Category Archives: Stream Conditions

4/1/2015-4/2/2015 Rainfall

Showers, thunderstorms a welcome site to start April, and amounts were healthy but not enough to have a big effect on river/stream levels. Totals compiled by NWS La Crosse. The Stream Conditions page has been updated.

...SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...

...DODGE COUNTY...
KASSON                       0.81 IN   0831 AM 04/02   44.03N/92.73W        
MANTORVILLE 1.9 ESE          0.62 IN   0600 AM 04/02   44.05N/92.72W        
DODGE CENTER AIRPORT         0.50 IN   0654 AM 04/02   44.02N/92.83W        

...FILLMORE COUNTY...
SPRING VALLEY 3E             0.46 IN   0700 AM 04/02   43.68N/92.33W        
FILLMORE                     0.41 IN   0830 AM 04/02   43.76N/92.27W        
PRESTON                      0.38 IN   0815 AM 04/02   43.67N/92.07W        
PRESTON FILLMORE COUNTY AIRP 0.37 IN   0655 AM 04/02   43.68N/92.18W        
MABEL                        0.33 IN   0630 AM 04/02   43.52N/91.76W        
SO.FORK ROOT RIVER           0.33 IN   0830 AM 04/02   43.72N/91.98W        
LANESBORO                    0.32 IN   0700 AM 04/02   43.72N/91.97W        

...HOUSTON COUNTY...
HOUSTON                      0.28 IN   0745 AM 04/02   43.77N/91.57W        
MOUND PRAIRIE                0.26 IN   0745 AM 04/02   43.78N/91.45W        
CALEDONIA                    0.21 IN   0700 AM 04/02   43.63N/91.50W        

...MOWER COUNTY...
LANSING                      0.81 IN   0730 AM 04/02   43.75N/92.95W        
DOBBING CR                   0.79 IN   0730 AM 04/02   43.67N/92.95W        
1 NNE VARCO                  0.74 IN   0800 AM 04/02   43.64N/92.97W        
TURTLE CREEK                 0.67 IN   0730 AM 04/02   43.65N/92.98W        
GRAND MEADOW                 0.66 IN   0600 AM 04/02   43.71N/92.56W        
AUSTIN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT     0.55 IN   0656 AM 04/02   43.66N/92.93W        

...OLMSTED COUNTY...
BYRON                        0.75 IN   0814 AM 04/02   44.04N/92.64W        
ROCHESTER AP 2NE             0.68 IN   0700 AM 04/02   43.93N/92.48W        
3 NW ROCHESTER               0.67 IN   0830 AM 04/02   44.05N/92.53W        
ELGIN 2SSW                   0.65 IN   0700 AM 04/02   44.10N/92.27W        
ROCHESTER INTERNATIONAL AIRP 0.64 IN   0654 AM 04/02   43.91N/92.50W        
CASCADE CREEK                0.64 IN   0730 AM 04/02   44.03N/92.47W        
1 SSE STEWARTVILLE           0.63 IN   0823 AM 04/02   43.84N/92.48W        
ROCHESTER 3W                 0.62 IN   0730 AM 04/02   44.02N/92.53W        
BYRON 4 NORTH                0.62 IN   0700 AM 04/02   44.09N/92.64W        
4 NNW ROCHESTER              0.62 IN   0520 AM 04/02   44.07N/92.49W        
ROCHESTER 2.6 NE             0.61 IN   0600 AM 04/02   44.04N/92.44W        
3 NE ROCHESTER               0.61 IN   0825 AM 04/02   44.05N/92.45W        
4 ESE DOUGLAS                0.61 IN   0823 AM 04/02   44.09N/92.49W        
3 ESE DOUGLAS                0.60 IN   0830 AM 04/02   44.08N/92.51W        
2 ENE ROCHESTER              0.60 IN   0730 AM 04/02   44.03N/92.42W        
BELTLINE-BEAR CREEK          0.59 IN   0730 AM 04/02   44.01N/92.45W        
MAYO HELIPAD                 0.56 IN   0654 AM 04/02   44.02N/92.48W        
2 NE ROCHESTER               0.56 IN   0814 AM 04/02   44.04N/92.44W        
ROCHESTER BELTLINE           0.56 IN   0730 AM 04/02   44.01N/92.47W        
ORONOCO 1W                   0.53 IN   0830 AM 04/02   44.17N/92.55W        
ORONOCO                      0.52 IN   0830 AM 04/02   44.16N/92.54W        
PINE ISLAND 1S               0.45 IN   0600 AM 04/02   44.19N/92.65W        
3 S ROCHESTER                0.26 IN   0828 AM 04/02   43.97N/92.48W        

