Anglers who fish in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec and Pine county areas benefit from the management, habitat and oversight work of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Hinckley area fisheries staff.
Area Fisheries Supervisor Leslie George and a staff of five full-time and one part-time employee manage 160 fishing lakes and 261 miles of rivers and streams. These waters include popular fishing destinations such as Grindstone Lake, the Chisago area lakes as well as four popular rivers – the St. Croix, Kettle, Rum and Snake.
- What we do
At work for you
A fisheries specialist inserts a tag into a small lake sturgeon to study its life history. Data collected allows fisheries biologists to better manage sturgeon populations.
- Manage the fisheries of 160 lakes, 76 miles of St. Croix River, 55 miles of the Rum River, 65 miles of the Kettle River and 65 miles of the Snake River. The long-term data set collected enables us to make the best management decisions possible.
- Provide fishing opportunities in waters in which they otherwise might not exist by annually stocking 24 lakes with walleye and four lakes with muskellunge. One stream is stocked with trout as is Grindstone Lake, which allows that lake's anglers to catch cold-water trout along with with warm-water fish such as crappie, pike and sunfish.
- Produce and stock up to 3,500 pounds of walleye fingerlings as well as produce up to 8,000 muskellunge fingerlings for statewide distribution each year.
- Monitor approximately 25 fishing tournaments per year to ensure legal compliance, proper fish handling and minimize use conflicts on popular lakes.
- Collect fish for contaminant testing to assist the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in determining safe consumption advisories.
- Conduct fish research including a lake sturgeon tagging study on the St. Croix, Kettle and Snake rivers and population estimates for muskellunge.
- Area highlights
10/6/2017 Little Stanchfield Lake partial fish kill
During the weekend of September 23-24, a partial fish kill occurred on Little Stanchfield Lake near Grandy in Isanti County. It appears only crappies were affected. We estimated mortality at around 1000 crappies, and one dead white sucker and three dead bluegill sunfish were also found. The higher than normal air temperatures that weekend may have caused localized areas of low dissolved oxygen or induced other stressors on the fish community. Little Stanchfield Lake has a history of both summer and winter partial fish kills due to its shallow depth and heavy aquatic vegetation. The dead fish observed were too decomposed to send to the lab for testing. Survey trap nets were set two days after the fish kill and found abundant numbers of all other game fish in the lake, but only five crappies were netted. Although a significant number of crappies died, enough crappies remain in the lake to naturally reproduce. Immigration from the Rum River is also possible. Crappie abundance may be low for a few years, but should rebound to normal levels relatively quickly.
6/7/2017 Lake surveys in progress
Crews will be out on selected Hinckley area lakes this summer for regularly scheduled lake surveys. Lakes scheduled for survey include Little, North Center, Horseshoe, and Kroon lakes in Chisago County, and Sturgeon, Oak, Kenney, and McGowan lakes in Pine County. These lakes will be sampled by gill nets, trap nets, seining, and backpack electrofishing near shore. Boat electrofishing was done in late May on some of these lakes to sample largemouth bass. In addition to these lakes, seining and backpack electrofishing will be done on Fish Lake in Kanabec County and South Pine Lake in Aitkin County. Trap netting was done on Seventeen Lake in Isanti County in May. Results from lake surveys will be posted at the following link as they become available: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/areas/fisheries/hinckley/lakes/index.html .
6/7/2017 St. Croix River scheduled for fish sampling in 2017
The portion of the St. Croix River between Danbury, Wisconsin and Taylors Falls, Minnesota will be sampled by electrofishing this year beginning in July. This sampling is done every 5 years to monitor fish populations in the river. Boat electrofishing is done at twelve sample stations that have been used in previous surveys, so results from this year can be compared with other years. The dates of sampling will be determined based on water levels and staff availability.
- Area staff
Contact our Hinckley staff
Leslie George Area supervisor 320-384-7721 [email protected] Deb Sewell Assistant area supervisor 320-384-7721 [email protected] Heath Weaver Fisheries specialist 320-384-7721 [email protected] John Frank Fisheries specialist 320-384-7721 [email protected] Nate Painovich Fisheries specialist 320-384-7721 [email protected] Eric Sanft Fisheries specialist 320-384-7721 [email protected]