Hinckley Area fisheries

Minnesota map showing Hinckley location

306 Power Avenue North
Hinckley, MN 55037
[email protected]

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 waLicense Dollars At Workters 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.

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, population estimates for muskellunge, and stocked lake trout escapement from Grindstone Lake.
  • Research into effectiveness of stream trout stocking in Grindstone Lake
  • Study of rainbow smelt population in Grindstone Lake


Area highlights

Pokegama Lake fish kill

Receding ice on Pokegama Lake in Pine County has revealed significant numbers of dead fish in several locations. Lakeshore owners report seeing mostly sheephead (Freshwater Drum), with some carp and suckers present. We believe (at least at this time) that this kill is likely stress-related due to the extended period of low dissolved oxygen this winter.

We have no record of previous winterkills on Pokegama; therefore, we do not believe it is directly winterkill-induced. But given the duration of the winter and the fact that the kill is largely focused on one species, we suspect some sort of stress-induced mortality.

All of the reports that we have received have only relayed fully dead fish; therefore, we do not currently have plans to collect fish samples from the lake. We will look into the extent of the kill via a netting effort in the coming weeks if additional species, especially those of greater value, begin to wash up



Area staff


Contact our Hinckley staff

Leslie GeorgeArea supervisor320-384-7721[email protected]
Deb SewellAssistant area supervisor320-384-7721[email protected]
Heath WeaverFisheries specialist320-384-7721[email protected]
John FrankFisheries specialist320-384-7721[email protected]
Nate PainovichFisheries specialist320-384-7721[email protected]
Eric SanftFisheries specialist320-384-7721[email protected]