Showing posts from 2011

Photo challenge VI

Do you know this river?  Check us out on facebook to play. our facebook link

Photo challenge VI - Name the River only (no trails, roads or landmarks). You have until Friday afternoon to take a swing at this river.

One reply per angler.Previous winners are not eligible. Winning replies will receive a free window decal. You must "like us" on facebook to play.
Check back Friday evening for the answer... good luck!

Minnesota Steelheader Hats - NOW AVAILABLE!

Fishing hats and warm double lined fleece skull cap beanies are now available!  Show your support for Minnesota Steelheader and the Steelhead fishery of our North Shore.  All the profits go directly back to help our Steelhead fishery.

All hats are on sale at great prices!
Sales ends 12/31/11

You can find these and all our other merchandise available on our website - click here

Photo Challenge V

Photo Challenge V - on facebook

Photo challenge V - Name the River only (no trails, roads or landmarks). You must be a "Friend" of our facebook page to play - click on the "like" button if you are not yet a facebook friend.
You will have 24hrs to come up with the correct answer.  One reply per angler.   Winning replies will receive a free window decal.  Check our facebook page on Sunday for the answer... good luck!

Click here to go directly to our facebook page.

DNR will allow Lutsen Mountain to continue drawing water from Poplar River for snowmaking this season

 (Released November 10, 2011)
Lutsen Mountains Corp. (LMC) will be allowed to continue drawing water from the Poplar River for snowmaking under a permit to be issued by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Lutsen applied for a permit to continue to pump water despite the low water flow conditions in the river that would normally require pumping operations to be discontinued.

The DNR is authorized by statute to allow exceptions to permits under unique circumstances. The 2011 Minnesota Legislature authorized LMC to take up to 150 million gallons of water from the Poplar River for snowmaking this fall, but included a provision that suspends the appropriation if flows fall below 15 cubic feet per second (cfs) for more than five consecutive days. The flow has been at or near that threshold for weeks. A separate statute provision authorizes the DNR to issue a permit beyond what is normally allowed for “just cause.”

The DNR believes there is just cause to issue LMC a permit ba…

DNR seeking comments through Nov. 4 on permit to draw water from Poplar River

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public comment on a proposal for a temporary permit that would allow Lutsen Mountain Corporation (LMC) to continue to draw water from the Poplar River for its snowmaking operation. Normally, pumping operations would be discontinued due to the river's low flow, but the DNR is authorized by statute to allow exceptions under unique circumstances.  Read More - click here.
Sneak peek at the 2012 fleece hats. Available Nov. | 2011
The Summer Minnesota DNR Cleanup Review just recently was published on line.  The review highlights information pertaining to the Adopt-a-River cleanup efforts within the State on Minnesota. 
In this issue you will find Minnesota Steelheader featured within the "on the water" section.  The write up highlights our efforts this past spring cleaning up our recently adoption of the Sucker River on the North Shore.

For those of you interested in becoming more active within Minnesota Steelheader please contact us through our website or simply keep following our blog and facebook for more info.  We are working on an exciting agenda for 2012, starting with another overhaul to our website.  There are a few group events also on the horizon. Oh, and some cool embroidered fishing caps and fleece hats will be available soon.

Double-Up Buttercup

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and the same is true for the folks at Minnesota Steelheader. O.k. we know they're not steelhead, but ya' gotta blow off a little steam while waiting for the steelies to come.

Here are MS Director DB and Field Staffer TU with a salmon double from a recent mental health trip...

And let's not forget Field Staffer Pete with a super bright hen!

Blog & Facebook Contributor Jesse contemplating making a critical fly selection. And yes, he does bring his La-Z-Boy with him wherever he fishes. You should see him perched in the middle of the Knife at 500cfs! Note however the almost perfect utilization of Feng Shui; a sublimely Zen moment for sure...

'Till the Steelies Come Again-
The Minnesota Steelheader Field Staff

Saturday's Salmon Clinic - Fish On!

Our first fall salmon clinic was successfully held this past Saturday and what a great day it was. With a total of 10 guys on the water, everyone caught fish, well everyone except our camera man and field staffer, Murph, though he caught some great photos!
The group and MS staff met up on the the water around 10am to a cool overcast morning. MS staff  DB and NMF discussed the pink salmon fishery in great detail and how these buggers are able to sustain themselves naturally where other salmon have not. They also discussed how scouting a river in the fall can greatly improve your spring steelhead success rate as well as a review of fly fishing techniques, rigging and of course fly assortments.
The water was low during this outing, but it did not seem to hamper the run much as there were thousands of fish to be had and in just about all types of water on this particular river. From pools to riffle water, the group caught fish throughout. The two hot flies for the day seemed to be the PM…

Photo Challenge IV

Here is a challenge for all who fish and explore the North Shore Rivers of Minnesota.

