April 30, 2015 - 4:51 pm - Posted in Sports

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to Iowa DNRprovide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST

West Okoboji Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Northerns are becoming more abundant in the shallows. Few large females were caught in gill nets Monday night. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are reporting an increase in smallmouth bass catch on sunny calm days. These fish are being caught over sand flats near rocks. Pulling a crankbait slow is your best bet. Bluegill – Good: Many anglers are having success fishing the canals. Water temperatures are 4 to 5 degrees warmer in the canals which is bringing fish in from the cooler waters. Fish using worm and bobber or small feather jigs. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappie are being seen around Gull Point out from the point and out of the canals and back waters. Largemouth Bass – Good: A good number of largemouth have been seen roaming the banks around rock piles and existing weed lines  at Gull Point, trestle bridge, Smiths Bay, Manhattan, Omaha, and Pikes Point. Yellow Perch – Fair: Schools of perch are being seen by local anglers at the trestle bridge. These perch are not large but there are very high numbers of them schooling up in the warmer waters between east and west Okoboji.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish have been seen in good numbers at Lone Tree Point, little stoney, and near parks marina. These fish are being caught in gill nets and are getting larger as the water temperature increases.  Northern Pike – Fair: Fish black spinner baits around docks just before dark. Many anglers are reporting that fish are coming in shallow to warmer water around dark. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up more bluegill at the trestle bridge. Fish size range from 4-9 inch. Anglers are using small jigs, worm and bobber. Crappie – Fair: More and more crappies are being seen and caught at the trestle bridge. Larger fish are not being caught; most fish caught are 7-8 inch. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are reporting more bass around the trestle bridge while they are fishing. These fish are being seen under boat hoists and around the bridge structures.

 Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Anglers along the grade are still catching northerns; water temperatures are still in the 60s which is holding more fish with this cool down. Fish spinner or large jerk baits. Black Crappie – Fair: The old foot bridge rock piles are holding good numbers of crappie. Anglers are pulling feather jigs along the rocks and catching small 7-10 inch crappie. Larger fish should become more available as water temperatures warm again. Bullhead – Good: A fair number of keeper bullhead are being caught at the Little spirit tube. Many anglers are having to leave to buy more worms. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth are being seen along rocky shores and being caught pulling slow deep diving crankbait. Bullhead – Good: The north grade is producing many bullheads. Anglers are reporting good numbers using worms weighted to the bottom. The little spirit outlet is beginning to see more fish. Largemouth Bass – Fair: More and more largemouth bass have been seen around Rednose and Cottonwood Point but not caught. Anglers are having success throwing jerk baits far away from the boat where fish can’t see anglers and working jerk baits slow.

Lake Pahoja

Bluegill – Excellent: Fish the jetties that are placed around the lake; bluegills are thick around all the jetties and in great numbers. Average size ranges between 7.5-8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Good: Bass are being caught around the standing cattails and off the jetties. Fish with small jigs or worm and bobbers.

Five Island Lake

Yellow Bass – Good: Anglers throwing soft plastic minnow baits in 8 feet of water are seeing a steady bite from yellows.

Lost Island Lake

Walleye – Fair: Anglers are seeing many walleyes at the south end of the lake using yellow twister tails. These fish are swimming slowly; persistence will get them in the boat. Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers throwing soft plastic minnow baits are catching 8-10 inch yellows.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye – Good: Anglers are catching walleye using plastics, crank baits, leaches, and minnows fished along the east and south sides of the lake. Anglers are doing well fishing along the dredge cuts between Chautauqua Point and the big island. Fishing the dredge cuts between the big island and Shorty’s Island has also been productive for walleye. Yellow Perch – Slow: A few perch have been picked up with minnows along the east side of the lake. White Bass – Good: White bass are being caught along the east side of the lake and around the dredge cuts; they are biting on plastics, leaches, and minnows.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Walleye – Fair: Anglers are catching walleye in the evenings using twisters.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Good: Channel cats are being caught using any kind of stink bait. Find a deep hole on the outside bend of the river or fish above a riffle. Fish range from 1 to 12 pounds.

West Fork Des Moines (state line to Emmetsburg)

Walleye – Fair: More and more anglers are reporting increased walleye catch along the Hwy. 18 bridge. Fish are being caught using twister tails and shad raps. Fish the snags parallel to the bank. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stink bait upstream of any snags or deeper pools. Anglers are catching many fish per outing.

West Fork Des Moines (Emmetsburg to Humboldt)

Channel Catfish – Fair: Catfish are being caught in fair numbers at any of the bridge access points in Emmetsburg. Anglers are having success using stink bait. Walleye – Slow: Persistent anglers willing to walk to find fish have been successful.  Anglers are using yellow or green twister tails with white or pink heads. Cast parallel to the bank alongside of snags and dead fall.

