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Posts Tagged ‘North Knife Lake Lodge’

Big fish, delicious meals, zero stress, at North Knife Lake Lodge, say Piette and Bourque

Germain Bourque (right) with Lake Trout at North Knife Lake Lodge

Germain Bourque (right) with trophy Lake Trout at North Knife Lake Lodge

You know you’ve had a good fishing trip when you come home a few pounds heavier as a result of all the delicious meals you’ve had!

“We had such delicious meals and shore lunches,” said North Knife Lake Lodge guest Martin Piette after his trip. “I must have gained five pounds that week!”

Such is often the case when returning from a fishing trip at our North Knife Lake Lodge. Guests rave about the variety and tastiness of the meals our chefs prepare. Of course, the meals are just one of the great features in our all-inclusive packages. The fishing is second to none at North Knife. We had a whopping 65 Master Angler Lake Trout and Northern Pike come out of our lake this summer.

Martin and Germain Bourque (pictured) had a fabulous time. “We had an amazing trip at Webber’s Lodges,” said Martin. “We felt more than welcome. The people were absolutely charming.”

Martin went on to say that stress was nowhere to be found during his time at the Lodge, which is definitely how it should be when you’re on vacation!

Big fish, delicious meals, zero stress—that’s the North Knife Lake Lodge fishing experience in a nutshell.

Martin Piette (left) with trophy LakeTrout at North Knife Lake Lodge

Martin Piette (left) with trophy Lake Trout at North Knife Lake Lodge

Mother Daughter time at North Knife Lake Lodge

Guest Post by Nina Williams

The stress melted away as soon as we stepped off the plane and began the walk up the sandy path to beautiful North Knife Lake Lodge. My daughter Arielle and I had been here before, so we knew what to expect, and we were so looking forward to it.

Smiles all around for another Northern Pike!

Smiles all around for another Northern Pike!

We were heartily greeted by lodge owners Doug and Helen Webber, settled into our room and had a quick bite to eat before heading out for a gorgeous afternoon of fishing. On the first day my husband George was in the boat with us. We kicked him out of the boat after that. It wasn’t a mean thing, but there was another pro guide available for George, and besides, Arielle and I wanted to fish together. Our guide, Ryan, was perfect for us. We’re not elite fisherman, but we have our share of Master Angler Awards and we can hold our own. And, well…

It was such a great feeling to get back out on to North Knife Lake, a spectacularly pristine 30-mile long body of water deep in the wilderness 200 miles north of Thompson, Manitoba.

The thing I enjoyed most about the trip was giving our daughter Arielle the chance to do things that few children her age ever get to experience. Being on a float plane, exploring the wilderness, catching fish – and lots of them – in a lake with water so pure a clean you can drink from it. Many of Arielle’s friends take holidays, but not like this — far from civilization, in a true wilderness, yet with all the comforts of home, including a family-type atmosphere, which is something we especially enjoy. You just can’t help but rejuvenate and revitalize, it comes naturally with the surroundings.

Arielle learned how to cast on this trip, how to pick a target and land her lure on it. She didn’t really like trolling, so Ryan would let the boat drift along the shore and she would try to hit spots along the banks, underneath branches, over sandbars, just off rocky ledges. By the end of the trip she was quite the caster! And of course she loved catching the fish too!

The water was so clear you could see the fish swimming up to the boat. We caught a lot of fish everyday and I added another Master Angler Lake Trout to my collection. It’s all catch and release, except for the fish we kept for shore lunches that included delicious Baked Lake Trout, Sweet and Sour Pike and Fish Tacos.

Arielle loves to take pictures of anything and everything outdoors and she had a field day on this trip with photos of fish, bugs, flowers and even a bald eagle. She also especially enjoyed watching Head Guide Kent Michie and his hunting dogs do fetching exercises on the lake.

A few of the guests went swimming on the shore lunches, but we weren’t quite as brave. We swam in the lake near the lodge and Arielle and fellow guest Elliot, who was about the same age, even went tubing on one sunny afternoon. The water near the lodge was beautiful. It’s difficult to describe just how much of a stress reliever swimming in a lake in the middle of nowhere can be. Let’s just say it works!

Being at North Knife Lake Lodge is a complete change from everyday life. What we really like about it is the fact that we don’t have to do anything. There’s no everyday planning, no meetings to attend, no appointments to keep. We just show up to a wonderful breakfast at 7:30, walk down to the dock, get into the boat with our guide and off we go out on to the lake for what is always a fabulous day of fishing. After that we return to the lodge for cocktails and appetizers and a gourmet meal prepared by Helen Webber, who also happens to be the co-author of the Blueberries & Polar Bears Cookbook Series. We own all of the books in the series, and they are the best cookbooks we’ve ever owned.

Helen used many of the recipes from the cookbooks, but also tried some new creations that were equally as scrumptious. Her imaginative dishes were greatly appreciated by all the guests, including Gemini Incorporated founder Jim Weinel and his board members, who were also at the lodge when we were there.

