Cook County fishing closures will protect spawning fish

Anglers in Cook County will notice fishing closure signs at several area lakes this spring. These temporary closures are regularly enacted to protect concentrations of spawning walleye. Closures on Minnesota-Ontario waters are made in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and affect both sides of the border.

The following closures took effect April 1:

  • Sea Gull River from Sea Gull Lake through Gull Lake to Saganaga Lake approximately 1/3 mile north of the narrows; closed through May 25.
  • Saganaga Falls on the Minnesota‑Ontario border where the Granite River enters Saganaga Lake; closed through May 31.
  • Maligne River (also known as Northern Light Rapids) on the Ontario side of Saganaga Lake; closed through May 31 by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
  • Unnamed channel between Little Gunflint and Little North Lakes on the Minnesota‑Ontario border; closed through May 31.
  • Cross River (inlet to Gunflint Lake) from the Gunflint Trail to Gunflint Lake; closed through May 25

The following areas will be closed to fishing from May 12 through May 25:

  • Tait River from White Pine Lake to the Forest Road 340 crossing, including a portion of White Pine Lake.
  • Junco Creek from the first log dam above County Road 57 downstream to Devil Track Lake, and including a portion of Devil Track Lake near the river mouth.

Closures apply to fishing only; travel is permitted through these areas. All closed areas will be posted. The closures are intended to protect concentrations of spawning walleye that may be vulnerable to over-harvest.

Late ice-out is expected for Cook County lakes in 2018. Anglers and other visitors are urged to call ahead to check on ice conditions, or be prepared to look at alternative lakes for open water.  Shallow or dark-water (bog-stained) lakes are more likely to be open sooner than the county’s deeper, clear-water lakes.

Questions can be directed to the DNR fisheries office in Grand Marais at 218-387-6021, or to Steve Persons, Grand Marais area fisheries supervisor, at steve.persons@state.mn.us.