January scrapbook: Scenes from DeSoto


Fred Carritt retirement reception
George Hall of Crescent, Iowa, hauls his gear bak to shore after ice fishing at the DeSoto National wildlife refuge.

“It’s gorgeous out here,”  George Hall told editor Leeanna Ellis when we ventured onto the ice to interview ice fishermen in early January when DeSoto Bend National Wildlife Refuge opened the lake to ice fishing.  You don’t have to be an angler to enjoy the refuge this time of year.  Roads and trails inside the refuge are open to motorists and cyclists and hikers who are looking to view wildlife and some exercise.  Thousands of geese, ducks and some swans may be viewed from the warmth of the visitor center.

DeSoto ice fishing
Larry Landon, foreground, of Long, Iowa, and Paul Ross of Omaha enjoyed the mid-40 temperatures while ice fishing at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge.

On another afternoon I spotted Larry Landon of Logan, Iowa and Paul Ross of Omaha enjoying the comparatively balmy mid-40 temperatures to get out on the ice and do  some fishing.  “The fishing’s great,” Landon said as he sat on his bucket and watched his bobber, “but the catching’s pretty poor.”

DeSoto ice fishing
Mike Smith of Blair and his dog, Zeuss ice fish at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. Smith cough a couple bluegill.

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