Managing Water

The good news is in Cook County Minnesota we don’t have to worry about not having enough water. We do worry about what type of fish and how many of them are in our lakes. The Minnesota DNR is working on lake and stream management plans in the Grand Marais area. Some of these lakes our guests are familiar with and may have an opinion about.  Saganaga Lake as well as a number of trout lakes are being discussed. Read the press release below to find out more.

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Oct. 19, 2015

DNR seeks comments on Grand Marais area lake and stream management plans

Management plans for Grand Marais area lakes and streams – some within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) – will undergo annual review this winter, and citizens can ask questions or submit comments on the draft plans.

“These plans identify specific management activities planned for a lake or stream in the next five to 20 years. Feedback from people interested in these waters is crucial when it comes to making the plans and determining management success,” said Steve Persons, Grand Marais area fisheries supervisor with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

There are two comment periods. Comments on lakes within the BWCA will be accepted until Tuesday, Dec. 15. For lakes and streams outside the BWCA, the comment period will extend through Monday, Feb. 15, 2016.

Lakes
The status and preservation of native lake trout populations will be the primary concern in plans being revised for Crooked, Fay, Fern, French, Gillis, Howard, Long Island, Moose, Partridge, Powell, Tuscarora and West Fern lakes. These lakes are all located inside the BWCA.

Stream trout stocking strategies will be the focus of plans for Bench, Bingshick, Unnamed (Little Portage) and Trip lakes. Options to consider include changes in species, stocking frequency, number stocked and size of fish stocked. Bench and Bingshick lakes are located within the BWCA.

The plan for Saganaga Lake will be updated to review walleye stocking to date, incorporate the evaluation plan for the new walleye regulation, and review the status of walleye, lake trout, northern pike and smallmouth bass populations. Saganaga Lake is a BWCA water.

Management of northern pike fisheries will be addressed in plan revisions for Logger, Ruby and Rudy lakes.

The plan for Mistletoe Lake will be revised to incorporate new survey results and address walleye and northern pike management strategies.

Prune Lake is an unusual lake supporting a population of small black crappie and nothing else.  Options for preserving or improving this unique fishery will be considered.

Squash Lake is managed as a trophy trout, catch-and-release-only lake. In this revision, the review will address poor rainbow trout stocking success, and consider options to discontinue the special regulations on the lake or discontinue stream trout management entirely.

Additionally, plans for several other BWCA lakes in the area, including Gordon, Hub, Jimmy, Long, Lux, Mulligan, North Cone and Stump will be reviewed. Those plans will be revised primarily to establish survey schedules on those lakes for the next few years.

Streams
The plan for Flute Reed River – an important steelhead stream – will focus on habitat and water quality, hydrology and watershed issues.

The plan for Tait River – a natural brook trout stream (in its lower reaches) – will incorporate results of a 2015 survey, and will likely focus on habitat protection, water quality and watershed issues.

Current plans for lakes and streams in the area as well as recent fish population assessment information are available for review at the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office, at 1356 E. Highway 61, Grand Marais, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more information, call or email Steve Persons at 218-387-3056 or steve.persons@state.mn.us.

Even though there are set comment periods, comments, suggestions and other feedback on the management of these and all other streams and lakes in the area are welcomed at any time, and will be considered when those plans are next due for review.

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