DNR seeks comment on stream trout and smallmouth bass special regulations in Cook County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on a review of stream trout management and special stream trout regulations on Kraut, North Shady, Peanut, Squash, Thompson, Thrush, Tomato and Turnip lakes.  Public input is also sought on a review of smallmouth bass special regulations on Flour, Hungry Jack and Two Island lakes.  In both cases, reviews will consider whether existing special regulations should be continued, dropped or modified. 

Two public meetings will be held to collect input on these proposals.

  • Cook County Community Center, 317 West Fifth St., Grand Marais, on Saturday, Sept. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Grand Marais area fisheries staff will be on hand at that meeting to take comments on proposals for Cook County lakes.
  • DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul on Wednesday Sept. 27, from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Staff will be available to take comments on this proposal and other fishing regulations under review around the state.

The public meetings are intended to provide background information, answer questions and take public input on the future of the special regulations on these waters.

Current special regulations on the stream trout lakes are: catch and release only, artificial lures and flies with a single hook only, use and possession of bait prohibited, and closed to winter fishing.

“Because of the high cost of stocking stream trout, combined with light use by anglers and poor survival of stocked trout in some of the lakes, we are considering dropping or relaxing regulations on some of the lakes and potentially discontinuing stocking in some other lakes,” said Steve Persons, Grand Marais area fisheries supervisor.

Current smallmouth bass special regulations are: all from 12-20 inches must be immediately released, with one over 20 inches allowed in possession. The proposed change would allow for increased harvest by raising the maximum size of fish that can be kept in these lakes, from 12 to 14 inches, so that all smallmouth bass from 14-20 inches would be immediately released, with one over 20 inches allowed in possession.

“Anglers have expressed an interest in relaxing those regulations to improve harvest opportunities for smallmouth bass. Voluntary release rates for smallmouth bass have been very high, so it seems likely that a relaxing the regulation could be done without diminishing the ability of these lakes to support high quality bass fisheries,” said Persons.

Questions and comments can be directed to Grand Marais fisheries supervisor, Steve Persons at 218-387-6021, by email to steve.persons@state.mn.us, or by mail to DNR Fisheries, 1356 E. Highway 61, Grand Marais, MN 55604.  Comments will be accepted through Oct. 10.