Minnesota Winter trout fishing changes and seasons

Anglers will have added opportunities for trout fishing this winter in Aitkin and Hubbard counties, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The lakes that will be open to trout fishing during the winter ice fishing season, Jan. 12- March 16, 2008, include Taylor Lake (near Hill City), Loon Lake (in Savanna Portage State Park) and Blue Lake (just west of Aitkin) in Aitkin County and Blue Lake (six miles north of Park Rapids) in Hubbard County.

Anglers are reminded that Taylor and Loon lakes are designated trout lakes, and the use and possession of live minnows is prohibited. In addition, anglers are required to have a trout stamp validation on their fishing or sports license when fishing on designated trout lakes. Anglers fishing on other bodies of water must also have a trout stamp validation on their fishing or sports license when in possession of a trout or salmon.

This is the first time since the 1960s that these lakes have been open to winter fishing for trout, said Aitkin Area DNR Fisheries Supervisor Rick Bruesewitz. This is a great opportunity for quality winter angling.

All of the Aitkin County waters have carry-in type public accesses. No motorized vehicles are permitted on these trails or adjacent public lands. Martin Torgerson, the Savanna Portage State Park manager, reminds anglers that the road to Loon Lake will not be open in the winter and will require a scenic 0.7 mile hike into the rustic lake. The nonmotorized designation for the Taylor Lake area is a change from past management, but is necessary to protect the resource and its scenic qualities.

The hike from the parking area to Taylor Lake is less than 300 yards, and is even less at Blue Lake.

In Hubbard County, only Blue Lake is open to winter trout fishing. Other designated trout lakes in Hubbard County are still closed to winter trout fishing. The public access to Blue Lake is on Half Moon Road, just off CSAH 40. Besides trout, Blue Lake can offer good fishing for walleye or northern pike, said Doug Kingsley, Park Rapids area fisheries supervisor.

For lakes entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), except for Ram Lake, the open season for lake and stream trout will be from Dec. 29, 2007 through March 31, 2008. For lakes outside or partially outside the BWCAW, the season is from Jan. 12 through March 16, 2008.

The DNR reminds anglers that only one line is allowed when fishing on designated stream trout lakes and designated trout streams, winter or summer.

The list of designated trout lakes and streams can be found on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us then click on either trout lakes or trout streams from the right hand menu.

Source: Minnesota DNR

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