April 30, 2015 - 4:37 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Tennie Stirler age 90 of Sibley, IA died Thursday, April 30, 2015 at Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, IA.

Funeral service will be 11:30 a.m. Monday, May 4, 2015 at the First Reformed Church in Sibley, IA, with Rev. Luke Schouten officiating.

Private family burial will take place prior to the service at Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley, IA.

Visitation will be Sunday, May 3rd from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. with the family present from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley.

April 30, 2015 - 3:44 pm - Posted in News

Ames, Iowa — Avian influenza does not impact the foods that consumers eat, says an Iowa State University food safety expert.
fried egg
Dr. Angela Shaw, assistant professor in food science and human nutrition and extension specialist in food safety says that consumers should feel safe to eat properly-cooked and prepared meat and eggs from poultry.


She says the disease is caused by an influenza virus that can infect poultry, such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks and geese, and is carried by migratory birds such as ducks, geese and shorebirds. She says it’s technically not impossible for humans to be infected with the virus, but most cases involve very close direct contact with sick birds.

She says it doesn’t matter if you get your eggs and poultry meat from the store or direct from a farmer.


Shaw said the Food and Drug Administration maintains that properly-cooked poultry and eggs pose no threat. She advised that consumers always should follow the FDA’s procedures for safe handling and cooking of poultry products:

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry and eggs.
  • Clean cutting boards and other utensils with soap and hot water to keep raw poultry or eggs from contaminating other foods.
  • Cutting boards may be sanitized by using a solution of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water.
  • Cook poultry to an internal temperature of at least 170°F. Consumers can cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.
  • Cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 170°F.
  • Use pasteurized eggs or egg products for recipes that are served using raw or undercooked eggs. Some examples of these kinds of dishes are Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream. Commercial mayonnaise, dressing and sauces contain pasteurized eggs that are safe to eat. Pasteurized eggs and egg products are available from a growing number of retailers and are clearly labeled.

Shaw says she encourages people to continue to support poultry and egg farmers by eating eggs and poultry meat because, as she puts it, “it’s our livelihood.”

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:

Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3

The Egg Industry Center at Iowa State University has additional information for consumers at:  http://www.ans.iastate.edu/EIC/Templates/AvianInfluenzaConsumers.dwt

The ISU College of Veterinary Medicine has avian influenza information, including materials to protect backyard flocks, at:  http://vetmed.iastate.edu/aiv-background-and-resources

Angela Shaw, Food Science and Human Nutrition, (515) 294-0868,angelaml@iastate.edu
Ed Adcock, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service, (515) 294-2314,edadcock@iastate.edu

April 28, 2015 - 5:03 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Center Fresh Group, based out of Sioux Center, is the latest company to be hit by the avian bird flu. Of the 6 million laying hens involved in the five cases that were reported as infected on Monday by state and federal regulators, 5.5 million of those were from Center Fresh, with 1.7 million hens located at the Sioux County Egg Farm and 3.8 million hens at the Center Fresh Egg Farm.

Center Fresh is an egg supplier for a company owned by Post Holdings Co., commonly known for their cereal brands, Grape-Nuts, Raisin Bran and Honey Bunches of Oats, and is based out of St. Louis. A Post official confirmed on Wednesday that Center Fresh, a third-party supplier for Michael Foods, which is owned by Post and supplies ten percent of their eggs, was indeed affected by the avian bird flu.

Officials, both state and federal, are stressing the fact that there has never been a case reported in humans, and that it holds no threat to consumers as a food safety risk.

J.T. Dean, the chief financial officer for Center Fresh, said in a statement that they were “incorporating every precautionary measure available to protect (their) flocks” and that Center Fresh is working closely with state and federal regulators “as well as with our colleagues in the farming community, to take the necessary steps to limit the spread of this devastating disease.”

Dean went on to say, “our family has farms across Iowa, and we are committed to working tirelessly and devoting all needed resources to protect our remaining flocks from this disease. Heightened biosecurity protocols and greatly restricted access to farms will be critical to preventing any additional outbreaks.”

So far there have been eight facilities directly affected by the virus in Iowa, with a total of over 10 million birds, including laying hens, turkeys and pullets, needing to be destroyed. The U.S. Department of agriculture is working with the affected companies on how best to dispose of the birds.

While trying to determine how this disease is spreading, federal officials believe that farm workers may be carrying it on their clothing or shoes without realizing it, but it’s also possible that it’s moving on bird feathers or dust carried by the wind, something much more difficult to track.

Dean stated that “our family has spent our lives working to ensure the health and well-being of our flocks, and this news deeply affects all of us. The next few days will be difficult for our family, our employees and our community, and we are grateful for the support of so many during this time.”

Warm weather drastically reduces the ability for the virus to spread, and while this has been a big hit for Northwest Iowa and the surrounding states, as we get closer to summer we can hope to see this issue come to an end.

