The DNR communications team works with agency experts to develop the weekly questions and provide the answers. This feature addresses current DNR issues, interesting topics, or the most frequently asked questions from around Minnesota.
Q: What can I expect for the spring steelhead run this year on the North Shore?
A: Steelhead (migratory rainbow trout) usually begin actively ascending Lake Superior tributaries when water temperatures reach about 40 degrees. Rain often draws fish into the rivers as well. Right now, water levels are generally low for this time of year. However, water temperatures have been near 40 degrees and steelhead have started moving into the rivers, and that should continue in the coming days and weeks – especially if we get some rainfall.
Numbers of steelhead during the spring spawning run can fluctuate quite a bit from year to year. Still, in our spring creel surveys, we’ve seen consistently good catch rates over the past nine years or so. Based on the good catch rates in recent years and some initial reports from anglers this spring, I’m optimistic that this will be a successful season for steelhead anglers. It’s just a matter of getting out there and putting in your time.
Josh Blankenheim, DNR Lake Superior large lake specialist