Anglers who fish in Carlton County and southern St. Louis County benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Duluth area fisheries staff.
Area Fisheries Supervisor Deserae Hendrickson and a staff of five full-time and two part-time employees manage 194 fishing lakes and 550 miles of rivers and trout streams. Those waters include popular fishing destinations such as the St. Louis River Estuary, Island Reservoir and the Blackhoof, Knife and Sucker rivers, which are premier trout streams.
- What we do
At work for you
A Duluth area fisheries crew electro-fishes during a population assessment of a North Shore stream.
- Rehabilitating lake sturgeon in the St. Louis River Estuary. Sturgeon reproduction was identified for the first time in 2011 following a major enhancement of riffles for spawning habitat below Fond du Lac dam, and a catch-and-release season was recently opened.
- Stocking 25 lakes with walleye, six lakes and 15 streams with trout and two lakes with muskie. This work provides fishing opportunities in waters which otherwise might not have any.
- Maintaining anadromous (migratory) fish passage on 75 miles of trout stream and monitoring anadromous rainbow trout populations in the French and Knife rivers.
- Working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, counties and individuals to plan/design more than 30 fish-friendly culvert/bridge crossings each year.
- Measuring trout stream temperatures (June through September) in 40 locations per year. Hot spots can be identified and targeted for riparian plantings to help cool the streams for better trout survival.
- Assessing fish populations on approximately 12 lakes and 12 streams each year. Data collected enables us to make the best management decisions possible.
- Area highlights
In the News
03/19/2018 Catch-and-release summer walleye season announced for Lake Mille Lacs 03/15/2018 DNR to change trout stocking in Lake Superior 03/14/2018 DNR seeks comment on Tower area lake management plans
The Duluth Area Fisheries manages the St. Louis River along with the inland lakes and streams in Carlton, southern St. Louis and southwestern Lake counties. The Duluth Area Hatchery spawns kamloop and steelhead strains of Rainbow Trout from Minnesota north shore streams. Fish are present in the hatchery only in April and May. After spawning, fish are reared at the French River Coldwater Hatchery to provide for stocking needs in Lake Superior and its tributaries, as well as, inland lakes.
The Lake Superior Area manages the Minnesota waters of Lake Superior from Duluth up to the Canadian border. For more details, see Lake Superior's website.
We are located near the mouth of the French River off the North Shore Drive and the French River Coldwater Hatchery is next door.
From Duluth (approximately 7 miles from the Lester River): Take Highway 61 to Ryan Road (County Road 50) and take a right. Follow Ryan Road to the North Shore Scenic Drive and take a left. Our office is on the left just over the bridge at the French River.
If you prefer a more scenic route, take the North Shore Scenic Drive at Brighton Beach and follow it 7 miles to the French River.
The Duluth Area Fisheries is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
Duluth Area fisheries information
- Surveys - Check the Lake Finder
- Nov 2016 Fish Lake Walleye Spawning Stock and Natural Reproduction study presentation