To play you must visit our facebook page. To be eligible you must first "like" our page. Good Luck!

Fall Salmon Clinic

Our fall pink salmon / reading water 101 clinic is on the calendar for Saturday, September 24th 10:00am.

So here is the scoop.

Our clinic, for fly fishing and drift fishing, will be conducted streamside rain or shine on a specified North Shore River this month, oh and it's FREE. All participants will need to provide their own transportation to the river and all the necessary gear and flies. We will provide a basic needs list to those who are interested as well. if you think this would be a cool deal, “sign up” via our CONTACT page on our website. Note, we are limiting this event to a small number so sign up early to reserve your spot.

The clinic will focus on the North shore pink salmon, including a brief history, life cycle, fly presentation and a few techniques to effectively hook into these fish. Most of the time will be spent trying to locate and catch these buggers. We will also include some basic water reading concepts to help beginners understand what to look for when search…

Videos....finally online.

We finally have some video footage from our appearance on Cook what you catch and KHO.  You can find these and a few others on our website... check out the video link.  We will be posting more in time and encourage any of you to send us your videos!

Information on sending video footage can also be found on our website... we hope you enjoy.

Wake Up Sleepy!

Psst.... PSSSSST! Hey, wake up you! Shake off the sleep, brush the dust off the equipment and grab the bug dope because the band is back on stage and the annual dance continues.

These fellers on the left have been quietly making their way back upstream over on the other side of the Nemadji if you care to go look for them. Things haven't been quite so predictable with the rain coming in fits and starts the last part of July, but the rain on the 2nd....

Either way it's just the first wave of the conductor's baton; the next movement will be coho's along with the odd chinook, pinks, coasters and then steelhead. Whatever your game, it's an exciting time of year, even if you're trying not to melt in the heat and not thinking about fishing. But hey, that's why we're here- To give you a little poke now and then!

As for other news- The Fall Sucker River clean-up date has not been set, but we kicked around the idea of a combined Pink Salmon/Clean-up weekend. If you …

2011 Photo Contest has begun - Enter Now!

2011 Photo Contest - Starts today!
Did you take any great photos from this Spring steelhead season?  If so, enter them in our 2011 Photo Contest!

All winning Photograph Photographers will receive a "goody bag" from Minnesota steelheader and the winning photos will be featured across our website, and social media pages.

Here are the rules:

1. Photo must be taken from Minnesota waters in 2011
2. jpg files only
3. Supply photographer's name, address and phone number
4. Enter as many photos as you wish
5. One winner will be selected from each category
6. Winner will be featured on our website and news blog
7. Deadline - July 10th, 2011
8. Submit by emailing to the email shown below or visit our website's contact page

1. Fish Photograph (with angler)
2. Misc. steelheading/tackle photograph
2. Scenic photograph
3. Funny photograph
4. Youth photograph

Note:  By submitting your photos, you are giving Minnesota Steelheader(MS) the rights to publish your photograph on…

Final 2011 Run Statistics

Lower Shore Creel vs. Trap Numbers:

Lower Shore Creel Survey Numbers:

Mid Shore Creel Survey Numbers:

Upper Shore Creel Survey Numbers:

Shorewide Combined Creel Numbers vs. the Shorewide Creel Average:

Only two notes: 1. I'm using the term "Shorewide Creel Average" pretty loosely. This is only the 2nd year the DNR has reported the numbers in the format they are now using. As such the "average" only represents 2010/2011. Still Better than nothin'! 2. There are still fish on the Upper Shore...

Any questions please post them in the comments section and I'll try and answer them asap. Regards - NMF

More Lutsen - Poplar River Issue

We recently contacted State representative, C. McFarlane, looking for some clarity on the passed bill regarding the Lutsen Resort water consumption bill.

McFarlane informed us that the bill they passed will,  for the the first time, limit the resort's use of water from the stream.  Once that annual allocated limit is met, water will not be allowed to be pumped for the remainder of that that year.  She also stated that the permit issued to Lutsen has a 5 year time limit to look for a long term solution. 

