DNR seeks comments on Duluth area lake management plans

Anglers and others interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources strategies for managing Duluth area lakes and streams are invited to ask questions and submit comments on lake management plans up until the March 1 deadline.

Management plans describe the past, present and desired future conditions of the waters, and are a good source of information about area lakes, according to Deserae Hendrickson, Duluth area fisheries manager. “The plans identify specific management activities planned for that lake or stream in the next five to 20 years and are a good opportunity to weigh in on the management of these lakes,” said Hendrickson.

Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake and stream management plans for several waters in each management area. In the Duluth area, plans for the following lakes will be reviewed:

• Cole Lake (Carlton County) – updated plan focusing management on largemouth bass and bluegill and discontinuing unsuccessful walleye stocking.
• Upper Comstock Lake (St. Louis County) – updated plan detailing evaluation of fry stocking program with recommended reduced walleye stocking rate and change in sampling frequency.
• Upper Island Lake (Carlton County) – updated plan focusing management on largemouth bass and bluegill, with discontinuation of unsuccessful walleye stocking.
• Strand Lake (St. Louis County) – updated plan adding bluegill and black crappie as primary species managed in lake and management of walleye through natural reproduction.
• St. Louis River Estuary (St. Louis County) – updated plan detailing stocking evaluation proposal for supplemental muskie stocking.
• St. Louis River Estuary Sturgeon Plan (St. Louis County) – new plan detailing lake sturgeon history and restoration efforts, including proposed additional re-introductory stocking.
Interested parties can review current plans for lakes in the area as well as recent fish population assessment information at the DNR’s Duluth area fisheries office, 5351 N. Shore Drive in Duluth. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. People may call 218-302-3267 or email Deserae Hendrickson at deserae.hendrickson@state.mn.us  to request a copy of a plan or submit comments on a plan.

Public comments on management of these Duluth area lakes will be taken through Friday, March 1.  Suggestions for management of any of the other lakes and streams in the Duluth area are welcome at any time and will be considered when those plans are due for review.