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High water, cold temperatures will greet anglers on Saturday's trout opener

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High water, cold temperatures will greet anglers on Saturday's trout opener
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

High water, cold temperatures and a snowflake or two are expected to greet area anglers who decide to don their waders and hit the streams for Saturday's Minnesota stream trout opener.

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The forecast calls for lows in the 20s, morning snow showers and a high of 44 degrees. While the trout won't be affected by those conditions, the fishermen will have to deal with the complications of cold temperatures and light line.

Also adding to the frustration will be a strong water flow which will affect lure presentation and angler mobility.

Each year DNR officials stock the Clearwater with a combination of rainbows and browns. Some of the fish are stocked early in the spring while a second stocking of 600 rainbows is scheduled in May.

The water currently is so high and moving so fast in the Clearwater River, however, that area DNR Fisheries officials have decided to postpone the April stocking until at least next week.

"We were scheduled to stock 1,000 browns and 2,000 rainbows into the Clearwater this week in time to have new fish in the system for the opener but because of the stream conditions we had to postpone the stocking," said DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor Gary Barnard.

"We always want to have stocked the Clearwater by opener so the fishermen can have new trout to catch but if we would do that this year the fish would be disoriented because of the stream conditions and they wouldn't know how to react.

"That 2.25 inches of rain last weekend pushed sections of the Clearwater out of its banks. Because of the high water we decided to postpone the stocking until conditions improve," Barnard said.

Anglers who decide to open on the Clearwater River near Pinewood despite the high water may find a few trout which survived the winter. For the most part, however, the Clearwater is a put-and-take fishery.

The current conditions of the Battle River, another stocked rainbow stream northeast of Blackduck, mirror that of the Clearwater. Consequently, the stocking of 600 rainbows into the Battle River will be postponed until next week.

The current stream conditions on the Necktie River southeast of Bemidji and Sucker Brook near Itasca State Park are more conducive to stocking and angler success, however, and on Thursday DNR officials were able to stock those waters with brook trout.

"Sucker Brook and the Necktie are naturally-reproducing streams and the fish are more accustomed to the stream conditions," Barnard said. "The brook trout in those streams can hold their own throughout the year but we also like to supplement the population through stocking."

On Thursday the Necktie received 1,250 brook trout while Sucker Brook was the recipient of 500 fish. The transplanted brookies average about six to eight inches.

Resident trout, however, should be larger.

Another area stream, Bungashing Creek southeast of Bemidji, also is home to naturally-reproducing brook trout. DNR officials have secured a 1.1-mile easement on the stream which allows anglers to walk on the stream bank and within 66 feet of the center of the stream

For more information on the area trout streams and maps of the streams showing which segments are accessible, contact the Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries officials at 218-308-2339.

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

High water, cold temperatures and a snowflake or two are expected to greet area anglers who decide to don their waders and hit the streams for Saturday's Minnesota stream trout opener.

The forecast calls for lows in the 20s, morning snow showers and a high of 44 degrees. While the trout won't be affected by those conditions, the fishermen will have to deal with the complications of cold temperatures and light line.

Also adding to the frustration will be a strong water flow which will affect lure presentation and angler mobility.

Each year DNR officials stock the Clearwater with a combination of rainbows and browns. Some of the fish are stocked early in the spring while a second stocking of 600 rainbows is scheduled in May.

The water currently is so high and moving so fast in the Clearwater River, however, that area DNR Fisheries officials have decided to postpone the April stocking until at least next week.

"We were scheduled to stock 1,000 browns and 2,000 rainbows into the Clearwater this week in time to have new fish in the system for the opener but because of the stream conditions we had to postpone the stocking," said DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor Gary Barnard.

"We always want to have stocked the Clearwater by opener so the fishermen can have new trout to catch but if we would do that this year the fish would be disoriented because of the stream conditions and they wouldn't know how to react.

"That 2.25 inches of rain last weekend pushed sections of the Clearwater out of its banks. Because of the high water we decided to postpone the stocking until conditions improve," Barnard said.

Anglers who decide to open on the Clearwater River near Pinewood despite the high water may find a few trout which survived the winter. For the most part, however, the Clearwater is a put-and-take fishery.

The current conditions of the Battle River, another stocked rainbow stream northeast of Blackduck, mirror that of the Clearwater. Consequently, the stocking of 600 rainbows into the Battle River will be postponed until next week.

The current stream conditions on the Necktie River southeast of Bemidji and Sucker Brook near Itasca State Park are more conducive to stocking and angler success, however, and on Thursday DNR officials were able to stock those waters with brook trout.

"Sucker Brook and the Necktie are naturally-reproducing streams and the fish are more accustomed to the stream conditions," Barnard said. "The brook trout in those streams can hold their own throughout the year but we also like to supplement the population through stocking."

On Thursday the Necktie received 1,250 brook trout while Sucker Brook was the recipient of 500 fish. The transplanted brookies average about six to eight inches.

Resident trout, however, should be larger.

Another area stream, Bungashing Creek southeast of Bemidji, also is home to naturally-reproducing brook trout. DNR officials have secured a 1.1-mile easement on the stream which allows anglers to walk on the stream bank and within 66 feet of the center of the stream

For more information on the area trout streams and maps of the streams showing which segments are accessible, contact the Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries officials at 218-308-2339.

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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