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DNR closes six streams in Beltrami and Clearwater counties to fishing

Six streams in Beltrami and Clearwater counties will remain closed to fishing to allow walleye spawning to finish, the state Department of Natural Resources says.

The extended fishing closures will continue May 10 through May 16 to protect concentrations of spawning walleye, it said Wednesday.

The affected streams are:

-- Blackduck River -- County Road 32 north to the Red Lake Reservation boundary.

-- Clearwater River -- Below Clearwater Lake Dam for 900 feet.

-- Mississippi River -- Below Otter Tail Power Dam to County Road 12.

-- Shotley Brook -- State Highway 72 to Upper Red Lake.

-- Tamarac River -- Upper Red Lake to Beltrami-Koochiching county line.

-- Turtle River -- Below Three Island Dam to County Road 23.

The closure will not restrict boat traffic to Upper Red Lake from the boat ramps on the Tamarac River, the DNR said.

"It is a difficult decision to restrict fishing because stream closures limit shore angling opportunity," said Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor, "but most anglers would agree it is important to protect spawning walleye."

Just days before the fishing opener ice still remains on some Bemidji area lakes and large concentrations of walleye are still actively spawning in many tributary streams, he said.

According to the DNR, the last time stream closures were extended beyond opening day was 1996 when similar late ice conditions existed.