2012 Echo Lake Lodge Newsletter


            P.O. Box 1137                        8927 North Shore Dr.

    Red Lake, Ontario P0V 2M0          Amherst Jct., WI 54407

    807-727-2543                        715-824-5876

       www.echolakelodge.com                ehr@wi-net.com


Nice weather greeted us when we opened camp this spring.  There was very little winter damage and only a few trees to clear from the portages.  The Saturday the MacFarlane group arrived was a nice day, but Sunday was a different story:  cold and rain (with wind!) that lasted 3 days.  Although they were unable to fish until Wednesday, they were rewarded with some really nice Walleyes.  After one week of beautiful 70-degree weather, Rodney and Tracy Piotrowski arrived in camp and wore their rain gear all week.  It rained 8 straight days with accumulations of more than 5 inches.  By the middle of June, the floating dock was up higher than the approach for the first time in about a year.  There was very little rain the rest of the summer and water levels were very low by the end of the 2012 season.         


Every season fishing seems to improve, with this year being no exception.  In fact, some fishermen had trouble catching ‘small’ fish for supper.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who practices ‘catch and release’ and is careful in handling and releasing fish.  We would like to recognize these anglers for the nice fish they caught.  Northern:  42” Dan Fager, 41” Leon Kubiak, 39” Mary Somers, 37” Barb Block, 36” Jim MacFarlane, 36” Dan Ehr, 35” Tom Ward, 35” Jason Ehr, 35” Karen Ehr   Walleye:  32” Bob Wall, 32” Darryl Somers, 29.5” Brian Spangler, 29.5” Curt McMurrin, 29.5” Steve Harms, 29” Kathy Baarsch, 29” Jack Rasmussen, 28.5” Pat Stepanek, 28” Jack Rasmussen, 27” Dexter Block  Lake Trout:  23” Nick Von Ahsen, 23” Mitzi Ehr  Five times our guests reported that a larger northern attacked a smaller northern they caught.  David Hayakawa harvested his first bear ever with a bow.  Check out Pictures 2012 on our website:  www.echolakelodge.com           


Although not by choice, Marc Foster took the first swim of the season on 6-6-12.  Jim Jones caught a fishing pole lost by Dave Murray last year.  Mari Fager’s “First Northern Ever” was 24”.  There was a lot of wildlife in camp this summer, including about 4 generations of rabbits, who put on “The Rabbit Show” about 7:00 pm each evening.  Two pink flamingos were spotted in my garden one morning.  Hmm… are they here to stay or were they just migrating through?  One morning, it thundered continuously for approximately 15 minutes.  We were honored to have the namesakes of Tobonje Lake in camp all at the same time this summer:  Tom, Bonnie, and Jeanie (Children of Hank and Marcie Faess)



We, along with our nephews, Jasper and Dexter, were busy in 2012 with many projects:  new boat seats in a Mirro Craft, a night crawler bed, 4 gallons of stain and paint, solar lights with a charging station in the Lodge kitchen, and another tribute to former owners in the Lodge.  The Loon’s nest has a concrete foundation, needed repairs and chinking.  We continue to add new footings on the houses.  Moose has a new soffet.          


Shortly after leaving camp, we were informed of a snowstorm that hit the Red Lake area.  It brought about 14 inches of very heavy wet snow with high winds from Manitoba to NE of Red Lake.  It knocked out power for about 72 hours.  A moose hunter said that it took 12 hours to clear the road from the Onnie portage to Black Bear Lodge (11 miles).


Guests this season saw new signs posted above every water faucet in camp.  This was in response to the Small Drinking Water System Plan that we received from the Kenora office.  The water to buildings in camp comes from the lake.  Please plan accordingly and bring bottled water for drinking, if you choose.     


Remember to bring your Passport and Outdoors Card. Canada now requires all boat operators to have a Pleasure Craft Operator Card or a completed Rental Boat Safety Checklist (available from us).  Non-residents can also use written proof of competency such as a boating safety course.  With the rising cost of beer and alcohol in Canada, some guests have been taking advantage of the lower cost at Duty Free before crossing the border.  Get more information and hours of operation at:  www.dutyfreeamericas.com  


We encourage any guests with questions about admissibility into Canada to call Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters Association (NOTO) at 1-800-665-5787.  NOTO offers one-on-one support for potential non-resident guests who have border-crossing questions.


We are now taking reservations for the 2013 season.  As always, our mailing list guests have first priority to make reservations, so we encourage you to reserve your trip to Echo Lake Lodge as soon as your group has finalized plans.  For the past few years, we have watched the gas and propane price rise dramatically.  We hoped that the rise was temporary, but it appears that those high prices are here to stay.  Therefore, we have been forced to increase our weekly rate to $550.  Our rates include boat, motor, and unlimited gas.  We request that you put 50% down within 2 weeks of making your reservation and send the balance by May 1, 2013. 

From the Wisconsin Loon’s Nest,

Tom & Mitzi