The Gemini board members take a fishing trip every year and they have been to exclusive lodges all over the world. They said the food at North Knife Lake Lodge tied for first place with a lodge in Mexico and another in B.C.  We wholeheartedly agree! A fascinating group of very intelligent individuals with diversified backgrounds and impeccable manners, we really enjoyed the company of the Gemini board.

The people we have met at North Knife Lake Lodge over the years have always been exceptional, and that includes owners, guests and staff. The family-run lodge is comfortable, like home. We always feel so welcome. A sincere thank you to the Webber family for yet another fabulous fishing vacation at North Knife Lake Lodge! Stress free, first class…

and a great place to bond with my daughter.

 

Opening Week at North Knife Lake Fishing Lodge

by Kent Michie

All smiles! Dr. Andrew Stoeckl (right) and Kent Michie with Master Angler Northern Pike caught at North Knife Lake Lodge

All smiles! Dr. Andrew Stoeckl (right) and Kent Michie with Master Angler Northern Pike

The first guests at North Knife Lake Fishing Lodge scored big during our opening week of fishing. We hosted long-time friends and clients the Vukelic family and also repeat clients Mark Grube and his three sons.

The Master Angler awards struck quickly when first-time North Knife Lake visitor, Dr. Andrew Stoeckl (part of the Vukelic group) landed a 41-inch Northern Pike. The week continued on a high note, with 14 Master Anglers caught by our enthusiastic fishermen. Mark Grube and his sons Nick, Kevin and Joey, all caught Master Angler Lake Trout, with Nick landing the big winner, a whopping 40-inch laker!

The weather cooperated for the most part, and although we did get one day of heavy rain, the guests departed with big smiles and dreams of coming back next year for another fantastic fishing adventure. We should mention that Gene Vukelic, his family and business associates have been welcome guests at North Knife Lake Lodge eight times over the past 12 years. Thank you Gene!

We will always have a cozy fire burning for you and yours here at North Knife Lake Lodge.

Churchill Wild to attend First International Wolf & Carnivore Conference in Thompson MB, October 23-24, 2012

Arctic Wolf at North Knife Lake Lodge

Arctic Wolf at North Knife Lake Lodge

Wolf experts and scientists from Canada, USA and Russia, along with researchers, students, conservationists, eco-tour operators and others will gather at the First International Wolf & Carnivore Conference, which takes place in Thompson, Manitoba on Oct. 23-24, 2012.

Churchill Wild will be represented by North Knife Lake Lodge founder Doug Webber, who has spent most of his life in Churchill, Thompson and the surrounding Manitoba wilderness. North Knife Lake Lodge has been home to more than one family of wolves for almost 40 years, and along with taking fishing guests on hikes to view the wolves, Webber has also assisted wolf researchers on numerous occasions.

The main organizer of the conference, Volker Beckmann, is hoping that the conference will help to transform Thompson into the Wolf Capital of Canada.

“Wolves should be seen as an ecological and economic asset, similar to the way polar bears and beluga whales are to Churchill,” said Beckmann in a recent Winnipeg Free Press article entitled Wolves Pack them in.

“In northern Manitoba, wolves can attract researchers and tourists, provide new income and business opportunities, and create positive publicity for Thompson and Manitoba if managed and marketed properly. Thompson could link itself as the wolf capital to the polar bear capital in Churchill for eco-tourism efforts. There’s great potential.”

Main Themes of the Wolf & Carnivore Conference:

  • Wolf Ecology, Management and Policies
  • Wolves and Polar Bear Dynamics along the coast of Hudson Bay
  • Defining a Wolf/Carnivore Centre of Excellence
  • Current and future Wolf Research Projects in unstudied regions

 

Invited Presenters and Keynote Speakers include:

Rick Baydack, CWB

Rick Baydack is a Professor at the University of Manitoba, Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, Department of Environment and Geography, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is also the Canadian Section Representative to The Wildlife Society Council. His principal professional interests are practical management applications for wildlife and their habitats, using an ecosystem approach and adaptive strategies. Baydack will be focusing on how wolves and their prey, woodland caribou, are affected by northern development.

L. Dave Mech (tentative)

L. David Mech (pronounced “Meech”) is a Senior Research Scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, and Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. Mech has studied wolves and their prey since 1958, as well as several other species of wildlife.

Marco Musiani

Marco Musiani is an Associate Professor, Tenured with the Faculties of Environmental Design and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary. He is currently analyzing ecological data on large carnivores (example, wolves) and their prey, which was gathered throughout Northern and Western Canada. He has published two books on wolves.

Nikita G. Ovsyanikov

Nikita G. Ovsyanikov is the Deputy Director for science and senior research scientist, Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve, Ministry of Nature Resources, Russian Federation and Senior Research Scientist, Severtzov’s Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences. Ovsyanikov has studied the population, condition, and behavior of polar bears on Russia’s Wrangel Island for more than 15 years. The remote island is one of the largest polar bear denning sites in the world and has seen significant changes in the sea ice in recent years. In addition to scientific papers, he is the author of “Polar Bears: Living with the White Bears.”

