The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be conducting surveys and assessments in the Grand Marais area, beginning in May and lasting through September, to monitor changes in fish populations and to evaluate management strategies.
Survey methods will vary based on the type of information needed for ongoing management of individual lakes and streams. Most streams are surveyed using backpack electrofishing gear, while most lakes are surveyed using gill nets and trap nets.
Large lakes with heavy use are surveyed more frequently than small, remote lakes. Stocked lakes also are sampled more often to better assess stocking success. Large trout streams are surveyed more frequently than small trout streams or warm-water streams.
The DNR uses survey results to inform individual lake and stream management plans. The plans identify goals for key species and outline specific management activities. The plans are typically revised every six to 10 years.
Surveys and assessments are planned for several Cook County lakes and streams during this summer’s fieldwork season. Dates are subject to change depending on staffing, site accessibility and weather conditions.
Waters scheduled for surveys or assessments include:
- May 3 - Assess water quality in Greenwood Lake and Trout Lake (completed monthly throughout the summer).
- May 10 – Place water temperature monitors in approximately 15 streams.
- May 31 – Survey Talus Lake.
- June 7 – Collect fish for disease testing from Mayhew Lake.
- June 10 – Survey Star Lake.
- June 14 – Survey Sea Gull Lake.
- June 21 – Complete the survey of Sea Gull Lake.
- June 28 – Survey Hand and North Shady lakes.
- July 5 – Survey Rice Lake.
- July 12 – Survey Northern Light Lake.
- July 19 – Check walleye natural reproduction in Devil Track Lake, and survey the Stump River.
- July 26 – Survey Trout Lake.
- Aug. 2 – Survey the Cascade River and Portage Brook.
- Aug. 9 – Survey Irish, Kimball, and Kadunce creeks, and the Flute Reed River.
- Aug. 16 – Survey McFarland Lake and the Devil Track River.
- Aug. 23 – Survey the Poplar and Onion rivers, and Elbow Creek.
- Aug. 30 – Survey Elbow Lake.
- Sept. 6 – Survey Pierz or Loft lakes.
- Sept. 13 – Survey Mountain Lake.
- Sept. 20 – Survey Caribou Lake (adjacent to Clearwater Lake).
Lakes and streams may be added or dropped, and the timing and duration of some surveys may change. Questions and general information about area lakes and streams may be addressed to Grand Marais area fisheries office, 1356 Highway 61 E., Grand Marais, MN 55604, or by calling 218-387-6021, or emailing [email protected]. Public comments and suggestions for management of these waters are welcomed at any time.
Preliminary results for most of the surveys should be available in the fall of 2021. Final reports will be completed by the spring of 2022. Final lake survey results will be available online at mndnr.gov/lakefind or from the Grand Marais area fisheries office.