Fall fishing in full swing across the BWCA and North Shore region
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has set dates for recreational netting of whitefish and cisco, also known as tullibee, on six lakes in the Grand Marais area in Cook County.
Greenwood Lake: open to netting Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Dec. 17 (minimum 1.75-inch mesh size).
Devil Track and Poplar lakes: open to netting Friday, Oct. 27, through Sunday, Dec. 17 (minimum 3.5-inch mesh size).
Brule and East Pike lakes: open to netting Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Dec. 3 (minimum 1.75-inch mesh size).
Caribou Lake: open to netting Friday, Oct. 13, through Sunday, Dec. 3 (minimum 3.5-inch mesh size).
About 700 people obtain special permits to net for whitefish and cisco (tullibee) each year. Fishing regulations require netters to purchase both a whitefish netting license and an angling license.
The Minnesota DNR bases netting schedules on expected water temperatures, fish abundance and the vulnerability of game fish. As the water temperature cools, whitefish and cisco come to shallow water for fall spawning. Other species head to deeper water, so there is little chance their populations will be harmed by recreational netting in shallow water at that time. Fish other than cisco and whitefish incidentally taken in nets must be returned to the water immediately.
Complete information about sport gillnetting by lake, minimum mesh sizes, and fishing regulations can be found on the Minnesota DNR website (mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing) or by contacting the Minnesota DNR’s Grand Marais area office, 1356 Highway 61 East, Grand Marais, MN 55604, or calling 218-387-6021.
In more angling news, fall fishing has arrived to Cook County and across Superior National Forest.
Walleye are biting strong as the lakes start to turn over (when the warm water mixes with the cold and sinks lower in the lake), according to officials from the Grand Marais fisheries office for the Department of Natural Resources. Likewise, brook trout and pike are starting to bite more aggressively as well.
Fisheries Supervisor EJ Isaac spoke with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs about the fall fishing scene, including over the busy MEA Weekend. Audio below.