Grand Marais area fisheries announces survey work

Fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Marais area office will conduct surveys and assessments on several Cook County lakes and streams during the next few months.

Fisheries surveys are performed on a regular basis to monitor changes in fish populations and to determine if management strategies have been effective. Survey methods and frequencies vary based on the types of information needed for ongoing management evaluations in individual lakes and streams.

Large lakes and trout streams with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes and streams. Stocked lakes are also sampled more often to better assess stocking success. Most lakes are surveyed using gill nets and trap nets, while most streams are surveyed using backpack electrofishing gear.

Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments (by week) include:

  • April 17 – mark Northern Pike in Little Cascade Lake.
  • May 1 – place temperature monitors in about 20 streams, and in Tait Lake.
  • June 5 – survey Missouri and Little Cascade Lakes.
  • June 12 – survey Portage Lake and conduct a targeted survey of Smallmouth Bass in Caribou Lake (Lutsen).
  • June 19 – survey McDonald and Pickerel Lakes.
  • June 26 – survey Gillis and Mit Lakes.
  • July 3 – survey Caribou Lake (Lutsen).
  • July 10 – continue the Caribou Lake survey.
  • July 17 – survey Musquash and Muckwa Lakes.
  • July 24 – survey Trout and Tait Lakes.
  • July 31 – survey the Onion River, and begin a survey of Saganaga Lake.
  • Aug. 7 – continue the Saganaga Lake survey, survey the Flute Reed River, Kadunce and Kimball Creeks, the Devil Track River, and Irish Creek.
  • Aug. 14 – continue the Saganaga Lake survey and survey McFarland Lake.
  • Aug. 21 – continue the Saganaga Lake survey and survey Greenwood Lake.
  • Aug. 28 – survey Gull Lake, measure water temperature and dissolved oxygen in Gillis, Owl, and Portage Lakes.
  • Sept. 4 – survey Loft Lake.
  • Sept. 11 – survey Wee and Kraut Lakes.
  • Sept. 18 – survey Little Saganaga Lake.
  • Oct. 16 – survey Olson Lake.
  • Oct. 23 – recover temperature monitors from area streams

Fisheries surveys are largely funded by license fee dollars and are subject to change. The number of lakes and streams scheduled for survey in 2017 has been substantially reduced due to an anticipated funding shortage. Lakes and streams may be added or dropped, and the timing and duration of some surveys may change.

Questions and general information about area lakes and streams can be addressed to the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office at 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604. Questions also can be submitted by calling 218-387-6021 (note new number) or by emailing

Preliminary results for many of the 2017 surveys should be available in the fall of 2017. Final reports will be completed by the spring of 2018. Final lake survey results will be available online at or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office.