...WABASHA COUNTY...
ZUMBRO FALLS 3.5 SSW         0.54 IN   0640 AM 04/02   44.24N/92.46W        
MAZEPPA 3ESE                 0.44 IN   0830 AM 04/02   44.26N/92.49W        
LAKE CITY                    0.43 IN   0814 AM 04/02   44.45N/92.27W        
BEAR VALLEY                  0.38 IN   0751 AM 04/02   44.32N/92.44W        
WABASHA                      0.37 IN   0700 AM 04/02   44.38N/92.05W        
ZUMBRO RIVER                 0.34 IN   0800 AM 04/02   44.32N/92.00W        

...WINONA COUNTY...
MINNESOTA CITY DAM 5         0.58 IN   0700 AM 04/02   44.16N/91.81W        
ELBA                         0.53 IN   0830 AM 04/02   44.09N/92.03W        
STOCKTON 0.1 SSE             0.36 IN   0715 AM 04/02   44.03N/91.77W        
WINONA DAM 5A                0.34 IN   0600 AM 04/02   44.09N/91.67W        
WHITEWATER RIVER NEAR BEAVER 0.31 IN   0745 AM 04/02   44.15N/92.00W        
WINONA MUNICIPAL AIRPORT     0.28 IN   0653 AM 04/02   44.08N/91.71W        
LA CRESCENT DAM 7            0.20 IN   0600 AM 04/02   43.87N/91.31W        
DAKOTA                       0.20 IN   0800 AM 04/02   43.91N/91.36W        
TREMPEALEAU DAM 6            0.13 IN   0600 AM 04/02   44.00N/91.44W

Non-dramatic Spring Runoff – Conditions Improving

Stream conditions updated March 11th.

A rapid turnaround from sub-zero temperatures on March 5th to unseasonably warm weather and near-record warmth beginning March 8th has led to a quick, spring runoff in southeast Minnesota. Waters have been running high and dirty at times, but in a not-so-dramatic fashion. Streams should be clearing nicely going into the weekend of March 14th.

3_9_2015_DuscheeCreek

Spring 2015 Flood Outlook – March 5th Update

(source) – NWS La Crosse

*** FLOOD POTENTIAL HIGHLIGHTS ***

OVERALL...NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED FROM THE FIRST OUTLOOK ISSUED TWO
WEEKS AGO. THE FLOOD POTENTIAL FOR THIS SPRING LOOKS TO BE BELOW
NORMAL AS COMPARED TO A TYPICAL YEAR.

THE WIDESPREAD LACK OF WINTER PRECIPITATION HAS CONTINUED...AND
CONTINUES TO BE WELL BELOW WHAT WE MIGHT NORMALLY SEE FOR THIS
TIME OF YEAR. THIS CONTINUES TO POINT TO A VERY LOW LIKELIHOOD OF
ANY SIGNIFICANT OR WIDESPREAD SPRING FLOODING FROM SNOWMELT RUNOFF
AT THIS TIME.

