Coalition of Sporting Groups Plea to Anglers and Hunters

“Dear Minnesota Anglers and Hunters:

While there are many uncertainties today, you can count on the start of the Minnesota hunting and
fishing seasons. Governor Walz’s stay at home order actually encourages people to get outdoors and
engage in activities that include hunting and fishing.

Whether or not you’re planning to hit the water or the woods in the coming weeks, you can still make
a positive difference for our fish and wildlife today! If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to
buy fishing and hunting licenses and stamps, even if you do not plan to fish or hunt.
Not everyone realizes the management of fish and wildlife by the Minnesota Department of Natural
Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, is paid for by hunters and anglers. This is done through the
sale of fishing, hunting and related licenses and stamps, as well as federal excise taxes on fishing and
hunting equipment purchases. This vital work is funded by anglers and hunters. It is not funded by
property or general income taxes.
We in the hunting and angling community have a long history of stepping up during times of adversity
to promote fish and wildlife management and conservation. Some of the best programs operating
today were created in the shadow of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Many retail locations that sell licenses remain open, and we encourage you to support them. If you’d
prefer not to go out, you can also purchase these from home. Visit the DNR webpage, or call the DNR at 888-665-4236.
We hope you are able to get outside and enjoy the activities you love. If you do so, please stay close
to home and follow the social distancing guidelines set forth by Governor Walz. Most of all, stay safe.
Thank you.

Beaver Creek Sportsman’s Club
Central Lakes College Natural Resources Club
Delta Waterfowl
Ducks Unlimited
Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club
Fox Lake Conservation Club
Jackson County Conservation League
Lake Benton Sportsmen’s Club
Lake Superior Steelhead Association
Minnesota Anglers for Habitat
Minnesota Backcounty Hunters and Anglers
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Minnesota Darkhouse & Angling Association
Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Minnesota Division Izaak Walton League
Minnesota Muskie and Pike Alliance
Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance
Minnesota Pheasants, Inc., Blue Earth County
Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society
Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society
Minnesota Trout Association
Minnesota Trout Unlimited
MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition
National Trout Center
National Wild Turkey Federation
New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen
Nicollet Conservation Club
North Heron Lake Game Producers
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Rainy Lake Guide Association
Rainy Lake Sportfishing Club
Round Lake Sportsmans Club
Ruffed Grouse Society
South St. Paul Gun Club
Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters
Viking Sportsmen”

2/1/2020 Stream Report

Water temperature: 41-42 degrees
Insect activity: Midges – moderate

Ventured out with a couple buddies today for my first trip of the new year. We started the day with some rare sunshine and clouds were back overhead by 1-1:30pm. We fished from 10:45am until about 2:30pm.

There were fish rising today, especially late morning in sunny stretches of the stream. There wasn’t enough activity to encourage any of us to try dry flies but a more motivated soul could have done alright, I suppose.

Fish were caught on Hare’s Ear, green and purple perdigons, small pheasant tails, and midge larva patterns. Despite a few rising fish, getting flies low enough was key to catching. A few fish were feeding in some of the faster runs, but most were in the slower tails.

3/7/2015 Report & Conditions

Saturday, March 7th Report:
Fished from 9:30am-12:30pm. Sky was clear, wind in the valley was a non-issue (gusty on the blufftops), temperature started at 32 and was ~38 when we walked out of the valley. There was still plenty of snow on the banks and ice shelves in a few stretches. Fishing was slow, but there was one stretch with ample sunshine + emerging midges that brought fish to the surface. This was a first outing for 3 of us fishing, each caught our first trout of the year on a Griffith’s Gnat (and a couple more to boot). In this particular location, fish were up in the current, actively feeding. Additional fish were caught on an orange scud. In many other stretches that were still shaded, we caught nothing despite our best efforts.

Trout Fishing State Parks – Oct. 16-Dec. 31

The catch-and-release season on the majority of southeast Minnesota trout streams is now closed. This year was the first to be extended from the end of September into the middle of October.

However, there is still trout fishing to be had in a few of southeast Minnesota’s state parks. Here is where you can fish in Beaver Creek SP, Whitewater SP, and Forestville SP.

All of southeast Minnesota’s designated trout streams will be open on January 1st, 2015 for the catch-and-release winter season.


