Showing posts from March, 2017

SGP Program - Tips for Collecting Scales from Steelhead

Year one of the Steelhead Genetics Project - 2016, was a year of trial and error for the DNA sample collection program. Fortunately all of those cut fingers, dropped gear and lost knives paid off with some very helpful collection tips. So here they are, straight from the pros: Have packets in your vest and accessible :   Before you hit the water, make sure you have a knife and collection packets in an easily accessible outside pocket. Many times anglers found themselves thinking "oh this is just a small exploration run" and they ended up hooking piles of fish without the materials to collect data.  It helps to keep your knife and envelopes in a convenient place (front pocket in fly vest, jacket pocket, etc). Use a net :   Many anglers said that a net is almost mandatory in order to keep the fish in the water as long as possible.   A net also ensures that the angler doesn’t lose their fish at the river’s edge, and allows them to keep the fish in shallow water wi

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

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 sm

Steelhead Genetics Project - First Findings

    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) Steelhead Examine 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 fishery   Determine strain c

Definite Signs of Life

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'

Weather 101 for Winter Shore Fishing

    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, b