ONE AREA THAT REMAINS SOMEWHAT OF A CONCERN CONTINUES TO BE THE
AMOUNT AND THICKNESS OF ICE IN AREA CREEKS AND RIVERS. THE RECENT
COLD HAS HELPED TO THICKEN THE ICE. WITH WARMER TEMPERATURES EXPECTED
THIS WEEKEND AND THROUGH NEXT WEEK...RUNOFF MAY BE SUFFICIENT TO
RAISE WATER LEVELS ENOUGH TO BREAK THIS ICE UP ON SOME WATERWAYS.
AS THIS OCCURS...ICE JAMS ARE A DEFINITE POSSIBILITY...ESPECIALLY IN
TYPICAL PROBLEM SPOTS SUCH AS NEAR BRIDGES AND OTHER CONSTRICTIONS
IN THE RIVER...OR WHERE THE RIVER MAKES SHARP TURNS OR MEANDERS.
LARGE CHUNKS OF ICE MOVING DOWNSTREAM COULD GET HUNG UP IN THESE
AREAS...LEADING TO JAMS AND POTENTIAL FLOODING. IF ICE FLOES OR
ANY JAMMING IS OBSERVED...BE SURE TO REPORT THIS INFORMATION TO
LOCAL OFFICIALS OR THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

Snow depth, temperature, and water equivalent as of March 5th, 2015:
nsm_swe_2015030505_Upper_Midwest nsm_ave_temp_24hr_2015030505_Upper_Midwest nsm_depth_2015030505_Upper_Midwest

Images courtesy National Snow Analysis

Too Cold; Won’t Fish

GrumpyCat

But, after the 5th coldest February on record in southeast Minnesota, there is hope. Without giving it all away on a silver platter, here’s an outlook on temperatures the next 10 days.

KRST_2015030412_tx_240

 

Honestly, hats off (not literally, too cold) to those of you who have found the time and place to fish this winter without losing a digit. It’s a great time of the year to avoid crowds, and even better now that all streams are open for winter trout fishing.

REALLY Brown Trout: June 11, 2014 Report

I met up with a few buddies today and fished the Village Bicycle (everyone’s had a ride). It’s been a couple seasons since I fished it…normally too busy for my taste, but not a bad day on the water. The weather was great. The temperature when we were there, 8:30am-Noon, was in the 70s. Sky was mostly sunny, wind was light, water was clear with only a slight tinge. Fish were rising sporadically but were more visibly feeding below the surface. There were a lot of caddis boppin’ around on the water, many of which were larger, darker-colored caddis. Size 14’ish, I’d guess. There were also some craneflies and a few March Browns, but not too many.

A size 14 Adams was refused – a lot – but nymphing was moderately successful. A size 14 flashback pheasant tail caught the most fish for me. With all the terrestrials present, I figured a black wet fly would be killer, but I caught nary a fish on it.

Of the handful of fish caught, I did manage one really nice fat brown, measured at 15 1/2″ (I rarely measure fish, but if you’re going to measure, you might as well be accurate), and stout. I like it when the trout have got some girth to them, and this one fought with it – a fun catch.

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I caught the brownest brown trout that I ever recall catching today. I’m assuming its darker color was due to its preferred, darker dwelling. I caught this fish in a short run, under a tree, with a large rock overhang. It took the fly from under the rock and am guessing said fish spends a lot of time there. The picture doesn’t do the fish’s color justice, in my opinion; it was pretty dark.

IMG_4489

Stream conditions steadily improving

It’s been relatively easy to find a good spot to fish for more than a week now, but things were rough on a lot of water at the end of March and the beginning of April due to runoff, rain, and a little additional snow. Not un-fishable in southeast MN, but there was plenty of turbid water. Now that the snow has been¬†almost completely gone since this past weekend (some north-facing slopes still have some stubborn drifts-turned-glaciers) and we’ve got a break from precipitation, we should be in good shape.

A good friend and I took our kids camping for spring break from the 31st of March through the 2nd of April. We were the only campers in all of Whitewater State Park, which was awesome. The kids had a great time despite the fact the river through the park was in rough shape until our last day and the weather wasn’t always agreeable – but it’s rarely perfect.