Changes to Simplify Southeast MN Trout Regulations

…and offer more opportunity are finally moving forward (not taking effect, yet, so your usual winter trout season rules still apply through this winter season). After a dramatic pause, one years in the making, we’re a little more than a month from the proposed changes becoming regulation. About 4 years ago, the DNR held numerous open houses to discuss simplifications of regulations and more angling opportunities in southeast MN and there has been overwhelming support between the meetings and written response.

Proposed changes:

  • Bring all designated trout streams in southeast Minnesota into the current winter season (“new catch-and-release season”).
  • Allow angling (catch-and-release) on designated trout streams in SE MN State Parks (“state park season”) from October 15th to December 31st.
  • Extend the current SE MN fall catch-and-release season to October 15th.

Regulations changes on MN DNR site
Conservation Volunteer article

While the ball is in motion, for now, we wait. The DNR will adopt the regulations without a public hearing this spring pending there isn’t much pushback.

FYI: Comment Period Open on Proposed Change to Trout Regulations

There has been chatter for a while now regarding potential changes to regulations and extending trout seasons in southeast Minnesota. It is now open for public comment until February 11th, 2013. (thanks for the info, brntrout)

Below is the notice for public comment from the December 10th, 2012 edition of the MN State Register. I’ve highlighted the proposed changes in regulations applicable to the trout-y folk.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Division of Fish and Wildlife
REQUEST FOR COMMENTS on Possible Amendments to and Repeal of Rules
Governing Fishing Regulations and Aquatic Plant Requirements, Minnesota Rules,
Chapters 6212, 6262, 6264, 6266, and 6280
Subject of Rule. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requests comments on its possible amendments to and repeal of rules governing various fishing regulations. The proposed rules would: make changes related to trout angling in southeastern Minnesota; repeal obsolete rules; make changes to improve consistency in trout fishing regulations and other fishing regulations on border waters; propose changes in fishing seasons for some species; make changes due to statutory changes; and make the specific changes described below.

Licenses and Permits
Repeal obsolete rules in Chapter 6212, subparts 6212.0100 through 6262.1300 due to the development and implementation of the electronic licensing system. These rules are either no longer pertinent to the sale of a license, or are covered in Chapter 6213.

Fishing Regulations and Requirements
– Remove the barbless hook gear restrictions on all designated trout streams and seasons in southeast.
– Clarify the regulations regarding gear restrictions (artificials and flies only) for southeast Minnesota trout streams.
– Extend the current southeast winter season to all designated trout streams in southeast Minnesota
– Allow catch-and-release angling on designated trout streams in some southeast Minnesota State Parks from October 15th to December 31st.
– Extend the current southeast Minnesota fall catch-and-release season to October 15th.
– Consider opening lakes for trout fishing that are currently closed to winter fishing.
– Consider adding regulations to manage smelt harvest on Grindstone Lake in Pine County.
– Add or delete lakes listed as open to whitefish and cisco netting, specifically open Spring Lake in Itasca County (near Spring Lake, Minnesota).
– Consider prohibiting the taking of flathead catfish during the winter. (Cite 37 SR 915) State Register, Monday 10 December 2012 Page 915

Official Notices
– Consider other water bodies for catch-and-release seasons for sturgeon.
– Clarify the rule or make them consistent with other laws.
– Change or add to existing fishing regulations to reflect recently enacted statute changes, make other existing emergency rules permanent, or eliminate obsolete or redundant rules.

Border Waters
– Changes in spearing rules and clarifications of angling rule for South Dakota border waters.
– Changes in regulations for the Minnesota border waters to make them consistent between the states, especially those that
are now different on the Iowa and Wisconsin borders.
– Changes in regulations on the Canadian border to either make them consistent with inland regulations or standardize opening dates for specific water bodies, including walleye on Basswood Lake in Lake County.
Aquatic Plants
– Eliminate obsolete or redundant rules that are part of the standards for aquatic plant management permit issuance regarding lotus protection.

Persons Affected. The rules may affect anglers, whitefish and cisco netters, and people who fish for trout. Individuals and businesses, such as resorts, motels, stores, and guides that provide goods or services to anglers may also be affected. Individuals and businesses that use or own property on or bordering Minnesota waters may be affected. The public and businesses that receive aquatic plant permits
might be affected.

