Each year, fisheries staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Grand Marais area office conducts fisheries surveys and assessments to monitor changes in fish populations, and to evaluate management strategies.
Survey methods and frequencies vary based on the types of information needed for ongoing management evaluations in individual lakes and streams. Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Stocked lakes are also sampled more often to better assess stocking success. Large trout streams are surveyed more frequently than small trout streams or warm-water streams. Most streams are surveyed using backpack electrofishing gear, while most lakes are surveyed using gill nets and trap nets.
Survey results are reviewed and incorporated into individual lake and stream management plans. The plans identify goals for key species in the lake and outline specific management activities. They are typically revised every six to 10 years. All current lake and stream management plans for the Grand Marais area are available at the area office, and copies can be provided upon request. Public comments and suggestions for management of these waters are welcomed at any time.
Surveys and assessments are planned for several Cook County lakes and streams during the 2018 summer fieldwork season. Dates are subject to change and extreme weather conditions.
Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments (by week of) include:
- May 7 – Place water temperature monitors in approximately 15 streams.
- May 14 – Mark and recapture lake trout in Trout Lake.
- May 21 – Mark splake in Pine (Trestle-Pine) Lake.
- May 29 – Begin a survey of the Greenwood River.
- June 4 – Survey the Greenwood River, Pine (Trestle-Pine) Lake, and Bench Lake.
- June 11 – Survey Gogebic, Little Portage, and East Pope lakes.
- June 18 – Survey Pit and Weasel (Sled) Lakes, and begin a survey of Sea Gull Lake.
- June 25 – Survey Sea Gull and Swamper lakes.
- July 2 – Survey Quiver Lake.
- July 9 – Survey Holly and Otter lakes.
- July 16 – Survey Partridge and Little Trout lakes.
- July 23 – Check walleye natural reproduction in Devil Track Lake, survey the North Brule River, and survey Kemo Lake.
- July 30 – Survey the Greenwood River, Assinika Creek, and Deer Yard Lake.
- Aug. 6 – Survey the Flute Reed River, Poplar River, Onion River, Timber Creek, and Ray Lake.
- Aug. 13 – Survey Kadunce Creek, Kimball Creek, and Junco Creek.
- Aug. 20 – Survey the Devil Track River, Cascade River, and Irish Creek. Measure water temperature and dissolved oxygen in Thompson, Mink, Kimball, Turnip, Tomato, Weasel (Sled), and Talus Lakes.
- Aug. 27 – Survey the Temperance River and Barker Lake. Measure water temperature and dissolved oxygen in Shoe, North Shady, Moosehorn, and Olson Lakes.
- Sept. 4 – Survey Daniels and Cam lakes.
- Sept. 10 – Survey Alpine and Extortion lakes.
- Sept.17 – Survey Howard, Peter, and Little Saganaga lakes.
- Sept. 24 – Survey Boys, Turnip, and Tomato lakes.
- Oct. 1 – Survey Mink and Kimball lakes.
The number of lakes and streams scheduled for survey in 2018 has been reduced due to cuts in staff and funding, and it is likely that some of the surveys listed above may not be completed. 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, or by calling 218-387-6021, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Preliminary results for many of the surveys should be available in the fall of 2018. Final reports will be completed by the spring of 2019. Final lake survey results will be available online at www.mndnr.gov/lakefind or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office.