This is how things looked through Whitewater State Park on Monday, March 31st.
photo (70)

After a blustery, cold Tuesday with more time spent around the fire or in the camper, weather and water improved Wednesday, April 2nd. I’m sure outside the park and farther upstream was in much better shape, but we stayed put with 4 kids. The kids were casting fly rods, spinners, and a Rapala, but fish were stubborn. Still, they kept casting for quite a long time. We managed to catch a couple of trout, but that was it.
image (50)

image (51)

Last week wrapped up with a fresh blanket of snow on Friday morning, the 4th, which disappeared by the end of the weekend.
image (52)

I got out yesterday (Tuesday, April 8th) morning and fished a clear stream. Temperatures were in the 40s in the morning with mostly sunny skies and a stiff, northwest wind. I managed a handful of fish, all on an orange scud, although I tried small nymphs, a midge, and a small, green soft hackle to no avail. It was more turbid farther downstream, but that could have been as much cattle as it was remaining runoff from some snow banks stuck on an east-west running feeder. Most remaining slopes/ditches should lose their snow today due to the warmth and wind. Stream conditions should be good this weekend; probably better than the weather with showers/thunderstorms Saturday and a chilly, wet Sunday in store.

You can check out quite a few, recent trip reports and stream condition reports on the message board. Feel free to share your own reports, they’re helpful.

Since I last posted… 6/23/13 Update

I’m not going to lie, the May snow kind of knocked the wind out of me. Since then, we’ve had some decent opportunities to fish, I’ve gotten out my fair share, but there have been less than 10 rain-free days since early May. Due to repeated high water and flooding events this season, sometimes streams going out of their banks twice in just a few days, conditions have been less than stellar. Oddly, we had a June rainfall deficit of about 1.50″ in Rochester up until Thursday the 20th. Since this past Thursday, we’ve had repeated bouts of severe weather and heavy rain.

Here’s what’s going on today:
6_23_13Flooding_ChoiceMN
This is Highway 43 at Choice, located just south of Rushford, MN.

Here’s a picture of Duschee Creek this morning:
6_23_13Flooding_Duschee

…and here is radar estimated rainfall in southeast MN and northeast IA. Holy cow.
6_23_13STP_Flooding

Heavy Snow Will Result in River Rises

Check out the recent snowfall totals from May 2nd. Yikes! These totals in much of southeast MN equate to about 1.25″-2.00″ of stored liquid about to release in a hurry as we warm up into the weekend. The MBWW gauge is already getting a bit bouncy from the recent rain turned snowfall, and we’re in for more rain through Saturday, then occasional showers Sunday before this stinking storm system departs. It’s always hard to say for sure, but it may prove difficult (note, not impossible) to find non-chocolatey water this weekend.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
129 PM CDT FRI MAY 3 2013

...MAY 1-3 SNOWFALL TOTALS...

LOCATION                       AMOUNT

IOWA

...CHICKASAW...
IONIA 2W                       5.5 IN
NASHUA                         5.1 IN
NEW HAMPTON                    5.0 IN

...CLAYTON...
MONONA WWTP                    TRACE

...FAYETTE...
ALPHA 1ENE                     1.5 IN
OELWEIN 1E                     1.2 IN
FAYETTE                        0.5 IN
CLERMONT                       0.5 IN

...FLOYD...
CHARLES CITY                  10.0 IN
NASHUA 2SW                     5.1 IN
COLWELL                        4.5 IN

...HOWARD...
CRESCO 1NE                     6.5 IN
ELMA                           4.9 IN

...MITCHELL...
OSAGE                         13.0 IN
ST ANSGAR                     10.9 IN
CARPENTER 2ENE                 7.0 IN
RICEVILLE                      7.0 IN
ST ANSGAR 7NW                  7.0 IN

...WINNESHIEK...
BLUFFTON 1N                    3.5 IN
RIDGEWAY                       3.0 IN
HIGHLANDVILLE                  3.0 IN
CALMAR                         2.9 IN
SATTRE 4S                      2.0 IN
DECORAH                        0.5 IN

MINNESOTA

...DODGE...
DODGE CENTER                  17.2 IN
CLAREMONT 2 SSE               14.9 IN
KASSON                        14.5 IN
BLOOMING PRAIRIE 4E           14.0 IN
CLAREMONT                     13.0 IN
PINE ISLAND 5WSW              13.0 IN
MANTORVILLE 2ESE               9.0 IN
MANTORVILLE                    7.0 IN