 

FIVE CONFIRMED CASES OF HIGHLY PATHOGENIC AVIAN INFLUENZA CONFIRMED IN OSCEOLA, O’BRIEN AND SIOUX COUNTIES

Northwest Iowa — According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the five possible cases of avian influenza reported on Monday afternoon — have been confirmed.

The agency’s web site says that the cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry farms in Osceola, O’Brien and Sioux Counties in Northwest Iowa are now confirmed.  These five new cases join three cases of the disease in Iowa. All birds on the properties will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.
chickens
Osceola County 2 – Pullet farm with an estimated 250,000 birds.

O’Brien County 1 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 240,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality.

O’Brien County 2 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 98,000 birds that has experienced increased mortality.

Sioux County 1 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 1.7 million birds that has experienced increased mortality.

Sioux County 2 – Commercial laying operation with an estimated 3.8 million birds that has experienced increased mortality.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have ever been detected there is no food safety risk for consumers.

The United States has the strongest Avian Influenza (AI) surveillance program in the world.  As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps: 1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area; 2) Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s); 3) Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area; 4)  Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations; and 5) Test – confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facilities to ensure proper precautions are being taken.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian at 515-281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.

Information will also be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.

April 28, 2015 - 12:18 pm - Posted in Sports

Dickinson County, Iowa — The 139th walleye fishing season officially opens May 2 at Spirit Lake, East and West Okoboji lakes. Beautiful weather is forecast this weekend, but lake conditions could create some challenges.

“The lakes are very cool and clear this spring,” said fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins. “We’re seeing 12-15 feet of water clarity on Big Spirit Lake and 6-7 feet of clarity on East Okoboji.  Walleyes are definitely more cautious and finicky in that clear water. When the water is this clear, the bite is usually a lot better after dark.  Daytime walleye fishing will be tough.

“Water clarity presents challenges anglers may be accustomed to, but lagging water temperatures are certainly another thing to keep in mind.  After a cold first half of April, water temperatures are struggling to get into the 50s,” Hawkins said.

Walleye population assessments in the Iowa Great Lakes indicate very healthy numbers of large walleyes.

“We continue to see some of the best numbers of broodstock sized fish (17 inches and greater) that we have ever documented in the Iowa Great Lakes,” he said. The smaller, harvest-sized walleye numbers are probably best on the Okoboji chain, while a better percentage of the Spirit Lake population is above 17 inches.

Anglers heading to the lakes for the opener will be greeted with beautiful weather conditions; 75 degrees and sunny skies are forecast for Saturday.  There is a slight chance of showers on Sunday. Water temperature should increase this week, however, which may help the bite.

A quick check of state park campgrounds in the area found many sites with electricity still available at Marble Beach, Gull Point and Emerson Bay.

Walleye season opens the first Saturday in May through February 14 each year. There is a protected slot limit on walleyes from 17 to 22 inches, with only one walleye over 22 inches allowed per day. The daily limit is three walleyes with a possession limit of six.

The Iowa Great Lakes Chamber of Commerce will host the 33rd annual Great Walleye Weekend Fishing Contest in conjunction with the opener.  For more information on the contest, visit their website – www.okobojichamber.com.

April 27, 2015 - 6:26 pm - Posted in News
cap arms groundbreaking2

Photo credit: Mike Earll

Sibley, Iowa — Capital Armament Company broke ground Monday morning at the site of their future manufacturing facility, at the building site located at the junction of Highways 9 and 60, northeast of Sibley.

We had a chance to talk to Capital Armament CEO Clint Gerner and asked him his impressions of the groundbreaking ceremony.


He gives us an idea of what they’ll be doing in the new facility.


He gives us some particulars about the building, which will sit on a 23-and-a-half acre lot.


He says you can buy their products from several stores. They are working out a deal now with Scheels, and he says it’s undergoing remodeling right now, but their website also has factory-direct ordering.

Left to right: Nathan Reinhart, Clint Gerner, Chris McCann--Owners (Photo credit - Mike Earll)

Left to right on shovels: Owners Nathan Reinhart, Clint Gerner, Chris McCann (Photo credit – Mike Earll)

We asked him how they decided to come to Sibley. He said they needed to expand, but due to some Minnesota regulations they decided to move out of the state. He says the Sibley area leaders really get the credit for the company’s decision to move to Sibley.


Gerner says the “Home Base Iowa” initiative for veterans was also a perk, as they try to keep veterans as at least 50 percent of their workforce, and there are some nice incentives for them through “Home Base Iowa.

