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Showing posts from May, 2013

A Little upper Shore Creel Analysis

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While I'm waiting for some more creel data to come in (COUGH, Davin...), I thought I'd do a little more in-depth number crunching.

    One of the things that took me a long time to get my head wrapped around was that in my early steelhead formative years, I operated exclusively under the idea that flow was it; like flow was THE THING baby! Flow goes up, go fishing was my mantra.

    Now that is a fine rule to live by, except there were these years where I'd be out early in the season, the flow would be killer, and I couldn't buy a fish to save my life. And then there were years where, again early in the run, I'd be fishing out of necessity. Given a choice based on flows, I never would have been out there, but you fish when you can when it is your only opportunity. So given the absolutely dismal flow, and I'm talking like in the 50cfs range on the Knife, steelheading was gangbusters. So what gives?

    Being the data-junkie/techno-geek I am, I started spinn…

Creel Results Updated 05.25.2013

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Couple quick notes. I was finally able to run the temperature numbers for the Mid and as of May 25th, Upper Shore. Once again we're seeing the strong correlation between rising temps during the initial stage of the run and the point when upstream migration really kicks off. It's not quite as apparent in this chart because you are looking at the weekly means for Creel numbers, temperature and flow. When you break it down day by day, it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    The point being that, as has been demonstrated by many years of MN DNR trap data, primary upstream migration of adult steelhead in numbers seems to be strongly correlated to average daily stream temperatures reaching approximately 38 degrees F, and that this is mostly independant of flow. So initially it appears that it is temperature which dictates upstream migration regardless of what the flow is. Once temps maintain above this initial threshold, subsequent pushes of fish are then dictated by bumps in flow.

Creel Results as of 05.21.13

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Latest results have been analyzed. I'm still working on the temp and flow data, but that should be done soon. Again a HUGE thank you to all who have participated! For now:


Stream Etiquette

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Rules for the River All rules subject to the judgment of the participants
I think the most important rule to remember is to respect the other angler's space. As to how much space that is, a good rule of thumb is twice as far as you think. On a small stream it might be as far as a mile or more. On a big river 100 feet is good. Unreasonable you say? Bull! Move to the next pool, or down to the riffle leading out of the pool. Distance can be your greatest ally on a stream. That big famous pool with thirty guys beating the water chasing the 10 rising fish, pales when compared to the empty pool with only one or two risers.

If after that long drive, and longer hike you find someone fishing the pool you came all this way to fish, feel free to be disappointed, but do not feel free to wade in. If you are determined to work that favorite stretch, sit on shore and wait till the other guy is done. Better yet go elsewhere.
If some ignorant clod comes into the po…

The Data is Rolling In!

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Finally have enough data to analyze... A HUGE thank you! to all those who have contributed to the MS Creel Project so far, the data is invaluable. Unfortunately I don't have any Lower Shore temp data to include, but the Mid and Upper shore charts are coming soon. Here's what things look like for combined Lower Shore MS and DNR Creel data so far:
Regards-
NMF

Fishing Report - 5-14-13

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Water levels along the lower shore have been in great shape this past week with fish being caught daily. Stream temperatures were in the mid 30's most mornings and the lower 40's by the afternoon. Middle shore, river levels were on the high side but coming down.  Lots of fish and moderated fishing pressure.  Water temps averaged in the high 30's to low 40's - prime steelhead temps!  There has been a lot of success on the Middle shore and plenty of fish lost as well. Upper shore rivers still had really high water last week with some rivers still a bit dangerous to fish.  Fishing pressure was pretty light.  Water temps were pretty similar to the middle shore, though some rivers stayed a bit  cooler due to the continued snow meld in the inland headwaters regions.  Water levels are coming down and fishable. The DNR reports the French River trap totals through 05/13 are 726 Kamloops and 62 steelhead. If you are thinking about fishing, quite thinking and go.  This could be an …

Fishing report 5-11-13

Water levels are still high along the entire shore.  Very fishable on the lower and middle shore,  though those river crossings that you like are unlikely. Upper shore rivers are high.  Some to high for my liking - passed on a few yesterday.
Temps are great.  Right now I am in 39.6f water.  Fishing is slow but TU has one on the board.  
Stay tuned for a post on stream etiquette - at least one of you.  Low holing 2 guys working a run is pretty lame, especially when your upstream cast is crossing my downstream swing.