Below is the language from the conference committee report:
53.11Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 103G.265, subdivision 3, the legislature
53.12approves of the consumptive use of water under a permit of more than 2,000,000 gallons
53.13per day average in a 30-day period in Cook County, in connection with snowmaking
53.14and potable water. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the permit for the
53.15consumptive use of water approv…

Lutsen - Poplar River Issue

Here is a great read from Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune outdoor writer and editor. It helps bring a little more light on the Lutsen - Poplar River water pumping issue.
Minnesota Steelheader is not interested in political slants or emotional opinions on this subject.  You will have to go somewhere else to read that junk.

 Fact: A designated trout stream is turning into a dependable water source for a local growing business.  We want the bottom line answer:  Could this pumping of water from the Poplar have a negative impact on the brook trout, rainbow trout and salmon fisheries? If yes than we feel Lusten needs to find an alternative water source or reduce water consumption to levels that would not have any negative impact to the fishery or watershed.  If no, well... it is hard to believe a study will show conclusive evidence that the no harm is possible. 

Here is a portion of Mr. Anderson's article.  we encourage you to click on the link below to read his entire article.

"Who …

2011 Run Wind-Down

While we're getting close to the end, it's not over yet. The recent rains have brought in yet another push of fish albeit not as large as the previous ones. Here's the Shore-Wide picture as of 05.20.2011 (Click thumbs for larger images):

Lower Shore Creel Survey

Lower Shore Creel vs. Trap Numbers

Mid Shore Creel Survey

Upper Shore Creel Survey

2011 Shore-Wide Combined Creel Numbers vs. Average

The last graphic is the 2011 total combined Lower, Mid and Upper Shore Kamloops/Steelhead numbers up against the average for the Creel data we have. 2010 continues to stand out as an example of an extremely early run and skews the stats just a bit. After the 2011 Creel ceases, I'll try to get the final numbers up as soon as I can. Note that the survey will cease around 05.25.2011, but we still should be getting a push or two of fish with precipitation events. In the meantime, get out and enjoy!


Fishing Report 5-16-11

MN DNR creel update:

From 5/13 through 5/15, water temperatures ranged from 46 to 56 on the Lower and Middle Shore, and were 45 to 51 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 4 Steelhead, 3 Kamloops, and 1 Brown Trout on the Lower Shore, 13 Steelhead and 1 Kamloops on the Middle Shore, and 17 Steelhead, 2 Kamloops, and 4 Brook Trout on the Upper Shore.

The Knife Trap totals are 405 Steelhead and 29 Kamloops, while French River Trap totals are 815 Kamloops and 94 Steelhead.

Stream flows shorewide are decreasing and running with average to above average, clear flows.

Fishing reports are updated on the web on Mondays and Fridays at or by calling our office at 218-525-0853 and selecting 1 for the updated fishing report

Lutsen Resort looking to take more - millions of gallons from the Poplar River

It is true,  Lutsen is hoping to take more water out of the Poplar River. Not just a few gallons, but millions and millions of water anually.

 Can there be any good to the fishery out of this... really?  We do not think so.  We are going to dive head first into this ASAP and will do our best to keep you posted on a regular basis.

Here is an expert from the Star tribune article, written by: Josephine Marcotty.  You can click on the link below for the full article.

"For decades, the Poplar River has made Minnesotans happy year-round as it tumbles down from the Boundary Waters wilderness to the North Shore of Lake Superior. In fishing season, anglers hook trout and other game fish from its rocky pools. In winter, its lower reach supplies water that Lutsen Mountain Resort uses to make snow for skiers.

Now, in a move that has outraged conservationists, the Legislature is poised to give the skiers and the privately owned resort an advantage over the anglers and the trout. It is expected t…

Latest 2011 Analysis

My apologies! I've been in several intensive job-related schools over the last four weeks and haven't had much time to play with the data let alone fish...

So here's the current picture more or less. I put the Lower Shore creel up against the trap numbers and although there are no surprizes, there are some items to take note of:

Three points of clarification: The vertical lines are all annotated for what they represent and are accurate to the date they occured, not simply the week they occured in. The black vertical line is Knife River ice-out, the blue vertical line is the average date 4 Lower Shore streams reached the upstream migration temp threshold. The red line represents the date Lower Shore streams maintained 40 degrees overnight which according to DNR data, typically represents the peak of the return/migration.

Once again you can see very clearly the relationships between temperatures and early-run activity. Once temps hit the upstream movement initiation threshold, …

Fishing Report 5-14-11

We are well into the Minnesota walleye opener today and the weather still smells of steelhead.  Are you done steelheading for the season?  I am not! 
As you will read in the DNR creel report below, the numbers of fish in the survey seem few - they are.  What you need to remember though is that most fair weather steelhead anglers are already off the water and either done for the year or back in the woods chasing other species today.  Fewer anglers on the water mean fewer fish recorded.

