2003 Echo Lake Lodge Newsletter


P.O. Box 1137                                      9699 County Road SS

Red Lake, Ontario P0V 2M0         Amherst Junction, WI 54407

807-727-2543                        715-824-5876  

     (summer)                                                                                           (winter)


www.echolakelodge.com       tehr@echolakelodge.com


Dear Friends of Echo Lake, 


Is there any truth to the rumor that the potatoes confiscated at the border were used for the free potato pancake breakfasts held in Ft. Frances, Ontario this summer?  :-]


Camp wintered well and there were only a few trees down on the portages.  Temperatures were in the 70’s when Tom arrived and continued upward to make this summer one of the warmest on record.  It was the first summer in over 50 years that we had 9 straight days of over 30°C (about 90°F).  Mitzi and our son, Dan, arrived 6-13-03 and we immediately started our projects.  After clearing the portage and patching the boats on Lake of Bays and High Lake, we headed for Detour to replace the roof on the cabin.  The cabin is now level, has a new roof that no longer leaks, new screens on the windows and plenty of firewood for a couple of seasons.  The roof on Caribou was re-shingled.  This summer, anything that got in Mitzi’s way was painted or stained!  Tom recycled logs from the old icehouse and #4 log cabin to build a new cabin where the icehouse used to stand.  Our on-going main lodge restoration saw some great progress this summer.  We replaced many of the rotten logs, put in new frames for the windows, completely stained the exterior, and re-shingled the roof.  On the inside, Tom used log-jam to chink between the logs in an effort to keep out the weather and mosquitoes.  For those of you that have been to Echo, check out the picture of the lodge on the website.  It looks great!  Tom made one change to the east wall.  See if you can tell what it is.  Most guests can eventually see it, but so far, no one has guessed it as fast as Justin Miller!  Next year, we have plans to replace the porch and re-shingle Black Bear, finish the interior of the lodge and build a gazebo, if time allows.


There are rumors in the air that the Ministry of Natural Resources is considering some new legislation.  Fisherman may be required to label each fish with their name and license number to eliminate ‘group’ fishing.  Also in discussion is a walleye slot size of 18-26”, and 1 walleye greater than 26” kept whole.  We do not anticipate this legislation to be in effect by the 2004 season, but please be prepared for it.  Bob Yoho brought in a Food Saver (vacuum packaging with see-through plastic bags.)  It worked great to package fish flat to ensure quick freezing.  It really helps to preserve that great “just caught” Canadian flavor as well as making the fillets easier to measure and pack in coolers to take home.  Since the MNR is now focusing on size and transporting fish, this little appliance could make everyone happy.  We purchased one for camp use and everyone is welcome and encouraged to use the food saver.  We ask that you bring a roll of bags for your use.  (We will also have rolls available for purchase.)  Rolls are better than individual bags, since they can accommodate even your biggest trophy! 


Phil Trebatoski and Tim Brillowski went swimming on May 24th.  The air was warm, but the water cold and they got out faster than it took to jump in!  Ralph Banke and grandson, Jordan, saw a bull moose on High Lake.  Jene Dubin and John Bouchea were lucky enough to see a caribou swim in the plane dock bay and get out on the front lawn.  Guests reported seeing approximately 15 caribou this year.  Thanks to digital zoom we now have some excellent pictures of moose and caribou that used to turn out like little brown spots against a beautiful Canadian scene. 


Al Stelk and group stayed overnight in camp before heading into Woodland Caribou Provincial Park.  They had a great week for canoeing.  In July Bill & Bonnie Clendenning said that the fly swatter had become part of their daily fishing equipment.  Matt Graesch and Marianne Olson were ‘storm chasers’ this summer.  One day the rain and lightning chased them off the water 4 times—but they were catching fish!  They played ‘chicken’ with not only rain but golf ball-sized hail.  Matt’s sunglasses were broken by the force of the hail, and Marianne was able to take an excellent picture of the hail shower (7-29-03) while they were under the shelter of a tree on Detour portage.  (We will add their picture to the web site when we do our next update. )


Clean Cabin Awards go to:  Randy Kraemer, Ralph Banke, Rassler/Hayes, Bill & Bonnie Clenndening, Gary Pribyl, Matt Boyle, and Duben/Bouchea. Thanks to everyone doing a great job cleaning up, we will continue to offer a 7-day week.  Many camps have gone to a Saturday to Friday booking.      


Some of the big fish caught this year were: 

WALLEYE: 29” - Eric Sill;  27˝“ – (2) Gary Pribyl (R) and 27 ˝” - Dave Murrey;  27” - Justin Miller (R). 

NORTHERN: 41” – John Rassler (R); 38” – Justin Kraemer (R) and Mike Fenwick (R).

LAKE TROUT:  29” - Gary Peterson (R); 28” – Neal Yoho.

We are beginning to see the results of catch and release.  Guests are catching more fish, larger fish, and releasing most of them.  These fish will help insure adequate populations in the future.  


Mother Nature made bear hunting difficult this year.  Early in the season, hunters had to deal with unusually hot weather.  In September, rainstorms and high winds made hunting difficult.  Dan Yenter made Echo Lake history by harvesting the first bear, (a 300# boar), with a bow on 8-18-03.


As always, our mailing list guests have first priority to make reservations for Summer 2004.  We encourage you to reserve your trip to Echo Lake Lodge as soon as your group has finalized plans.  We require that you put 50% down within 2 weeks of making your reservation and send the balance by May 1, 2003. 


Thanks again for the memories and for your business.  Wishing all of you a joyous, healthy, and safe holiday season.   


From the Wisconsin Loon’s Nest,

Tom & Mitzi