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Showing posts from 2017

Sucker River Angler Access - NO MORE!?

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Sucker River Access is in Jeopardy!
Are you aware that the access paths from the parking lot at Scenic Highway 61 to the downstream portion below the culvert to the mouth of the Sucker River lies within private property?If not, you should be: The paths, the wooded area on both sides of the path, the stream bank and the water to the center-line of the river is private property; you read that right, private property on both sides to the center of the river bed. Though there is an angler easement on upper stretches of the Sucker River, there is no angler easement from scenic HWY 61 downstream to the lake.


On April 19th, 2017, the Board of Directors of Minnesota Steelheader received a call from DNR Fisheries Area Supervisor Cory Goldsworthy informing us that the landowners along left-hand side of the Sucker River looking downstream had stopped by the Fisheries Office with a message: Access to all foot traffic will be legally closed.  Knowing that Minnesota Steelheader was planning on conduc…

2017 Running Creel Project Totals

DATE: 04/19/2017Lower Shore SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported000Total Reported1198116DATE: 04/19/2017Mid Shore SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported000Total Reported3517811DATE: 04/19/2017Upper Shore SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported000Total Reported4171DATE: 04/19/2017Shore-Wide Totals SpeciesBrook Trout SteelheadKamloopsNumber Reported000Total Reported50293128
Ok, so we are in a bit of a pickle here...

Our creel project reporting page and form was not cooperating as some of you know. For whatever reason, the catch dates were dropping off the submitted data on our end, so we could not use or plot the data in any meaningful way.

What we are asking is that if you were kind enough to submit a creel report for any fish caught  prior to April 12th, please re-submit those numbers. It honestly doesn't matter when you submit related to when you actually caught the fish, as long as the catch total for steelhead, kamloops or brook trout is accompanied…

2017 Running Trap Summary

DATE: 04/17/2017 Knife River Flow: 108 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured20109129Total Captured10513101415DATE: 04/17/2017 Index River Avg Temp: °F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured1227129Total Captured58720607DATE: 04/14/2017 Knife River Flow: 120 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured31555586Total Captured8512011286DATE: 04/14/2017 Index River Avg Temp: °F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured34411355Total Captured46513146DATE: 04/07/2017 Knife River Flow: 226 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured24282306Total Captured54646700DATE: 04/07/2017 Index River Avg Temp: °F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured68169Total Captured1212123DATE: 04/06/2017 Knife River Flow: 288 CFS French RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured000Total Captured30364394DATE: 04/06/2017 Index River Avg Temp: °F Knife RiverSteelheadKamloopsTotal Number Captured53154Total Captured53154DATE: 03/27/2017 Knife River Flow: EQP French …

04.07.17 Update

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Greetings! Quick update for April 7th. We are getting very close to the Lower Shore attaining what Minnesota Steelheader calls the run initiation temperature.

If you look at the chart below, you'll see our 2017 Lower Shore index stream is just about there. Keep in mind however that this is a very small stream, so while we are close, it warms far more quickly that larger streams like the Knife, so it will hit the threshold something like 7-10 days sooner.

Even so, the Knife trap was recently opened and DNR Fisheries captured some 50+ adult steelhead already up-bound on their annual spring spawning run.

French river has previously seined in the neighborhood of 400 Kamloops and 30 steelhead, and while many of those Kamloops spent a good chunk of winter in the French River, it's all very encouraging.


Couple quick graphics regarding Mid and Upper Shore. Mid Shore is moving but it has a ways to go yet. Still in what we call our pre-run phase where an average of 10% of our total a…

Latest Updates as of 04.01.17

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Greetings from Minnesota Steelheader!

Just a couple quick notes we thought worth posting. Lower Shore Stream temperature info has been scarce. This is due to some packages not having been placed yet along with various gauge outages however, the daily data which is available is finally showing an upward trend.

Brown-up is certainly helping this, and warmer temps are driving increases in flow as the remaining snow-pack melts. We are seeing a decent flush of melt-water runoff as snow remaining in the upper portions of the Lower Shore watersheds melts and hits the systems. Recall that the North Shore is heavily runoff dependent for flow, with the Lower more-so than the Upper due to more lakes and swamps feeding the Upper systems. The remaining melt runoff will be retarding the rate of temperature increase as it hits the systems at near-freezing temps, so base flows will remain cold for a little while longer.

