Showing posts from May, 2014

Upper Shore Creel Updates

Couple quick notes: Still ok numbers of fish being caught on the Lower Shore. Mid Shore numbers are very good still; all information based on combined DNR/Minnesota Steelheader creel. Many thanks and keep 'em coming, we are getting great data this year.

Last daily of the year for Upper Shore. Temps didn't bounce around as much as I thought they might, but flows are another story. Don't let the low posted creel trend numbers fool you, but for the crazy flows, fishing would be getting very good. Look for decent numbers for at least the next ten days, and fishing to continue right into June.


Fishing Report 5-20-14

Over the weekend along the Lower Shore, rivers were holding stable flows with morning water
temperatures in the mid-40s and afternoon water temperatures in the low 50s. Angling pressure was
moderate and anglers reported slow to fair fishing. Interviewed anglers caught 20 Kamloops, 16
steelhead, 1 coho salmon and 10 suckers.

Along the Middle Shore conditions were good, as river levels continued to slowly fall and were flowing at normal to slightly high levels. Water temperatures were 40-43 degrees in the mornings and 49-52 degrees in the afternoons. Fishing pressure was fairly light and interviewed anglers also reported rather slow fishing, landing 10 steelhead and 1 sucker.

Along the Upper Shore, water conditions continued to improve. The larger rivers were still running high, but the moderate to smaller rivers were in excellent condition for angling. Morning water temperatures were
40-43 degrees and rose to 46-49 degrees in the afternoons. Angling pressure was light, and interviewed

Help our DNR Creel census clerks

Kamloop or Steelhead?
Did you know three DNR creel census clerks conduct angler interviews from April through late-May along the North Shore?  Here is a list of rivers along Lake Superiors North Shore they survey:

Lower Shore: Lester, McQuade Harbor/Talmadge River, French, Sucker, and Knife
Middle Shore: Stewart, Silver, Gooseberry, Split Rock, Beaver, and Baptism
Upper Shore: Cross, Temperance, Poplar, Cascade, Devil Track, Kadunce, and Brule

If one of these clerks approaches you for an interview, don't panic, he is just out gather fish catching information.  Please be courteous to these clerks and take a moment out of your day to assist, even if you have not caught any fish - yet. Your cooperation is very helpful and is greatly appreciated.

The above photo is a north shore catch.  Sometimes initial appearances might be confusing, and a bit of a challenge for some to identify the difference between a kamloop's rainbow trout and a steelhead.  There is a dead give away i…

Fishing Report 5-16-14

Along the Lower Shore, water levels dropped as the week progressed and conditions for angling have
improved. Water temperatures were low 40s early in the mornings and generally 46-48 degrees in the
afternoons. Fishing pressure remained low this week but anglers reported improved fishing compared
to recent weeks. The DNR Creel staff Interviewed anglers who caught 9 steelhead and 5 Kamloops.

Along the middle shore, water conditions also improved considerably compared to early in the week. Water levels have receded to very manageable levels, and water temperatures reached 46-48 degrees in the afternoons. Angling pressure was very light and interviewed anglers reported slow fishing despite good conditions, and caught 1 steelhead and 1 northern pike.

Along the Upper Shore, water levels were very high early in the week and have come down some, but not to the extent that they have along the rest of the shore. Water temperatures were 41-44 degrees. Angling pressure was extremely light and no…

Mid and Upper Shore Creel Trend Updates

Latest creel project trends...

Mid Shore - Last one for this year, we're there but it's going to be tough until the water starts coming down again. Pretty much the only thing holding back catch rates are the high flows, look for catch to improve as flows begin to drop again. As an aside and in reference to the recent high flow concept post, no idea what the limiting rate is on this particular stream, but we're probably at or above it.

Upper Shore - We're mostly there... I know, I charted that we are there, but there's so much snowmelt being flushed into the system right now that I think temps are going to teeter back and forth for a couple days to maybe a week yet. Usually when that happens we get steelhead moving in fits and spurts as temps bounce up and down. I'll probably continue to post until things stabilize.
Regards- NMF

2014 Combined Trap Trend

Just some quickie analysis of the Trap trends for 2014...

