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Help prevent spread of invasive aquatic plants around West Okoboji Lake

The DNR continues to work with partners to develop a management plan and move through the permitting process. Boaters and other lake users must be extra vigilant when cleaning their boats and equipment to prevent the spread of these invasive aquatic plants into the main part of West Okoboji Lake or other lakes.

FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Indians, Pioneers to compete in Class 2A District 2

It’s been several years since Spirit Lake and Okoboji played in the same football district, but the longtime Dickinson County rivals will square off once again this season as they compete in the newly reconfigured Class 2A District 2. The Indians and Pioneers will face Estherville Lincoln Central, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Forest City and Clarion-Goldfield-Dows for district supremacy.

Which team will bring home the title? We’ll find out soon enough.


FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Wolves seek three-peat in Eight-Player District 2

There are some new and old faces in the realigned Eight-Player District 2 for the 2023 football season. Harris-Lake Park, Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire and West Bend-Mallard shared the district title last season and will likely be three of the top teams in the district once again despite losing several of their best players to graduation. Bishop Garrigan, North Iowa and Northwood-Kensett could potentially be teams on the rise.

What do we do now?

The word is out, and the Iowa Great Lakes is once again reeling from the news of the discovery of Eurasian watermilfoil in the Millers Bay canal, the Harbor and Triboji Lagoon. Plus, brittle naiad, another invasive plant was also found at Triboji Lagoon. The media – radio, television and newspaper have all covered it, so there is no sense in rehashing it all.

Keep it simple for more fish

Boy oh boy has it been hot! Record heat in some areas! For safety reasons, many anglers are limiting their time on the water to early and late in the day to avoid the heat.  

When we go fishing, but especially when our time on the water is limited, we want to use techniques that increase our chances for getting bit. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, the best technique for getting bit is a simple technique. Following are some simple ideas that will catch fish.  

Trip Tip: Big Creek Wildlife Area

Often overlooked for its similarly named state park or mistaken for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sprawling Saylorville Wildlife Area, Big Creek Wildlife Area is roughly 3,100-acre, one stop outdoor shop just 10 minutes from Ankeny.

It features remnant and reconstructed prairie, mature hardwood forest, small sediment basins for remote, hike-in fishing, and huge blocks of contiguous forest with no roads or lanes to break it up.

VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Indians look to reload in top-heavy Lakes Conference

Last season, following the departure of perennial power Western Christian, the Lakes Conference crowned a new champion.

Cherokee went undefeated in conference play to take the title — and the Braves return a solid core of young talent again this season. They will be the early favorites to repeat as conference champions, but Estherville Lincoln Central, Spirit Lake, Spencer and Storm Lake all have reason to be excited for the upcoming volleyball season.

VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Pioneers hope to improve in stacked Siouxland Conference

VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Wolves hope to rebound after back-to-back winless seasons in War Eagle

Two schools represented the always stellar War Eagle Conference at the 2022 state volleyball tournament. Unity Christian — the conference champions — qualified for the Class 3A tournament and Hinton went all the way to the Class 2A state semifinals. Gehlen Catholic fell a game short of a state tournament berth in Class 1A.

Stein wins Pan American U20 Championships

Three University of Iowa track and field athletes represented the United States at the Pan American U20 Championships on Aug. 4-6.

Former Spirit Lake High School athlete Mike Stein was crowned champion on Sunday in the men’s javelin with a throw of 71.38 meters. Stein took the lead from the jump with all of his throws being farther than the silver medalist’s farthest throw.

Dickinson County softball, baseball athletes earn postseason honors

Seven Dickinson County softball and baseball athletes earned additional postseason awards following the conclusion of their respective state tournaments.

In softball, Spirit Lake senior Taylor Schneider was a Class 3A Third Team All-State and Class 3A West All-District selection by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.

IGLFC gets youngsters involved in fishing

It has been a pretty crazy, busy and at the same time a gratifying summer for the Iowa Great Lakes Fishing Club (IGLFC). It seems like since the ice left the area lakes, IGLFC volunteers have been going nonstop making sure northwest Iowa youngsters get the chance to go fishing.

Think about trying a river

It’s about this time every year when I think back on my early days of fishing on the small to mid-size rivers that were close to my north Iowa home. There were ponds and lakes in the area, but the rivers at this time of year provided better fishing action. In recent days, I visited some of my old fishing holes.  

Chronic wasting disease found in Marshall County deer

A tissue sample collected in mid-June from a road killed adult buck deer in Marshall County has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. With the addition of Marshall County, 260 deer have tested positive in 16 Iowa counties since 2013.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has scheduled two meetings to update the public on chronic wasting disease surveillance and management efforts in Jasper, Marshall and Grundy counties.

REVIEW: Spirit Lake baseball players earn conference honors

Spirit Lake’s baseball team got out to a hot start, winning seven of the first eight games of the 2023 season. Success was spotty for the Indians from that point forward, as they dropped 11 of their next 16. However, a 12-12 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the Lakes Conference was a marked improvement from their 9-17 season the year prior.

For their efforts, eight players earned conference recognition following the season.


REVIEW: Five Indians earn conference softball awards

Spirit Lake’s softball team continued its strong tradition of winning under first-year head coach Jason Schneider. The Indians went 14-9 overall and 4-4 in the Lakes Conference in 2023. It was their 14th straight season at or above .500.

For their efforts, five Spirit Lake softball players earned conference honors.



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