There are several trout-fishing opportunities within our management area (Hennepin, Scott, and Carver Counties). Three lakes are regularly stocked since the 2016 addition of Quarry Lake. One stream supports a small, self-reproducing brown trout population. Know and follow all trout-related Regulations, in particular 1) Trout Stamp licensed validation needed (for most license types) for fishing Designated trout waters or having trout in possession 2) slightly different seasons: for streams Saturday closest to April 15-Sept. 30, for lakes same May opening date as walleye-northern pike (but starting 1 hr before sunrise)-October 31, and 3) restrictions specific to Designated Trout Lakes and Designated Trout Streams.
Courthouse Lake, behind the Carver County Government Center in Chaska, was formerly a clay mine. This water is 10 acres in size and a Designated Trout Lake. It is managed as a "put-and-take" fishery. Following a 1997 flood, water quality declined to induce a 2000-01 winterkill, but conditions have since improved. The lake is now aerated in fall to boost oxygen before ice-up.
The Courthouse Lake management plan* is to stock yearling rainbow trout in this pattern: 1,500 for the Open-Water Season Opener, 200 in mid-late October (once water temperatures are favorably cool) and 1,300 for the Winter Opener. Each year we also request DNR hatchery surplus brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Amount and mix of the "extra" trout received varies yearly, but is mostly larger adult fish. (* Actual numbers might differ from stated quotas, depending on hatchery availability, but some level of stocking is planned for each season according to the schedule shown above)
Over the previous five years, 3,090-6,380 trout were stocked annually, with over 90 percent of each year's numbers being yearling rainbow trout. No State Fair display trout – including lake trout or splake – have been stocked into Courthouse Lake since 2005. Eurasian watermilfoil was detected in summer 2016 so follow all invasive-species-related rules.
Quarry Lake is the newest trout water in our management Area. It is a 70-acre former sand/gravel pit, located totally within the City of Shakopee's Quarry Lake Park, near ValleyFair amusement park. Lake access is through the park and subject to Shakopee's park hours, rules, and City Code. Quarry is a Designated Trout Lake (effective May 2018), with all related restrictions applying.
Quarry Lake will be managed as a "put-and-take" trout fishery like this: every year-- 2,000 yearling rainbow trout stocked in mid-late October (once water temperatures are favorably cool) for the remainder of the Open-Water season and 12,000 rainbow trout advanced fingerlings or yearlings stocked in time for Winter Season. Average size of the trout are expected to be about 1/4-2/5 lb each, but will vary depending on fish growth conditions and time of stocking. We will also supplement the lake with rainbow, brook, and/or brown trout if they become available from hatchery surpluses.
Eurasian watermilfoil is present in the lake.
Little Long Lake is in Minnetristra, northeast of both Whaletail Lake and the town of St. Bonifacius. Little Long’s water quality allows "two-story" fish management and is not a Designated Trout Lake. The Little Long present management plan includes stocking 500 yearling rainbow trout for each Winter Season. The lake has a small DNR Parks-and-Trails-managed public boat launch. There is a 10-horsepower limit for outboard motors.
Note: Streams in the MN DNR West Metro Fisheries Area ARE NOT part of the special winter catch-and-release-only season for southeastern Minnesota. (Counties included are Houston, Fillmore, Mower, Dodge, Olmstead, Winona, Wabasha, and Goodhue, within either the Lanesboro or Lake City DNR Area Fisheries Offices).
Eagle Creek is at the crossroads of busy Highways 13 and 101 in Savage (Scott County). A self-sustaining but small population of brown trout requires a Special Regulation-- catch-and-release only.
Most of Eagle Creek is within publicly accessible land-- the DNR-managed Eagle Creek Aquatic Management Area (AMA) or the USFWS Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge. To maintain or improve the stream, its watershed, and fishing access within the AMA, projects such as buckthorn removals, native tree/prairie grass plantings, beaver dam removals, and stream channel restorations are regularly undertaken. Such work can affect the appearance and condition of the stream and its surrounding lands.
Notes: 1) lower Eagle Creek can flood when the Minnesota River floods, 2) Eagle Creek can contain Minnesota-River-origin fish not typically associated with a trout stream, and 3) some consider Eagle Creek small, shallow, and difficult to fish.