Barring a deluge, streams looking good for trout opener
Trout streams in this region are "looking good right now" because we've had a near-perfect snowmelt, with daytime melting and night refreezing, said Steve Klotz, Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor in Lanesboro.
"The streams are in pretty doggone good shape for this time of the year," he said. "It might end up being one of the nicest openers we've had for a while."
But bring your rain gear. The forecast is for rain Friday into Saturday, and that could change streams and fishing conditions.
Streams were listed as cloudy earlier in this week, but he said he expects them to drop and clear before the Saturday catch-and-keep trout opener.
Reports from anglers fishing the catch-and-release season are that fishing has been good, with some large fish being caught. Adult trout numbers are good, but with last year's rotten winter and spring, few young-of-the-year fish are being seen when the DNR electrofishes streams, he said. And it's too soon to tell whether last year's hatch was a good one.
New regulations looking good:The DNR's proposed changes in trout-fishing regulations that would greatly expand fishing opportunities in this region have gone through the administrative process and are moving forward.
If the regs get the final OK, they would mean catch-and-release fishing would go through Oct. 15; Whitewater, Forestville and Beaver Creek Valley state park streams would be open for catch-and-release fishing Oct. 16 to Dec. 31; and all streams would be open for the winter catch-and-release season. That would mean we could fish trout year-round in one way or the other.
Chatfield trout breakfast:The annual Chatfield Fire Department's pancake and sausage breakfast and annual Trout Classic Fishing Contest will be from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the fire station on U.S. 52 in the center of the town. Cost is $5 for adults and $2 for preschool children. You also can get hot tips on fishing.
The Firefighters Women's Auxiliary will host its third annual silent auction beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 12:30 p.m. Proceeds for this event will go to help support the fire department and community events.
Opening house at National Trout Center:The National Trout Center in Preston will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the center in downtown Preston.
This is the center's fifth year of operation. At the open house, you can meet Rich Enochs, the new program coordinator.
Ralph Diercks Memorial fishing tourney: The second annual Ralph Diercks Memorial walleye-sauger fishing tournament will be from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 24 on Pool 4 of the Mississippi River (from the Red Wing to Alma, Wis., locks and dams, including Lake Pepin).
Assuming a full field of 120 teams, top prize will be $2,000. The bag limit is seven fish, weighing your best five walleye, sauger or saugeye. You may have three people in the boat, but only four lures in the water. Orientation is 6 p.m. May 23 at the Colvill Pavilion.
For more information, call Dan Ramthun, 651-212-0230 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry fee is $100 per team and extra money goes for upkeep of the new fish-cleaning station at Colvill Park.