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hanso612

I was talking to someone at Tamarack lodge who reported that a big brook trout taken out of the Burntside river really came out of the lake. I watched what I was convinced was a brook trout feeding on the surface of Burntside for a long time one evening before scaring it off with my first cast.

Can anyone verify the existance of brookies in either the lake or river? Anyone ever catch a salmon in Burntside? Hans

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Steve Foss

I'd be interested in anyone documenting that as well. I've seen lakers with a lot of color that could be mistaken for a brookie by the casual viewer, but never have heard of a brookie in Bside.

It's certainly not impossible, with the number of brookies stocked in some of the streamer lakes/pits up here and the potential for mistakes and illicit stockings/transfers to be made. Bside definitely would be good brookie habitat.

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finnbay

I've never heard of one being caught there, but it wouldn't surprise me. There was a brookie caught in Birch Lake at the mouth of the Dunka River in the spring several years ago. The Dunka holds a brookie population as does some of the watersheds close to Burntside.

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hanso612

Finnbay, If you run into any Olsens in Babbit chances are I'm related. My cousin and uncle were mayors and Grandfather just moved from there to Ely. My cousin Scott used to tear it up and was a [PoorWordUsage] of a hockey player to boot. I have fond memories of Babbitt as a kid. I used to go to hockey camp there, but never get up that way anymore. My other grandmother spoke fin and had parents both from finland. Lehto was the family name. Thanks for posting as often as you do. Hans

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Great Outdoors

hanso612,

If your cousin was Scott Olson (1994 graduate) from Ely High School, Finnbay used to be his hockey coach!! \:D

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JBMasterAngler

The lake map I have for burntside says there's rainbow trout in there. Were they ever stocked?

I've caught brook trout out of a laker lake in the grand marais area. I'm assuming they migrated in from a tributary...brookies can spawn in lakes, so it's possible if they're in burntside they could become established.

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finnbay

Yes, I know both families of Olsons. Scott played football and hockey for me and his brother played football, hockey and baseball for me. Small world!

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Great Outdoors

No Rainbows in Burntside, and if someone did catch a Brook Trout, it/they were probably stuck in a batch of fingerlings when the DNR did their stocking.

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hanso612

My cousin was a goalie in 1984, played for the north in the north south allstar game in Duluth. Don and Leann run group homes and my granpa and his brothers worked in the mines.

I forget that this is the heart of Scandahuvia, so I retract my original statement. SO if you run across a bunch of Olsens in Babbitt they might be my relatives, but there is better chance they are just part of the great northern Norwegian hord.

I have an old map that says Atlantic salmon where stocked in Burntside as well anybody hear of anybody ever catching one?

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finnbay

I took photos for Don and Leann this winter for their homes. My daughter and their daughter graduated together and were good friends.

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hanso612

Babbitt and the Fin flag caught my eye, but so did your tag line. I'm a longtime Pheasants Forever member and do a major tree planting every spring in Murray co. We are doing a 55 acre prarie restoration, two wetland restorations, and a riparian buffer on a family farm. The first year I planted 5,000 trees without weed mats. The deer kept them very cropped and weed competition was fierce and stunted growth. Every year since, I do a 250 foot hedgerow with a weed mat instead. Now I'd never do it another way. I will never see most of these trees grow to adulthood, but my three boys will undoubtedly reap the benifits.

Wish I was up in Gods country, Hans

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Great Outdoors

Atlantic salmon were one of the plans they had to try to control the smelt.

DNR decided against it, the cost vs anticipated results made it cost prohibitive.

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Jackpine Rob

I agree with GO that a stray fish from stocking would be a possibility - perhaps even a splake. Some of the splake really make you scratch your head and ask "what the heck is that thing!"

I've heard of a brookie being caught in the Shagawa River by Winton (kid caught it off the red bridge). We always assumed it had found its way from Section 30 Creek.

Saw a lake trout caught at the Power Dam on Fall Lake about 15 years ago. Now how the heck did that happen!? Migrated all the way down from Burntside??

Caught a muskie in Newton Lake 2 years ago - the fisheries guys figure it might have been an escapee from the rearing ponds near Shagawa that migrated downstream.

Some of the old, old stocking reports list various salmon being stocked in NE Minnesota. To my knowledge, none of those stockings ever "took". There's a little lake up the Fernberg called Camp 20 that has been stocked with salmon, brookies, rainbows, splake and walleyes over the years. The smallmouths in that lake have successfully lasted through all of the experiments.

