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kelly-p

Upper Red nears record winter harvest

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kelly-p

Upper Red nears record winter harvest

Ice fishing on Upper Red Lake has slowed in recent weeks, but the walleye harvest is on track to set or approach a wintertime record, numbers from an annual winter creel survey show.

According to Henry Drewes, regional fisheries supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji, anglers through January had kept about 125,000 pounds of walleyes.

The wintertime high for Minnesota's portion of the lake was slightly more than 140,000 pounds in 2015, DNR statistics show. Anglers harvested 109,327 pounds of walleyes in the winter of 2017, according to DNR creel survey results.

"If we have an average February, we'll be right in that area" of 140,000 pounds, Drewes said. "Catch rates and pressure have really tapered off in the last (few weeks). I think that's related to winter fatigue and a slower bite."

Wheel houses, which have exploded in popularity among winter anglers in recent years, now account for more than 80 percent of the ice fishing pressure on Upper Red, Drewes said.

Anglers on Upper Red can keep four walleyes, of which only one can be longer than 17 inches. Walleye and northern pike season on Upper Red and other Minnesota inland waters closes Sunday, Feb. 25 and reopens Saturday, May 12.

The Minnesota DNR manages 48,000 acres of Upper Red, while the remaining 72,000 acres are within the boundary of the Red Lake Indian Reservation and managed by the Red Lake Band of Chippewa.

-- Brad Dokken Grand Forks Herald

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Bear 55
      There is still a lot of ice out there, my best guess is that it should be pretty much ice free by the opener. Stay Safe Good Luck  Bear55
    • fins_n'_feathers
      Launched out of mcquade and ran down to the entrance today. Played bumper boats and went 10/11 on coho. Beautiful day!!! 
    • CigarGuy
      How's the ice melt looking?
    • DLD24
      I'll let ya know how rugged it is, it spent about 2 hours underwater when I put my wheeler through the ice a month ago. I'm scared to try and turn it on haha.
    • ifishwalleye
      Just wondering how much ice is left?
    • bassbouncer
      I was in the Landing today to do some troubleshooting. Looks the same as it did. They’re working at getting ready. 
    • DonkeyHodey
      Thanks Borch:  this helps! I emailed the whole committee--hopefully one of them sees the ridiculousness in this. Basically:   1.)  the DNR set up a pilot.   2.)  The DNR analyzed their results and refused to enlarge the scope of the pilot 3.)  Legislature will, if passing this amendment, force the DNR expand a program that their own conclusions did NOT support expanding.  (* this is the time to insert your own clever comments about government doing stupid things contrary to evidence...)   Anyone that enjoys using the numerous MN lakes with public accesses NEEDS to take an active roll in this--let's overwhelm the server with emails from concerned fishers!; If we don't, I worry more and more lakes (associations) will place more and more barriers (in the "name" of AIS) to practically make the public lakes private...
    • Rick
      A bear in a residential area of North St. Paul was shot and killed today by a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer as authorities determined the animal posed an immediate safety threat.  The bear was a male and estimated as a two-year old, about 110 – 120 pounds. The bear carcass will be processed and the meat will be distributed to people in need of food. Due to the density of residences and roads in this area, it was unlikely that the bear would have been able to escape to more suitable habitat, especially during daylight hours and during the morning rush hour. Growing interest in the bear’s location was leading to a gathering of onlookers. Bears can become agitated and pose a danger to humans when they become trapped or cornered as this bear had become in the neighborhood tree. Law enforcement is authorized to dispatch bears in the metro area if they pose a public safety threat. The DNR does not tranquilize or relocate bears. Relocated bears seldom remain where they are released. They may return to where they were caught or become a problem somewhere else. It is not unusual for people to see bears in the spring as young males search out new territories. They are also are looking for food sources at a time when berries and vegetation are scarce. If people encounter a bear, the first thing they should do is back away slowly. They need to give the bear an escape route and make noise to scare the bear away. People should also clean-up and remove potential attractants such as bird feeders, garbage, and compost bins to reduce the chances of bears moving into developed and residential areas. Bear sightings outside of their primary northern forest range can be reported on an interactive map-based application on the Minnesota DNR website at mndnr.gov/hunting/bear/bear-sightings.html. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Bear 55
      A buddy and I fished Warroad yesterday, 730-400 5-fish biggest 39. We talked with a local guy who lives on the river said they have not came in hard yet. The 39 and 36 we caught were not spawned out. So we will give it another try next week. Also the ice seems to be going pretty fast  open I would say pretty close to a mile out, when it opened up in front of the docks 4-days ago, and its gonna get better.  Stay Safe Good Luck  Bear55
    • Knowknot
      Does anyone know where I can find out which lakes smothered out in the southern Minnesota areas? I have looked on the DNR website and can't seem to find out any information there. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks,