Getting ready for another weird year...

Man, I don't know about you but I am flummoxed...

Since last year started really early and this year it's even warmer, I started looking for all the pre-run indicators I wouldn't normally even look for until March at the earliest.

Much to my surprise, a couple cropped up right away. First, we're already seeing some significant brown-up in the St. Louis River estuary as well as along the lower shore. This isn't necessarily good because we need the snowmelt to feed flow for the runs; and snow is exactly what we have very little of. Lets hope for lots of precip, snow or other wise soon. The North Shore drought continues...

Secondly the gauge signature for the Knife is showing signs of ice pack movement we don't normally see until just a short time before the run. It almost looks as if the ice is in the very early stages of breaking up based on the signature. This would be crazy early if it's actually happening.

Now, I'm not predicting an early run by any means, but we're getting some weird signals here. I'm eyeing a few other things but in the meantime I'm going to start watching the temps a bit closer. Streams temps have to break a couple of key thresholds to initiate upstream migration of steelhead, regardless of what the flow is doing. That's not to say we don't get fish wandering in and around with greater frequency as the tribs start to open because we do. What we're talking about is that first large initial push of fish.

At any rate, I'll take a peek and report back if I find anything significant. Until then, you may want to start going through that gear just in case things kick off a little earlier than usual.



andronomous said…
I've got the itch bad. Tied a new rod that has been begging to get wet. Keep us posted. See you on the shore!
NMF said…
I hear that... Work has been keeping me tied down and I barely made it out last year. I'm beyond itchy.

I think I may use the little free time I have coming up in a couple days here to get eyes on. I have a hunch about something that can only be verified by physically walking in and looking. We'll see.

I did see some recent stream temp spikes when I checked the data, but we are still a ways out based on what I saw. Still, very unusual for this time of year. We will keep you all posted as things begin heating up.

Hope to see folks at the cleanup!
Anonymous said…
I agree with having the itch! It is indeed an odd year. A buddy and I just finished prepping our gear for maple syruping last weekend. We stuck a couple trees for giggles and one of them was just starting to wake up.

Hopefully the weather system forecast for this coming weekend gives us some much needed moisture for both the sap run and the steelhead run!

CJH in Central MN

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