Paul Paquet

Paul Paquet, Ph.D. is an Adjunct Professor of Biology and Associate Professor of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. He is also an Adjunct Professor at University of Saskatchewan College of Veterinary Medicine, Brandon University, University of Manitoba; and Faculty Associate at Guelph University and University of New Brunswick. Paquet, who has studied wolves and coyotes for more than 35 years, obtained his PhD degree from the University of Alberta, Canada. He is an internationally recognized authority on mammalian carnivores, especially wolves, with research experience in several regions of the world.

See Full Conference Bios Here

For more information on the first International Wolf & Carnivore Conference, including travel information, registration, themes, conference speakers, FAQ and Thompson area overview, please e-mail wolfconf@yahoo.com or visit: http://www.thompsonspiritway.ca/wolf/welcome/

Churchill Wild enhances environmental stewardship programs with installation of VBINE Vertical Access Wind Turbines at northern eco-lodges

VBINE ENERGY Vertical Access Wind Turbine - VAWT

VBINE ENERGY Vertical Access Wind Turbine - VAWT

Churchill Wild has always been devoted to minimizing their environmental footprint at their remote northern eco-lodges. Now they’re enhancing their environmental stewardship programs even further with the installation of Vertical Access Wind Turbines (VAWTs) manufactured by VBINE ENERGY in Winkler, Manitoba.

The combined power generated by the VAWTs and the solar panels currently in place at their eco-lodges will virtually eliminate the need to use fossil fuels at Seal River Heritage Lodge, Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, North Knife Lake Lodge and Dymond Lake Lodge. Generators will still be in place for backup power, but the combination of the current solar-panel system combined with VAWTs is expected to provide for almost, if not all, their power needs in the future.

“The beauty of it is that we have a battery storage system,” said Mike Reimer of Churchill Wild. “The power generated from the VAWTs and the solar panels is stored in the batteries and we draw off of them. And they’re eco-friendly and economical. There’s less noise pollution, less of a carbon footprint and we’ll be paying substantially less than the $1-$1.30 per kilowatt it costs for diesel generated power.”

The VAWTs were invented by Barry Ireland about six years ago and refined by an engineering team. Their showcase installations include the Dr. David Suzuki Public School in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Wayne State Universityin Detroit, Michigan, but the rugged VAWTs were also designed to work in remote northern locations. “They were originally designed to work on smokestacks and silos,” said Ireland. “We had to build them so that the center wouldn’t rotate. We also had remote communication towers in mind when we built them. Many of those towers are powered by diesel and the VAWTs cut costs by quite a bit. That also means they will be popular with many northern lodges and outfitters.”

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VBINE is currently working with Canadian Solaron a combination wind/solar solution that will work for northern communities. “VAWTs are generating a large amount of interest because of the significant cost savings that can be realized,” said Ireland. “And the fact that the big windmills won’t work in the north. They ice up, they have too much vibration and they won’t go into the permafrost. The VAWTs are the only ones that will work up north.” VAWTs mount easily on existing buildings; they’re only two meters in width; they’re quiet and they’re suitable for grid tie-in or battery storage. And because of the vertical design, VAWTs can take wind from any direction. They start generating power at wind speeds of 1.2 meters per second and run 24/7 generating 5 kilowatts of power with a 25 mph wind. They have a permanent magnet generator with two long-life bearings, no drive shaft and no slips springs or brushes. The lifespan of the VAWTs is estimated at 30 years with very little maintenance. Their sleek design also minimizes interference with wildlife.

Hudson Bay CAT Train in Blizzard

CAT Train in a pending Hudson Bay blizzard

The first of the Churchill Wild VAWTs were hauled up to Seal River Heritage Lodge last week via CAT train (caterpillar pulling a freight sled) across the Hudson Bay sea ice, which is still about six feet thick.

Hauling tons of freight across the Hudson Bay ice in -20 degree weather is actually better than doing it at 0 degrees. The ice can get sticky and wet in warm weather, making for dangerous conditions. While there is generally no immediate danger from polar bears, which are still further out on the ice filling up on seals before the ice melts, the weather can still cause problems.

“The wind chills can get to as low as -40,” said Reimer. “And there’s always the possibility of blizzards, flooding sea ice and slush holes. CATS have actually gone through the ice on a couple of occasions.”

The trip takes about 15 hours from Dymond Lake Lodge to Seal River Heritage Lodge and Churchill Wild utilizes one of their two CAT track-type tractors, 1956 and 1972 models built by Caterpillar.  But how fast does that CAT really go? “About two miles an hour downhill with a tailwind,”  said Reimer.

To learn more about how VBINE ENERGY VAWTs can benefit your operations and goals for a greener future, please visit http://www.VBINE.com, call their head office at (204) 325-0228 or e-mail info@vbine.com