    No surprizes here with respect to inititation temps and trap numbers, but I want to throw a new concept at you.

    If you read the technical literature closely, you'll find a concept which helps you understand when to change tactics and where to fish under certain conditions. Stream temperatures give you a window on when adult steelhead begin that first big upstream migration, but what happens once those conditions are met and maintained? Well, this is where flow takes over.

    Once steelhead begin entering the rivers, they have one goal in mind - reproduction- and they are on a mission. Few things influence their drive to move upstream like flow. Steelhead are biologically programmed if you will to move on high flows. Over time, higher flows have allowed steelhead to reach those areas of the stream which are most conducive to spawning and rearing, and those areas are typically located in the uppermost portions of a g…

2014 Trap Reports - FINAL

DATE: 06/06/2014Knife River Flow: 148CFSIndex River Temp: 59.19°FKnife RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured252Total Captured33222DATE: 06/06/2014Knife River Flow: 148CFSIndex River Temp: 59.19°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured538Total Captured21331DATE: 06/03/2014Knife River Flow: 1190CFSIndex River Temp: 59.44°FKnife RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured260Total Captured30720DATE: 06/03/2014Knife River Flow: 1190CFSIndex River Temp: 59.44°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured047Total Captured16293DATE: 05/30/2014Knife River Flow: 51CFSIndex River Temp: 57.69°FKnife RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured110Total Captured28120DATE: 05/30/2014Knife River Flow: 51CFSIndex River Temp: 57.69°FFrench RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber Captured19Total Captured16246DATE: 05/28/2014Knife River Flow: 64CFSIndex River Temp: 56.49°FKnife RiverSteelheadKamloopsUnclipped ClippedNumber…

Creel Trend Update

The creel data which came in from the last couple days has confirmed what we were seeing in the temperature data, that the Lower North Shore had, for the most part, reached the upstream steelhead migration initiation threshold and was about to pop. They did and it has...

    The interesting thing is that we thought there might be some small delay due to the fact that our index stream for temperatures this year is quite a bit smaller and warms more quickly when compared to most of the other Lower Shore Tribs. To be honest, my bet was on Thursday - Friday given our index stream hit roughly last Saturday and flows were so high yet. BUT, lots of sun can work wonders this time of year so it looks like the other Lower Shore Tribs are right there already. Not only does the creel trend confirm this, but the Knife and French Trap reports do as well.

    So what does this mean for you? Well, our Creel Project data tells us that going forward from the initiation threshold, we are now in a ma…

05.04.2014 Update

Lots of things beginning to happen on the North Shore!

    The DNR's Mid and Upper Shore Creel surveys began this weekend and the French and Knife River traps are open, so look for reports to begin rolling in. For those of you who have submitted MS Creel Reports, we thank YOU! Keep 'em coming.

    As for now, I suppose we should start with the Lower Shore and work our way northward:
The Lower Shore is right on the brink. Keep in mind that our index stream for temperature is smaller than most of the tribs, consequently it warms faster and can be several days ahead of the others; but if this clear weather, warmth and most importantly -sunshine- holds, we think steelheading should be getting hot this week. Look for creel counts to increase significantly as soon as flows drop a bit, it's still crazy high as of 0900 on May 4th, 2014, but the last of the snow looks to be finally flushing out the system.

    Mid Shore is getting very close. Pretty typical for the Mid Shore to hit…

Pre-Run Temperature Monitoring

A number of people have asked me, "Why all the fuss about stream temperatures early in the run?" Well, putting all of the technical literature aside regarding initial upstream migration temp thresholds, the following historical raw return numbers vs. stream temperatures illustrate part of the the point pretty well. What you are looking at in other words are the numbers of steelhead which returned to trap at a particular temperature range: ~5-8 degree spread. And I apologize, I don't recall specifically how many years of return data are represented here, but it's over 3000 fish sampled, so I would call that a pretty good data-set. For those of you who have been following along for a while now, "Magic 40" and all that...