...FILLMORE...
SPRING VALLEY 3E              12.9 IN
PILOT MOUND 2SSE              11.9 IN
LANESBORO                      8.0 IN
SPRING VALLEY                  8.0 IN
SPRING VALLEY 1ENE             8.0 IN
CHATFIELD                      8.0 IN
PRESTON                        8.0 IN
PETERSON 1S                    7.2 IN
HARMONY                        2.5 IN
HIGHLAND                       2.0 IN

...HOUSTON...
SPRING GROVE 4N                3.1 IN
LA CRESCENT 1NNW               1.8 IN

...MOWER...
GRAND MEADOW                  14.0 IN
AUSTIN KAAL TV                12.5 IN
AUSTIN WASTE WATER            10.2 IN
AUSTIN 2SW                    10.0 IN
BROWNSDALE                    10.0 IN
ADAMS 2S                       8.5 IN
AUSTIN                         7.0 IN

...OLMSTED...
ROCHESTER 3W                  16.6 IN
ROCHESTER 2NW                 15.5 IN
ROCHESTER AIRPORT             15.3 IN
BYRON 4N                      14.8 IN
ROCHESTER 2NE                 14.5 IN
ORONOCO 2N                    14.0 IN
ORONOCO                       13.2 IN
ELGIN 2SSW                    13.1 IN
ROCHESTER KTTC TV             13.0 IN
EYOTA                         12.5 IN
RINGE 4WSW                    11.3 IN
DOUGLAS 2N                    10.0 IN
SALEM CORNERS 3NE              9.8 IN
ROCHESTER 1SE                  9.5 IN
PINE ISLAND 2S                 9.0 IN
ROCHESTER 2NE                  8.5 IN

...WABASHA...
READS LANDING 1W              15.8 IN
OAK CENTER                    15.0 IN
ZUMBRO FALLS 4 SSW            14.1 IN
THEILMAN 1SSW                 11.5 IN
HAMMOND 1S                    10.0 IN
PLAINVIEW                     10.0 IN
ZUMBROTA (GOODHUE CO)          9.9 IN
WABASHA                        9.5 IN
KELLOGG 4S                     9.0 IN
LAKE CITY                      8.0 IN

...WINONA...
ST CHARLES 3N                 11.5 IN
ST CHARLES 5N                 10.0 IN
ALTURA 5W                      9.4 IN
LEWISTON                       8.0 IN
STOCKTON 1 NNW                 7.0 IN
WINONA DAM 5A                  5.0 IN
TREMPEALEAU DAM 6              4.0 IN
GOODVIEW                       4.0 IN
MINNESOTA CITY DAM 5           4.0 IN
WINONA                         3.5 IN
LA CRESCENT DAM 7              0.5 IN

WISCONSIN

...BUFFALO...
MONDOVI 2W                     8.3 IN
NELSON                         7.0 IN
ALMA DAM 4                     5.0 IN
FOUNTAIN CITY                  3.0 IN

...CLARK...
OWEN 2N                        1.5 IN

...CRAWFORD...
DE SOTO 1SE                    TRACE

...LA CROSSE...
TOWN OF HOLLAND                4.5 IN
HOLMEN 4N                      2.0 IN
HOLMEN 2S                      1.6 IN
HOLMEN 1N                      1.2 IN
ONALASKA 2NW                   0.9 IN
LA CROSSE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT    0.8 IN
NWS LA CROSSE                  0.4 IN

...MONROE...
TUNNEL CITY                    0.2 IN

...TAYLOR...
JUMP RIVER 1NW                 7.0 IN
LUBLIN                         3.5 IN
MEDFORD                        2.0 IN
WESTBORO 4E                    1.8 IN

...TREMPEALEAU...
OSSEO                          8.1 IN
ETTRICK 4WNW                   6.2 IN
ARCADIA                        6.0 IN
GALESVILLE 2WSW                4.7 IN
TREMPEALEAU DAM 6              4.0 IN
TREMPEALEAU 2NW                3.8 IN
CENTERVILLE 1N                 3.5 IN

...VERNON...
STODDARD                       TRACE
GENOA DAM 8                    TRACE
WESTBY 3ENE                    TRACE

Trout Camp 2013

IMG_2168

This past weekend was our 3rd annual Trout Camp, a get together friends and I do every spring to shake off winter’s webs and fish for a few days. This year winter didn’t want to let go, but we make it happen no matter the weather, and even with crummy weather, Trout Camp 2013 didn’t disappoint. Fishing wasn’t prime, but we still caught plenty of fish and kept a handful for Saturday evening delicacies.

