It is that time of the year again. Time for the steelhead and Loopers to make the spring run up the North Shore trout streams. I look forward to this every year. Last year we had a very good run of steelhead along with loopers. So far this year with the early spring, the streams are a little on the low side with the water fairly clear. We need some rain to push the rainbows into the streams from the big lake.
My brother Ed, and his friend Joel, were up the shore yesterday to try the rivers flowing into Lake Superior. Fishing was very slow with very few fish in the rivers. They did see a few fish but no takers. So I’ll be putting update’s on here from time to time for those interested in going up to the North Shore to try their luck. My guess is that more fish will move in the rivers after some rain that is moving in that area today through tomorrow. This is just the beginning of the spring run. Fish will be spawning well into May, so there will be time to fish for those who can’t go as often as they wish.
On his way back from Florida a few days ago Ed stopped by the Menomonie River in Eastern Wisconsin to try for some steelhead. He did get this one and a couple of others. Now for some on the North Shore.
Well get ready for catch and release this year. Regulations designed to protect the fish needed to rebuild Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye population will require that walleye anglers use only artificial bait and immediately release all walleye when Minnesota’s 2016 fishing season opens Saturday, May 14.
“A catch-and-release walleye season allows us to protect future spawners yet acknowledges the desire that fishing remain open,” said Don Pereira, fisheries chief for the DNR. “. “Not allowing harvest is a difficult decision but it provides our best option.”
From May 14 to Thursday, Dec. 1, anglers targeting walleye must use artificial bait and immediately release all walleye caught. Anglers targeting northern pike and muskellunge may possess and use sucker minnows longer than 8 inches but all other anglers must not possess any other bait that is live, dead, frozen or processed.
Other changed regulations for the 2016 season on Mille Lacs include:
Walleye: Night closure beginning Monday, May 16, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and continuing through Dec. 1. Muskellunge anglers may fish at night but all baits, live or artificial, in possession must be at least 8 inches long.
Northern Pike: Five fish with only one longer than 40 inches. All northern 30-40 inches long must be immediately released.
Bass: Four fish with only one longer than 21 inches. All fish 17-21 inches long must be immediately released.
My understanding is that the native Indian Tribes have suspended netting this year except for ceremonial purposes.