Statutory Authority. The adoption of the rules is authorized in general by Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.045, subds. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, that describes the general powers and duties of the commissioner of natural resources to protect wild animals, modify seasons, regulate boundary waters, and prescribe permits and licenses; and Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.501, subds. 1 and 2, that authorizes the Department to regulate the taking, buying, selling, transporting, and possession of protected wild animals and endangered species. Other statutory authorities specific to the areas being considered for changes are as follows:
Minnesota Statutes, sections 14.05; 14.3895; 97C.205 (b); 97C.401; 97C.345, subd. 5; 97C.411; 97C.415;
97C.395; 97C.041; 97C.325; 97C.371; 97C.375; 97C.001; 97C.005; 97C.805, subd. 1; and 103G.615.
Public Comment. Interested persons or groups may submit comments or information on these possible rules in writing or orally until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 11, 2013. The DNR does not anticipate appointing an advisory committee to comment on the possible rules.

Rules Drafts. The DNR has not yet prepared a draft of the possible rules amendments or repeals and does not anticipate that a draft of the rules will be available before the publication of the proposed rules.
Agency Contact Person. Written or oral comments, questions, requests to receive a draft of the rules when it has been prepared, and requests for more information on these possible rules should be directed to:

Linda Erickson-Eastwood
Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road, Box 20
St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-4020
Telephone: (651) 259-5206
or 1-888-MINNDNR
TTY users may call the Department at (651) 296-5484 or 1-800-657-3929

Southeast Minnesota Winter Trout Season


Winter Trout Season is now open in southeast Minnesota. Just go! And layer up. And don’t keep any fish – it’s only open for catch-and-release. If you’re new to the idea of winter fly fishing for trout, I recommend not getting your hopes up for the catch rates of spring and summer. While springs keep our trout streams open, even on the coldest days, lower water temperatures this time of year mean a lower metabolism for fish. Midges, scuds, small PT’s are the usual, winter fare.

Make sure you know the regulations and which streams are open. There are still only select streams open for winter trout season. Have you heard Trout Run is open for winter fishing? It’s not. At least not the one you’re thinking of in Fillmore County with the famed Bucksnort Dam. There is a little stream in Whitewater State Park also named Trout Run – that’s the only Trout Run open for the winter season.

If you want to know exactly where you can fish, it’s very easy. Here are the maps of streams open for Southeast Minnesota’s winter trout season.
Fillmore County
Winona County
Houston County
Goodhue County

Stream conditions? The usual winter fare. It’s a rare winter’s day that our trout streams are anything but low, clear, and cold. If you’re uncertain, check here or here to see if there’s an update.

Reports, pictures are always welcome on the message board.

New Location, New Look, Same Idea

There are new links across the top of this site. I’m working on getting stuff updated as quickly as I can, but there will be some blank spots for a while.

This website is simply the home base for a forum which has been in existence for many years. What is now Minnesota Trout Forums used to be … ahem… something like Minnesota Trout Forums but located at driftless-skies. I never really liked that URL, it seemed too vague and …wait, what? You’ve lost my attention. Anyway, prior to the message board being titled “Driftless Skies” or something like that, it was at one time the Minnesota Trout Unlimited, message board which I administrated for years. Ultimately, as with many message boards, the repeated flame-outs reflected negatively on an overall positive, volunteer organization. The spirit of the board remains intact. It’s a forum for trout a-fishy-anados who hold a strong passion for the conservation of our State’s great outdoor heritage, namely, in our case, Minnesota’s coldwater resource. It’s not that we despise other realms of fishing or the outdoors, but mainly, this is for the trout people.

I’ll be working on this website and on the forum, trying to spruce things up around the joint and provide some fresh content. I may need your help at some point, whether it’s communication from all corners of the state or with maintaining the costs of hosting. For now, I’ve whittled things down and will build up from there.

Ultimately, this will be a productive, friendly place to discuss trout, fishing, trout fishing, fly tying, and more often than not, from the foundation of a conservationist. I encourage everyone to take part, and I have no patience for repeated flame-outs on the old, sore subjects. Speak your mind and your passion, but personal attacks will not be tolerated. If you can’t state your case without demeaning someone else, you’ve lost your case.

Enjoy, and have fun.