Spring 2013 Trap Data

DATE: 05/13/2013Knife River Flow: 188cfsSucker River Temp: ??°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured22349Total Captured72662DATE: 05/09/2013Knife River Flow: 827cfsSucker River Temp: ??°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured6145??Total Captured40377??DATE: 05/06/2013Knife River Flow: 724cfsSucker River Temp: ??°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured34232??Total Captured34232??DATE: 04/29/2013Knife River Flow: 1560cfsSucker River Temp: ??°FKnife RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber CapturedTrap Closed 2013Trap Closed 2013Trap OpenedFrench RiverTotal Captured0005/06/2013DATE: 04/29/2013Knife River Flow: 1560cfsSucker River Temp: ??°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured00Sucker GageTotal Captured00Not Operable 2013
    Trap Numbers are rolling in for 2013. Unfortunately we are still seeing residual fallout from the massive floods of 2012.

    The floods in June of 2012 did a number o…

Mother Nature at work

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Many of you visited the North shore last summer/fall and noticed the Stewart River along with a few other rivers, were completely closed off to fish migration due to the awesome spring flood of 2012.  Pictured here is what that bar at the Stewart looked like.  As you can see, nothing that swims was entering this river for a fall migration.


As time went on this area gathered snow and ice, and more snow and ice.  The massive power of the great gitche gumee further increased the size of the sandbar by bulldozing more and more sand and gravel to the blockade.  The combination of ice and gravel over the winter months was nothing short of impressive work by mother nature.

In the weeks and months that followed the original post of the sandbar picture back in October of 2012, there were many of you that expressed concerns about how this would affect the 2013 spring run.As we expected Mother nature took care of herself just fine.
Here is a picture from 5-3-13 of the same mouth area of the Stewart…

Fishing Report: 5-2-13

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Fishing report: 5-2-2013


Our North Shore rivers from Duluth up the shore are flowing hard and strong. Most of them are ice free. Cool air temperatures the past few days have reduced runoff and river levels are dropping, but
are high and very turbid. There is still a substantial amount of snow in the woods which will cause rivers
to rise when the weather warms up and the snow melts. Water temperatures are very cold at 32-34
degrees.

The lower shore DNR clerk interviewed shore anglers the past few days and anglers caught 16 Kamloops, 3 steelhead, and one coho salmon. All three of the MNDNR creel clerks will be out interviewing anglers starting May 3rd, so a more detailed report will be posted on Monday. Please be respectful of the clerks.  providing them with your catch information provides extremely valuable information for the fishery.

Reminder to that we are conducting our own Creel  Report (MSCR) along the North Shore this year. The information we gather will provide MS with some v…

MS Creel Project - Online

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The Minnesota Steelheader Creel Project (MSCP) is under way.  Please click on this link  to add your 2013 catch!  the form is simple and you should be able to access from mobile devices as well.

Your part is very simple- When you fish the North Shore in 2013, simply record the following information: 

Species & Number Caught: Kamloops, Steelhead or Brook Trout

The Region Where You Caught the Fish: Lower, Mid or Upper Shore. It is critical that you get the location correct. MS is not interested in the specific streams, simply the region, so please use this format:

Lower Shore Region - All Tributaries from Mission Creek to Knife River

Mid Shore Region - All Tributaries from Stewart River to Baptism River

Upper Shore Region - All Tributaries from Little Marais River to Pigeon River including those on the Reservation.

Check out a previous post for a bit more information: http://minnesotasteelheader.blogspot.com/2013/04/annual-minnesota-steelheader-creel.html