We departed early Friday morning in the wake of a storm system that dropped around an inch or two in southeast Minnesota.

IMG_2164

Despite a few patches of blown snow covering the roads and a soaking rain the day before, we remained optimistic for a great weekend away. Camp was set up relatively quickly in the cold, spring air, and we were one of only 3 populated campsites in the lower campground. Note the snow melted quickly…a benefit of April even if this April isn’t behaving appropriately.

IMG_2166

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After 1-2″ of rain the day before in addition to a coating of snow, the river was running high and very dirty through the park, which was no surprise. We threw buggers for a while with no luck before venturing to another branch of the system which was also running high and muddy. After a short while of flogging the water fruitlessly, we headed to a much smaller stream farther south. We had much better luck catching fish the rest of the afternoon before heading back to camp to get the fire started and bacon-wrapped steaks on the grill.

Saturday started off with quite a chill, but there was plenty of sunshine to melt the frost.

IMG_2170

Fishing got off to a slow start despite clearing water. Temperatures bottomed out in the teens and fish were sluggish. We managed a few here and there in the morning through early afternoon on buggers, flashy nymphs, and scuds. It was still clear that fish were sluggish post-flood as some that we caught were skinny and pale. There was also a lot of angler pressure, to be expected, which was another contributor. By the mid-afternoon, we headed to a favorite spot where rarely another angler is seen, and it turned out to be a very good choice. For the rest of the day, we caught plenty of fish on skinny nelsons and small PTs until we switched to black woolly buggers closer to sunset. That decision resulted in quite a few fish caught in the closing hour of the day and it was a blast to watch trout hammer the buggers. There was quite a bit of gallery fishing, trading off after a fish caught, mockery for losing one, and it was cool enough to keep the beers chilled.

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We had caught (and kept) enough fish between the 4 of us to cook trout over the campfire. In lieu of simply gutting, cooking, and eating, we ramp it up a bit and turn them into fish tacos. It’s quite simple. After gutting and rinsing out the fish, stuff with some butter, salt, pepper, wrap the fish in foil, and cook over the fire. Once they’re done, a couple of us peel off the skin, remove the bones, and put the trout meat in a bowl and mince it up a bit with a fork. Instead of mixing ingredients, we have sliced limes, cilantro, and hot sauce on the side to make your own. Stuff a corn tortilla as desired and there you have it. Or do you? “That’s one way to do it, I guess.” To add a more crisp texture this time, we put the corn tortilla on the cast iron skillet, let it cook a short while, flip it, then add trout, squeeze a lime wedge over it, add cilantro, hot sauce, throw on a few of those sliced potatoes too, and….delicious. The 24 pack of tortillas and trout disappeared rather quickly.

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Sunday was an excellent finish to Trout Camp 2013 and we were the only campers in the loop by 9am. Sure, the deep cell battery in the pop-up may have died and in turn left a couple of us with no heat for the night, and sure, a fresh inch of snow fell Sunday morning, but after another excellent breakfast of bacon, sausage, eggs, and venison chops we were welcomed by cleaner water, hungrier fish and a few blue-winged olives coming off in the midday.

Snowy start to Sunday with really big snowflakes.
SnowyTroutCamp

Mmmm…eggs…
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Nobody was skunked.
RobTrout

…and camp was packed up around 4pm Sunday afternoon with a few, celebratory beers left over.

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It was a great weekend to remember, spent with the best of people.¬†Plenty of trout were released…until next time!

TroutRelease

The smell of campfire still lingers for at least a couple days afterward.