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Some lakes to try here in southern Minnesota

By John Weiss

weiss@postbulletin.com

Excellent walleye hatches in 2001 and 2004 in this region should mean some excellent fishing Saturday during the fishing opener.

Also, restocking after the 2004 winter kill is producing large numbers of keeper walleyes.

Marc Bacigalupi, assistant Department of Natural Resources area supervisor in Waterville, said walleyes hatched in 2001 are now about 20 inches and could weigh about 5 pounds, while those from 2004 are closer to 15 to 17 inches, and are great for eating.

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Some lakes he recommended in the western part of this region are:

• Albert Lea Lake had a major fish winter kill a few years ago and was restocked. Those fish are now a pound or bigger and very numerous. People can fish from boats, though the lake has little structure so fish are spread out, or they can fish from the channel between the lake and Fountain Lake, or below Albert Lea Lake on the Shell Rock River.

• Elysian Lake near Janesville also had a winter kill in 2004 and is loaded with one-pound walleyes.

• The Cannon River chain near Faribault, unlike Albert Lea and Elysian, which have suddenly become hot, is steady. Cannon and Tetonka are good, or try the channel between Tetonka and Sakatah.

• Lura, near Mapleton, is a trophy lake, with 10-pounders, but it also has curly leaf pond weed, which takes over much of the lake in May and June, as well as Eurasian watermilfoil. That makes it difficult to fish.

• Circle Lake, in Rice County north of Faribault, was also stocked in 2004 and is loaded with walleyes.

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