DNR seeks comments on Grand Marais area lake and stream management plans

People interested in DNR strategies for managing Grand Marais area lakes and streams are encouraged to review current management plans and submit comments for the plans scheduled for review this winter. This annual review process includes several waters located within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Comments on lakes and streams in the Grand Marais area will be accepted through Feb. 15, 2019.

A management plan identifies specific management activities planned for a lake or stream over the next five to 20 years, including any proposed stocking or special regulations.

“Management plans are our best sources of information on past, present and desired future conditions in our lakes and streams,” said Steve Persons, Grand Marais area fisheries supervisor. “Plans drive all of our survey and stocking efforts.  Comments and suggestions from anglers and residents are crucial when it comes to determining how public waters should be managed and determining management success.  These reviews offer everyone their best opportunity to influence management of important lakes and streams.”

In the Grand Marais area, plans for the following lakes and streams will reviewed this winter.

Lakes:

The status and preservation of native lake trout populations will be the primary concern in plans being revised for Crystal, Jasper, and Winchell Lakes.  All are located inside the BWCAW.  Lake trout and smallmouth bass management will be the main concern in a review of the Clearwater Lake plan (partially inside the BWCAW).

Stream trout stocking and management strategies will be reviewed for Kimball and Mink Lakes.  Trout stocking will continue in both lakes, but species, sizes, and numbers stocked will be reviewed.  Mush Lake may be considered for future stream trout management.

Plans for Axe, Bigsby, Caribou (near Lutsen), Christine, Crescent, Gull, Ham, and Northern Light Lakes will be reviewed.  In most of those lakes the status and needs of walleye, northern pike, or smallmouth bass fisheries will be of most concern.

Plans for several lightly-used BWCAW lakes in the area, including Carl, Karl, Kingfisher, Meeds, Red Rock, and Stump Lakes will be reviewed. Those plans will be revised primarily to incorporate any new survey data that may have been obtained, and to establish survey schedules for the next few years.

Streams:

Current plans for Caribou and Murmur Creeks, and the Cross River (between Ham and Gunflint Lakes) will be reviewed.  Caribou and Murmur Creeks are both marginal trout streams, and plans will consider how conditions for trout could be maintained or improved.  The Cross River is a warmwater stream that provides critical spawning habitat for walleye in Gunflint Lake.

New management plans will be created for the Brule River, Durfee Creek, and Woods Creek, using data on those streams recently collected by DNR Fisheries and the MPCA.  Portions of the Brule River above Northern Light Lake may be considered for trout stream designation.

Current plans for lakes and streams in the area as well as recent fish population assessment information are available for review at the DNR’s Grand Marais area fisheries office, at 1356 E. Highway 61, Grand Marais, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. For more information, or to request copies of current plans, call or email Steve Persons at 218-387-6022 or steve.persons@state.mn.us.

This comment period will extend through Feb. 15, 2019.  However, comments, suggestions and other feedback on the management of these, and all other streams and lakes in the area are welcomed at any time, and will be considered when those plans are next due for review.