He says over the next three years they hope to hire for 36 new positions, with between 4 and 16 of them being hired this year depending on the market.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:

Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3
Cut 4

April 27, 2015 - 11:28 am - Posted in Community Calendar

music-notes

The Sibley Christian Reformed Church invites you to the concert of the Brown’s Family from LeMars, IA which will be given on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. in the Christian Reformed Church. Invite your friends to join you and come to hear the message they will be giving.

April 27, 2015 - 8:57 am - Posted in Obituaries

Arleen BoneschansArleen Boneschans, age 80 of Sheldon, formerly of Melvin, passed away at the Sanford Senior Care Center in Sheldon on Friday, April 24, 2015.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, April 29th at 10:30 a.m. at the First Reformed Church in Sanborn, with burial at Roseland Cemetery near Sanborn.

Visitation will be Tuesday, April 28th from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the family present from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Sanborn Funeral Home.

The Sanborn Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for 80 year-old Arleen Boneschans of Sheldon, formerly of Melvin.

April 26, 2015 - 12:19 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowagolden shovel — A new manufacturing facility is to be built in Sibley, and there’s going to be a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, April 27th.

Capital Armament Company CEO, Clint Gerner says that the company plans an official ground-breaking ceremony for their 8,000+ square-foot office and manufacturing facility at 11:00 AM. The ceremony will be held at the building site located at the junction of Highways 9 and 60 just north of Northland Buildings and the Growing Edge facilities in the Osceola County Enterprise Park. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Osceola County Economic Development coordinator Mike Earll says Capital Armament is a firearms and ammunition manufacturer and dealer founded by three friends and veterans. The company manufactures purpose-built ammunition, with a focus on the competition shooting market as well as law enforcement applications. He says Capital Armament also manufactures law enforcement firearms and sells a line of smokeless gun powders.

Earll says the company moved its business operations from Mendota Heights, Minnesota to Sibley, Iowa in January of 2015 and have begun production in a temporary facility.

Completion of the office and manufacturing facility is scheduled for September of 2015.

Company officials say that this “state-of-the-art” facility will allow the company to expand its manufacturing capabilities, improve efficiency, and begin the process of hiring additional employees to meet the growing demand for their products. Company officials say they are excited to be located and growing in Osceola County and look forward to playing an active role in the community for many years to come.

April 23, 2015 - 3:36 pm - Posted in Sports

Spirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to Iowa DNRprovide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.

NORTHWEST

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Walleye – Fair: Anglers have reported catching walleye near shore in the evenings. Successful anglers are fishing the south shore areas of the lake using twisters. Yellow Perch – Slow: Perch have been caught on crawlers fished under a bobber. White Bass – Fair: White bass are being caught along the east side of the lake near the Kings Point area and the little island.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Good: Anglers along the grade are still catching northerns; water temperatures are in the 60s which is holding more fish with this cool down. Fish spinner or large jerk baits. Black Crappie – Fair: The old foot bridge rock piles are holding good numbers of crappie. Anglers are pulling feather jigs along the rocks and catching small 7-10 inch crappie. As water temperatures warm, larger fish should become more available. Bullhead – Good: A fair number of keeper bullhead are being caught in gill nets on Big Stoney. They will bite on anything, which makes for a great fishing experience for younger kids. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth are being seen along rocky shores and being caught pulling slow deep diving crankbait. Bullhead – Good: The north grade is producing many bullheads. Anglers are reporting good numbers using worms weighted to the bottom. The little spirit outlet is beginning to see more fish.

East Okoboji Lake

Channel Catfish – Fair: Channel catfish have been seen in good numbers at Lone Tree Point, Little Stoney, and near parks marina. These fish are being caught in gill nets and are getting larger as the water temperature increases. Yellow Bass – Fair: Some large yellow bass have been seen in gill nets at Lone Tree Point and parks marina. These fish are not being seen in great numbers. Northern Pike – Fair: Fish black spinner baits around docks just before dark. Many anglers are reporting that fish are coming in shallow to warmer water around dark. Bluegill – Fair: Anglers are starting to pick up more bluegill at the trestle bridge. Fish size range from 4-9 inch. Anglers are using small jigs, worm and bobber. Crappie – Fair: More and more crappies are being caught at the trestle bridge. Most fish being caught are 7-8 inches. Largemouth Bass – Good: Anglers are reporting more bass around the trestle bridge. These fish are being seen under boat hoists and around the bridge structures.

West Okoboji Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Northerns are becoming more abundant in the shallows. Few large females were caught in gill nets Monday night. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Anglers are reporting an increase in smallmouth bass catch on sunny calm days. These fish are being caught over sand flats near rocks. Pulling a crankbait slow is your best bet. Bluegill – Good: Many anglers are having success fishing the canals. Water temperatures are 4 to 5 degrees warmer in the canals; bringing fish in from cooler waters. Fish using worm and bobber or small feather jigs. Black Crappie – Slow: Crappies are being seen around Gull Point out from the point and straight out of the canals and back waters.