For those wondering if the steelhead are still running, quit wondering and get out and fish - they are!  When conditions are favorable, like they are this month,  You can bet that there are still fish moving in most middle and upper shore steelhead rivers. Yes, it is true that we are near the end of the 2011 spring run, but some of my best fishing has been done late season.  In fact, a couple of us will still be on the water into next weekend.  Hope to still see a few of you out with us!


DNR Creel R…

Photo Challenge III

So you think you know your North Shore Rivers do you?  Test your wits and take the Photo Challenge - III
To be eligible you must be a facebook page fan and not a recent photo challenge winner.  All voting is done on our facebook page.   To take the challenge, simply  submit your answer by clicking the comment link below the photo on facebook... it looks just like this one.
The 1st correct answer receives a complimentary MN steelheader window decal.
Here is a link to our facebook page:

Fishing Report - 5-9-11

The fishing is still hot.  These pics were sent in from our buddy Jared after a weekend on the water.  As you can see we have a couple of happy campers with some nice bright May!
This week looks to still be a great week to get out and fish. Most anglers have shift the focus on middle and upper shore waters where conditions are more favorable.

 Here is some creel data from the DNR.

From 5/6 through 5/8, water temperatures ranged from 51 to 55 on the Lower Shore, 48-52 on the Middle Shore, and were 41 to 51 on the Upper Shore.

Interviewed anglers caught 14 Steelhead, 17 Kamloops, 2 Brook Trout, and 26 Suckers on the Lower Shore, 17 Steelhead on the Middle Shore, and 4 Steelhead on the Upper Shore.

The Knife Trap totals are 378 Steelhead and 26 Kamloops, while French River Trap totals are 798 Kamloops and 91 Steelhead.

Stream flows shorewide are decreasing, but still running with above average clear flows.

MN DNR Fishing creel reports are updated on the web on Mondays and Fridays a…

Photo Challenge

Here is a challenge for all who fish and explore the North Shore Rivers of Minnesota.

To play you must visit our facebook page. To be eligible you must first "like" our page.  Good Luck!

Lower Shore Creel Numbers as of 05.06.2011

Here are the latest Lower Shore Creel Numbers for 05.06.2011

As you can see, the Lower Shore based on creel numbers appears to have peaked. DNR studies show that peak return typically occurs once stream temps maintain 40 degrees overnight, and you can see that has occurred as well. I just haven't had time to chart the trap numbers but it likely shows the same thing.

However, just because it likely has peaked doesn't mean that fishing is done on the Lower Shore. We'll still have fish returning for some time as well as spawned-out fish dropping back out of the tributaries. Not to mention the Mid and Upper Shores are still cooking. There's still a lot of fishing to be done...

Couple items- There have been some questions regarding how to arrive at the numbers shown on the charts. I apologise Zinger, I just hadn't had the time to get in a response to your questions from the previous blog entry, so here goes:

Whenever you see a chart that has a daily reporting format as in t…

fishing report - 5-6-11

Conditions on the North Shore are still favorable.  If you think the run is over, think again.  Though the river levels are coming down, many are still higher than normal and running clear - lots of fish still to be caught.

Here is the latest creel info from the DNR:

From 5/2 through 5/5, water temperatures ranged from 35 to 45 in the morning and 46 to 47 in the afternoon on the Lower and Middle Shore, while they were 43 to 45 in the afternoon on the Upper Shore.
Interviewed anglers caught 11 Steelhead, 30 Kamloops, and 25 Suckers on the Lower Shore, 12 Steelhead, 2 Kamloops, and 1 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 9 Steelhead, 1 Kamloops, and 4 Brook Trout on the Upper Shore.The Knife Trap totals are 363 Steelhead and 21 Kamloops, while French River Trap totals are 704 Kamloops and 79 Steelhead.
Stream flows shorewide are decreasing, but running with above average clear flows.
DNR Fishing reports are updated on the web on Mondays and Fridays at…

Adopt-A-River: Clean up Success!

Pictured here are Minnesota Steelheader staff, DB and TU, posing with some of the trash they picked up during the Sunday Adopt-A-River clean up on the Sucker River.  Though we wish more of you would have been able to give some time, we appreciated the few that showed up to clean up.
We ended up with an estimated 170lbs of trash.  Most of it was drink containers, plastic bags of one sort or another, and cigarette filters.  We also pulled out a fair amount of Styrofoam.  The big items were cast iron drain pipe, steel posts, and an old highway sign.