As I said though, the general trend is finally upward. Note the strong heartbeat sig…

SGP Program - Tips for Collecting Scales from Steelhead

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SGP Program - A note from Nick Peterson, DNR Migratory Fish Specialist

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Hello again!

The 2017 spring steelhead season will be here soon! We will again be looking for avid anglers to help collect scale samples from steelhead for the second year of the Steelhead Genetics Project

I would really appreciate your help in collecting scale samples from adult steelhead you catch this spring. If you would be interested in helping out again (or for the first time!), please let me know as soon as possible so I can get you a new permit and more scale envelopes, if needed.
 A few notes for those who want to participate in 2017:

All anglers need an updated permit. I have permits ready to go and can email or mail them to anglers who participated last season. Please let me know what delivery method would work the best for you. Anglers who did not participate last year will need to contact me or another Lake Superior Area Fisheries staff to receive a permit and training on how to collect scales.

Goal for 2017: Collect more scales from smaller rivers. We had …

Steelhead Genetics Project - First Findings

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For those of you not aware,the Steelhead Genetics Project (SGP) is a cooperative research project between anglers and the Department of Natural Resources. This project relies in great part on volunteer angler participation to facilitate DNA sample collections. Through a special collection permit granted by the DNR, trained anglers carefully remove scales from presumed wild steelhead, and these samples are then submitted for genetic analysis. The hope for SGP is that it will provide critical information needs to advance rehabilitation efforts for Steelhead in the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior.

This project is evolving, but initial objectives were as follows:
Evaluate hybridization between hatchery-raised Kamloops Rainbow Trout and naturalized (wild) SteelheadExamine the utility of genetics to identify adult Steelhead that were stocked as fry and determine their contributions to the adult catch in the North Shore spring fisheryDetermine strain composition, genetic variation and st…

Definite Signs of Life

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Greetings from the Situation Room at Minnesota Steelheader!

While our North Shore Rivers aren't running green like they do in Chicago this time of year, we are seeing definite signs of life.

 Here where I live, the Blue Jay, Chickadee and Cardinal males have all been trying out their very best pick-up lines on the ladies every morning for the better part of a week; and the pussy willow and maple buds are all swelling despite some pretty chilly temps. If you follow these natural cycles, they have a lot to tell you about what is going on in the world around you.

    So despite being 110.4 miles from my nearest steelhead stream (give or take a 10th of a mile), that Cardinal was telling me I should probably take a closer look. Taking a peek at MODIS satellite imagery shows quite a change. The snow line has retreated considerably, now running in a line from the south shore westward, splitting the State between Mille Lacs and Leech/Winnie. Despite recent lake-effect snow, we're see…

Weather 101 for Winter Shore Fishing

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Given the recent shore-fishing clinic, we thought it would be a perfect time to talk about two of the factors which can make or break a shore fishing trip: Wind and Ice. Board Members/Instructors Lisa and Aaron discussed wind directions and their effects on fishing at the clinic, so we are going to run through a few graphics that will help you visualize those considerations better.

   Winter months into the run-up to the spring runs of kamloops and steelhead offer fantastic opportunities to get out and enjoy the resource, and shore fishing really heats up as more and more fish stage near-shore for spawning. But let's face it, it's still winter. While factors such as air temperature, cloud cover, wave action and water clarity all play a part, wind direction and pack ice can play havoc with any shore fishing outing turning what should have been an enjoyable trip into an exercise in patience and endurance.

    Pack ice is certainly more prevalent during winter months, but …

Yeah, We're Wondering Too....

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With all the unseasonably warm weather, rain and general meteorological chaos going on right now, a steelheader can't help but begin to wonder...

    The natural inclination is to want to at least drive by the streams if not jump out and walk them, but when you live more than a casual drive away, what do you do to scratch that persistent if not maniacal itch?

    In this age of technological sorcery, there are all kinds of tools available to the steelheader, and all it takes is an internet connection and a browser that will hopefully act as a sort of electronic steelheader's version Gold Bond or Anti Monkey-Butt powder. Let's face it, the itch is ultimately incurable, but there are ways to make it less annoying.

    Over the years, we have discovered a number of highly useful tools, and developed methods which allow us to keep tabs on what is happening up and down the North Shore, particularly during the early stages of Spring thaw. Year to year weather variability ma…