Citizens interested in learning about or commenting on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strategies for managing Aitkin area lakes and streams have until April 29th to ask questions or submit comments.
“Lake management plans lay out past management efforts, describe the current status of the fish community and set goals for what we would like to see,” said Rick Bruesewitz, Aitkin area fisheries manager. “Reviewing plans gives the public an opportunity to share their insights and provide comment on fisheries management activities planned for that lake over the next five to 20 years.”
Every year DNR fisheries staff prepares or revises individual lake and stream management plans for several waters in each management area. In the Aitkin area, plans for the following lakes will be reviewed. All waters are located in Aitkin County.
- Vanduse (01-0058).
- Waukenabo (01-0136).
People can review the current plan for these lakes as well as recent fish population assessment information at the DNR’s Aitkin area fisheries office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S, in Aitkin 56431. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Individuals also may call 218-429-3033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain copies of the draft plans for review. Comments may be submitted via mail, email or phone.
Suggestions for management of any of the other lakes and streams in the Aitkin area are welcome at any time and will be considered when those plans are due for review.
The DNR’s lake and stream management activities are largely funded through the sale of fishing licenses and the Federal Sport Fish Restoration Act.
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 24.
- 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 24
The following areas will be closed to fishing from May 11 through May 24:
- 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 2019. 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 email@example.com.