While removing garbage along the river banks and the adjacent property we appreciated the two anglers that recognized our efforts.  We remain positive that the other 20+ anglers must have just been shy.  As the season moves forward we hope that each of you who walk the banks and water of the Sucker River find energy to pick up and dispose of the trash you discover.

Stay tuned for a post regarding our fall clean up date.  We are working to or…

Fishing Report 5-2-11

DNR Creel Report:
From 4/29 through 5/1, water temperatures ranged from 38 to 45 in the morning and 45 to 50 in the afternoon on the Lower and Middle Shore, while they were 38 to 39 on the Upper Shore.
Interviewed anglers caught 16 Steelhead, 22 Kamloops, 1 Brook Trout, and 1 Coho on the Lower Shore, 34 Steelhead, 8 Kamloops, and 3 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 13 Steelhead and 3 Kamloops on the Upper Shore.The Knife Trap totals are 345 Steelhead and 20 Kamloops, while French River Trap totals are 640 Kamloops and 69 Steelhead.
Stream flows shorewide rose again on 4/30 with over an inch of rain and are still running high.

Fishing Report 4-30-11

A couple of the MS staff fished from Thursday through Sunday.  We managed to catch fish on 6 of the 8 rivers we fished, though the numbers were not fantastic, we did enjoy the fish caught. 
We fished mostly the rivers from Two harbors North to the Middle shore rivers.  All the water was high but very fishable and clear, temps were prime two averaging 40 - 44f.  Most of the fish caught were steelhead -fresh females.  The one shown here is s 29.5" bright hen.  She put up a fight worth the whole trip, burning line from my real several times before she was landed.

Saturday brought some rain...wait, lots of rain.  The knife ended up coming up to approx. 1200cfs. by the evening - unfishable.  During the day on Saturday we caught a couple fish on the larger Middle shore rivers and saw several others hooked and caught.  Sunday brought dirty high water from the rain on Saturday, subsequently this brought some tough fishing conditions with it.

We wound down the trip with a morning of fish…

Fishing Report 4-29-11

From 4/25 through 4/28, water temperatures ranged from 38 to 42 in the morning and 39 to 45 in the afternoon on the Lower and Middle Shore, while they were 38 to 39 on the Upper Shore.
Interviewed anglers caught 13 Steelhead and 24 Kamloops on the Lower Shore, 13 Steelhead, 4 Kamloops, and 4 Brook Trout on the Middle Shore, and 5 Steelhead on the Upper Shore. The Knife Trap totals are 299 Steelhead and 16 Kamloops, while French River Trap totals are 579 Kamloops and 58 Steelhead.
Stream flows shorewide rose again on 4/27 and have stayed high.  Several of the middle shore river, though high are running clear.
DNR Fishing reports are updated on the web on Mondays and Fridays at ttp:// by calling our office at 218-525-0853 and selecting 1 for the updated fishing report 

Some quick 2011 analysis...

Couple items to note: Quickie graphic through 04.29.2011 to show how 2011 Lower Shore creel is shaping up against 2010. The data displayed are all weekly averages. (Update - All the prior graphics are day by day updates. What you see below are weekly averages and are a better way to make year to year comparisons. We just haven't had enough data to work with until now).

Last year was a bit of an oddball simply because of how early things started. 2011 is beginning to be an oddball due to the wild daily swings in temps and flows we are getting. It's certainly affecting fishing success. Lots of hard-slogging days...

Keep in mind too that there is a threshold discharge which limits (or ceases) upstream movement of steelhead and presumably kamloops. It doesn't mean fish aren't there or that it's futile fishing, it just means the fish are hunkered down and you need to change tactics. This halt only lasts until flows drop below that particular level, and on the Knife it cor…

Latest 2011 Spring Run Numbers

Latest Lower, Middle & Upper Shore creel numbers along with the latest Knife & French Weir/Trap numbers. Please note that some scale normalization has taken place to accommodate the different temperature & capture scales. Where you see an XXX/10 in a legend it means original number was divided by 10. To get the actual you'll need to multiply. Where you see a XXX*10 the original number was multiplied by ten so you'll need to divide.

One additional note: The Upper Shore numbers seem low, but they are always low because there are simply less people to interview (less people fishing) than on the Lower/Mid Shores. So it's an artificial low if you follow that logic, not necessarily low numbers of fish. Also, the trap numbers are capture numbers by date, not total numbers (Click for Larger Images):

Lower Shore Creel:

Mid Shore Creel:

Upper Shore Creel:

Knife River Trap:

French River Trap: