job. He’s very committed and thoughtful about the important work he does, and I asked him a few basic questions on microphone:
Then we made it to the dam. Damn:
Aside from the power it collects, the dam acts as an important barrier for the spread of VHS, an invasive fish virus. I’m no expert, but there’s plenty more to learn about the dam in this thorough post done by John Weeks.
I’m not sure if the Fond Du Lac Dam is a particularly well-known spot in the area, but I could have stayed all day. In Summer, it would be a wonderful spot to read. Randy also mentioned that the protected waters around the dam will be attracting a lot of fish soon — the St. Louis will practically be stuffed, gill to gill.
That’s about it — Randy generously wanted to share a little of what he does with the DNR and I wanted to pass along his generosity to you. A wonderful last Sunday morning of the project. (Follow the link for some more photos of the short trip.)