Walleye Spawn Isn’t On

     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 depending upon the water temperature but with the ice still covering the lakes and river the walleye are not spawning yet.

     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. 

     We’re anxiously awaiting the walleye spawn and the terrific fishing that comes after it.

Gunflint Trail

Cook County fishing closures will protect spawning fish

(Released April 3, 2013)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wishes to inform anglers that there will be several fishing closures in Cook County during the beginning of the 2013 fishing season to protect concentrations of spawning walleye. Closures on Minnesota-Ontario waters are made in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and affect both sides of the border.

The following closures took effect April 1:

  • Sea Gull River from Sea Gull Lake through Gull Lake to Saganaga Lake approximately 1/3 mile north of the narrows, closed through May 24.

  • Saganaga Falls on the Minnesota Ontario border where the Granite River enters Saganaga Lake, closed through May 31.

  • Maligne River (also known as Northern Light Rapids) on the Ontario side of Saganaga Lake, closed through May 31.

  • Channel between Little Gunflint and Little North Lakes on the Minnesota Ontario border, closed through May 31.

  • Cross River (inlet to Gunflint Lake) from the Gunflint Trail to Gunflint Lake, closed through May 24.

Closures apply to fishing only; travel is permitted through these areas. All closed areas will be posted.

The closures are intended to protect concentrations of walleye that may be vulnerable to over-harvest in what is expected to be a year with relatively late ice-out and delayed spawning. Questions can be directed to the DNR fisheries office in Grand Marais at 218-387-3056, or to the Grand Marais area fisheries supervisor, Steve Persons at steve.persons@state.mn.us.