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Smaller streams in good shape for trout opener (04/16/2006)
Trout anglers will find good fishing conditions on smaller streams on April 15, when streams statewide open for harvest of trout, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Smaller streams that are less affected by spring runoff will likely provide the best action this weekend. Anglers reported good fishing success in southeastern Minnesota during the two-week catch-and-release season that opened April 1. According to DNR stream survey data, there are good numbers of larger brown trout, although numbers of seven-to-nine inch trout are down in many streams.

"Trout populations are generally in good shape this year," said Mark Ebbers, trout and salmon program consultant with the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife. "Angling success on the opening weekend will depend largely on weather."

Anglers can check stream conditions on the Whitewater River online this year at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/crystalsprings_hatchery/stream_cond.html.

This page is updated as stream conditions change.

Trout populations in north-central Minnesota rivers are in good shape as well, Ebbers said. According to DNR stream surveys, the Straight River near Park Rapids holds good numbers of 12-to-15 inch brown trout while the Kabekona River has good numbers of 10-to-12 inch wild brook trout.

Anglers are reminded of new special trout regulations go into effect April 15 on two streams this year:

- Stoney Brook (Cass County) - All brook trout must be immediately released on the posted section from the mouth at Gull Lake upstream to the road crossing at County Road 29.

- Vermillion River, including all tributaries to their source (Dakota County) - All trout must be immediately released within a 19.5 mile stretch from Highview Avenue Bridge in Eureka Township to the posted boundary 1.1 miles downstream from the U.S. Highway 52 bridge. Statewide regulations apply on the two-mile reach of the main stem from Denmark Avenue to the State Highway 3 bridge in Farmington.

Anglers need a trout stamp validation on their fishing or sports license when fishing designated trout streams, designated trout lakes, Lake Superior and when in possession of trout or salmon.

Children under 16, adults 65 and older, people fishing with a 24-hour license and those exempt from fishing license requirement don't need a trout stamp.

Trout stamps are available through the DNR's Electronic License System for $10 at 1,800 vendors statewide. Anglers can also purchase a license and trout stamp over the telephone by calling 1-888-MNLicense (665-4236).

Free full-color maps showing public trout fishing opportunities in Dakota, Rice, Goodhue, Wabasha, Olmsted, Winona, Fillmore and Houston counties are available at DNR fisheries offices in Lake City and Lanesboro, at the DNR office in Rochester or at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul. Maps are also available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us . 

 

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