It seems like the doggone fish don't follow the rules about where they are supposed to be.

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JBMasterAngler

There was a posting on here last year about smelt populations in burntside, one of the popular opinions was to stock chinook in the lake as a "put and take" fishery. If it's lack of money that prevents that, I know of about 100 lakes down here in the cities that the DNR can STOP stocking walleyes and muskies with to save money for stocking salmon in burntside. Theoretically the salmon would lower the smelt population enough to bring the whitefish and cisco back. Sounds good to me!

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Steve Foss

JB, it's possible all the DNR stocking has allowed the lake trout to rebound enough to knock the smelt down on their own. The most recent DNR data indicates smelt populations may have started, and I emphasize may have and started, to drop.

Couple that with the large numbers of unclipped fish which, if not actual native Burntside trout, probably represent good numbers of naturally produced fish, and it's possible things are starting to turn around. Some of those unclipped fish may have accidentally gone unclipped at stocking or had clipped fins grow back, but I've got to believe a good many of them were naturally produced.

There are still a whole mess of smelt in Bside, and even if it's true I'm sure it'll take some more years for the smelt/laker/walleye, ect to reach some type of equilibrium, if that's even possible.

That being said, I'd love to see some chinooks planted in there. Just more varied action, and they're fished for in some of the same ways as lakers.

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Great Outdoors

Steve,

What year were the smelt reports from??

I talked to Joe from the DNR in Tower a few years ago (early 2006), and he indicated that the smelt were on the decline according to their test nets. I told Joe the smelt were stunting, and from what I could see, were worse than ever.

I later talked to one of the guys that runs the nets on Burntside in August 2006, and he said they dropped the mesh size on their test nets down, and doubled the catch.

The smelt are worse than they thought.

I don't know if there are any later studies.

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Steve Foss

It's the latest stuff on the DNR lake finder Web site, from whatever year that was.

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Catfishunter

You can tell the diference from stock laker to native laker very easy on b-side, even with out a fin clip. The smelt will never go away and there no sense in stocking salmon when lake trout do the same thing. my 2 cents.

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Steve Foss

I'm told by the old-timers that native Bside lakers were silvery, not dark.

I've only caught one Bside laker that looked like that. All the other fish I've caught, whether clipped or unclipped, were varying degrees of dark green/brown, with a few nearly black. The one pictured in my avatar is typical.

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Great Outdoors

Steve,

Yep, they used to be silvery with white spots-like the ones you see in pics from Canada.

Don't exactly remember when I started seeing the darker ones, 20+ years ago??????????

The Gilis strain are the dark ones, didn't take in Snowbank for some reason.

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Steve Foss

Sure would like to see a big ole silvery native 30-plus come out of Bside and get put back after a few pics. I don't even care if I catch it, I'd just like to see it.

I guess the old days are gone forever. Wish I'd have been around to see them.

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Quickstrike

You never know what you're going to catch in a lake that is stocked. I caught a small king salmon in a small trout lake up the gunflint a few years back that the DNR verified and said must have accidentally been put into the wrong bucket at some point in time. Brookie in Buntside, I'd believe it.

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Great Outdoors

JBMasterAngler,

You have to understand that stocking a lake in Northern Minnesota is a lot different than stocking a lake by the cities.

Down there, you can do it.

Up here, you suggest it and get sued by some environmental group because it's too close to the BWCA, they find a Snail Darter or some other imagined exotic species that hasn't existed since the dinosaur roamed the earth!!!!

The money the DNR would save by not stocking the lakes down there would be spent on the lawsuit. mad.gifmad.gifmad.gif

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JBMasterAngler

Great Outdoors, that is a good point. What can ya do, right?

Is the color of a laker based on forage or water color? I've caught silvery gray lakers out of superior and greenwood (gin clear water), but dark brown ones out of gunflint and grindstone lakes (darker water).

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Great Outdoors

Many of the lakers (the dark ones) in Burntside are the Gilis strain, meaning the eggs came from Gilis lake on the Gunflint Trail.

They also planted this strain in Snowbank Lake, but they didn't take for some reason.

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    • Cliff Wagenbach
      nickeleye, Thanks for the report! Lookers but no biters seems to be the pattern the past couple of weeks. Common for this time of the winter on Vermilion! Cliff
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