Did I Miss It?
There are some things you can always count on and one of these is the walleye spawning in the Seagull River each spring. They normally begin to spawn in April or May depending upon the water temperature. Once the water temperature reaches 40 degrees the males usually begin to spawn first followed by the larger females. Each fish only actually spawns for 4 hours; sometimes all at once and sometimes over a number of days. Walleyes are nocturnal so they prefer to spawn starting at dusk usually ending around midnight. They love to spawn where there is moving water and this is why we usually find them at Trail’s End Campground at the end of the Gunflint Trail.
Watching the walleyes in their spawning beds is something we love to do. Every year we head to our favorite spots to check on their progress. They can be seen in less than a foot of water swimming against the current, sometimes stacked in the river like cord wood. This year we haven’t seen any so far and I’m beginning to wonder if we missed it?
The temperatures during April were warm and the sun shined brightly most of the days of the month. Maybe this was enough to heat up the water in spite of the fact most lakes were still covered with ice. We may not have gone to check on them soon enough and now we may be post-spawn. Once the temperature reaches close to 50 degrees the walleyes will be gone. Where are the walleyes now and what does it matter?
I want to know when the walleyes spawned so I have a better chance on catching them come opener on the 12th of May. The Seagull River out to the narrows of Saganaga are closed to fishing until Memorial Weekend in order to protect the spawning walleyes. If they spawned earlier in April then they may already be back in the big lake, but if they haven’t spawned yet, then they’ll still be in the protected shallows.
If anyone has an idea where the walleye are and if I missed the spawn then please let me know!