DNR fisheries to hold public input meeting for Mukooda, Little Trout lakes

(Released August 19, 2014)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold an open house to provide information and receive public input on the proposed special regulation to close Mukooda and Little Trout lakes to lake trout harvest. The open house will be held Wednesday, September 24, from 7 – 8 p.m. at the Crane Lake Fire Hall, at 7400 Handberg Road, Crane Lake, Minn.

An emergency closure was implemented in January on Mukooda Lake to protect the remaining numbers of a unique strain of lake trout from overharvest. The proposed special regulation would make the temporary measure permanent on Mukooda Lake and extend the same regulation to Little Trout Lake. Both lakes are located within Voyageurs National Park.

The proposal to close Mukooda and Little Trout lakes is based on creel survey estimates and observations of fishing pressure.

“Lake trout abundance for both lakes has been declining for several years and has gotten to the point where we no longer feel the population can support a harvest season,” said International Falls area fisheries supervisor, Kevin Peterson. “The lake’s habitat supports slow natural reproduction and efforts to boost the lake trout population through stocking have not been successful.”

DNR staff will continue to monitor fish populations in the lakes until improvement allows lake trout harvest to resume.

Catch and release angling for lake trout is still allowed during the regular angling seasons. Anglers will still be allowed to transport lake trout legally taken from other waters across Mukooda Lake as long as they do not stop to fish.

Persons interested in providing written comments on the proposal can send them to DNR Area Fisheries Office, 392 Highway 11 East, International Falls, MN  56649, or by email to kevin.peterson@state.mn.us. Questions can be directed to Kevin Peterson at 218-286-5220. Comments will be accepted through October 6.