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Dan Vollmer, Dacotah Bank northern regional president, recently announced the hiring of two new employees.

Shane Mahlum and Douglas Lafontaine each started in early May.

Douglas Lafontaine has been hired as a credit analyst at Dacotah Bank in Minot.
“He brings a wide range of experience in working as a financial analyst,” Vollmer said.

He has a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and economics from Concordia College, Moorhead, M.N. Lafontaine worked as a credit analyst for Supervalu(e), Smiths Medical and Greentree Financial in the Minneapolis area. He grew up in the Minot area and has one son, who lives in Minnesota.

Shane Mahlum will fill the agricultural banker position at Dacotah Bank in Bowbells.

He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. His course work included money and banking, strategic management, personal banking, accounting and finance.

He is originally from the Kenmare/Bowbells area where his family has a farm.

“Shane comes from this area and is familiar with the territory. We are looking forward to him hitting the ground running on agricultural lending and business banking,” Vollmer said.

Shayna Niess, daughter of Brian and Jan Niess, Minot, North Dakota, received the North Dakota State University Development Foundation Honor Scholarship and the Freshman Academic Scholarship. The scholarships recognize high academic achievement.

Niess will enter NDSU in the fall and plans to major in nursing. In high school, she was active in National Honor Society, track and field, student council and cheerleading.

Outdoor Tales


Well if that title doesn’t catch your attention I’m not sure what will. Of course that is not true, everyone catches little fish. Nobody who fishes can claim they only catch big fish.

Of course some of us are better at catching big fish than others, but there are always little fish mixed in. Well, until you need them that is.

A couple weeks back I received a phone call from a potential customer wishing to fish the Red River. His goals were different as he wanted to ensure he got a limit of eater catfish and was really not that interesting in the big fish. This is odd because most people don’t travel across the country for little fish.

I always claim I give up numbers of catfish to concentrate on the trophy sized fish. I figured we have had a lot of little guys mixed in this year so just fish like normal and pick a few out. No problem.


The day the customer showed up the water temps were a bit off and we caught some really great fish but only one small enough to keep.
So I guess I failed at the goal.

As we were pulling the boat out of the river, he asked if I could go again the next morning and this time specifically go where little fish live and not hope we catch some.

I said sure I will get some different bait and we will work the root balls of fallen trees where I get most of my small fish.

We met in the morning and away we went. We caught about every kind of fish you could catch. Walleyes, saugers, pike, goldeyes but only two small catfish to eat.

The four hour trip came to an end and my customer had a great mixed bag meal but not a limit of smaller catfish.

In the end, I realized I just don’t know how to target small catfish. I really do not know how to catch small fish other than by accident. 99% of the time this is a good trait to have but still makes me feel a little bad that I could not meet the challenge.

Fast forward one day to Saturday when I was with new clients who wanted big fish. Eight eater-sized fish in a row. Figures, more by-catch to looking or big fish.

I guess it could be a lot worse. I could be cursed as the guy who can’t catch big fish. That would be bad for business since people don’t travel across the country for little fish.


All spring long we have been wondering what to do with no water in the rivers.

Part of me kept thinking just wait till June, we always flood in June.

Well it is May and the rains have come. We went from banging the bottom of the river with our motors to all the water we want.

Right now we are in great shape for water level and find ourselves just one big rain from a shutdown the other way.

Story of the year, “always something.”

Now we get the sun out, pin our ears back and go to work. Life is pretty good on the river right now.

Until next time get outside and make some memories.


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