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I have been real curious about the fish in the red. Can you eat them? Would you eat them?
I have fished the river for over a year now and i release all i catch. People keep asking me if i can eat em and im not 100% sure. I hear from others that its not a good idea. Then i see alot of folks from out of town/state comming up here and packing up all they catch to take back home. Even the big ones, which is a real bummer.
I have even checked out the EPAs web site but i cant get a real grip on what you can and cant eat.
I have a buddy of mine comming out this month from WA. and im going to show him the fishery here on the Red. He said he wants a meal.
Shoud i take him to McDonalds or can i feed him a couple of small cats?
Thanks, and tight lines to all.

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Hey Ordie,

A few yrs. back I checked with NDSU and the guy I hooked up with had made tests and stated the Red here was cleaner than most lakes around here. Not the mud but chemicals like Mercury and lead. Hard to believe but that was his opinion. He stated the bigger they are the more chems in the fish which makes sense. I've eaten the pansize cats if they look good, and very tasty. I'm going to Shelly this weekend so may try Halstad and Hendrum.

Take care


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The fish from the Red are safe to eat. Catch and release the bigs one though, they aren't as good eating and it is best to put them back as it may take a catfish 30 years to get to the size of a sumo cat! I really enjoy shore lunches of fried catfish on the Red. I catch and release most of the fish I catch but ave a few now and then for a meal. Bruce

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I agree with Bruce's statement on fish consumption on the area rivers & also his choice of fish to consume.

Each state has some areas of concern and their local or national wildlife department is required to post any advisories or restrictions. Check the MN DNR's web site and you will find a fish consumption advisory section that will outline the details of any area of concern and also what fish or body's of water may be of higher risk.


You can also find methods of preparing fish that will lessen the chance of ingestion of contaminants an improve the quality of the fish you serve.

Again in general smaller fish have a much diminished capacity of building up contaminants and are a good choice for the table.

Practice Selective Harvest for a healthy environment, and a healthier you!

Backwater Eddy.......><,,>

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Thanks for the reply folks. I will try a couple of the little ones when my buddy gets out here.
All big fish i catch go back in for others to enjoy. All my wall hangers are reproductions. They look better and last longer.
I hit the Red tonight at the Hendrum landing,
Got five and all were in the 5-7 lb range on frogs. Nice night for fishin, full moon, not too many bugs, not too hot.
I will keep my eye out for you this weekend.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      As soon as humanely possible. We have a seasonal cabin that we use year-round, an no road access. Therefore like PSU, we are bound by the ice-out to determine our first open water trip. If I had road access, it would likely be determined by other factors such as snow on the driveway, etc.   If you have plumbing pipes, that is another concern. We haul in our water so I don't have to worry about pipes bursting. About six years ago, I did hook up my lake pump at opener at left it filled with water. When I came back for Memorial Day, the iron housing had cracked due to water freezing.   My general advice is to not avoid the in-between times. They are often the best. Less people are around, you get to see the land and the lake change, when the ice goes out you get to see eagles and other scavengers pick up all the floating winter-kill fish, green starts popping up everywhere, etc. It's a fun time to be in the woods and around the lake. Canoeing through ice or boating through black ice is always a hoot as well!
    • Mike89
      the way things going for him that is most likely true!!!!  🤣😝
    • merc
      Smurfy has fish with his name on them. He must have put another order into Morries.     
    • smurfy
      I know!!😊 but I ain't got anyone to shovel.😞 and after tomorrow's snow I'm hearing grumbling of a huge magor storm for the weekend.
    • BobT
      Does the handle fit otherwise? If so, rather than wait for the OEM to send a screw, I would most likely have gone down to my local Fleet Farm or Menards and found a SS screw to fit. I wouldn't get my shorts too much in a bunch over it. 
    • eyeguy 54
      but are the northerns making flags go up? 
    • Hoey
      Brokie - Without knowing where you are located, I can not recommend a reel shop, is what I recommend doing.  A reel repair shop should be able to help you with your problem.  West side of the TC, Wayzata Bait and Tackle, for example.  
    • Bigfatbert
      I will also add to my above post that the discoveries of this disease in new areas like crow wing co. should not become a panic in that area and the whacking of deer in these areas is truly nonsense. What if one deer survives the mass killing that happens to be infected ,, well then what ? In a herd that annually is around one million in our state , having a handful of sick deer from CWD is not the end to our herd .How many deer actually do test positive from these stupid massive killings when all the bullets are done flying ?? Sooner or later with the now implementation of CWD testing , ,it’s gonna pop up  in new areas either naturally or by the existence of poor oversight and improper management of deer farms . So if this time it’s a deer in Crow Wing Co . So the DNR says let’s whack them all in that area , how bout when one happens to test positive next month in Lake of the woods co  , well let’s whack them all there too , and when one happens to test positive in Itasca or Hubbard co , well let’s whack them also . Before long we won’t have any deer left in our state with this stupid thinking , it won’t be the he disease itself that eliminated our deer herd , it’s the DNR that just eliminated our herd .. killing as many deer in a positive test area does nothing to help the problem..  on another note our DNR management of deer is terrible and many times quotas for upcoming seasons are determined by auto  insurance companies who pressure the state that these areas are carrying to many deer and the herd needs to be thinner in these areas , and thus lowering  the payouts to insured motorists who happen to hit a deer and make a claim. So then the state ups the permits and harvest in these areas to thin out the deer , ahhhh money the root of all evil. Nothing to do with a Biological stance whatsoever. And when these numbers don’t fall within quotas by permits to harvest these extra deer , well then find a deer in those areas that has CWD and kill them all , then the state says “there now we lowered those numbers “ and the insurance companies say thanks . Nooooooo dat don’t happen , does it ??? Hmmmmm !!
    • gunner55
      We're not seasonal anymore but it's been within a week of the Opener before the ice has been out, 3 out of the last 4 years here.
    • Bigfatbert
      Deer farms need more oversight, they need to be strictly regulated with tougher regulations, and extremely  stiff penalties for lack of following these stricter regulations. Wasteful spending of tax payers money to curb this is just that “wasteful “... CWD is not new whatsoever . It first was discovered , I believe ,  way back in the 1960’s , that was when it was first noticed , so it obviously had been around  before that . So good Lord it’s darn near sixty years ,at least of existence  If it was going to be the death of all deer , well then it should of happened by now . Pockets of sickness will occur , but whacking out all the deer in any given area is nonsense. As is implementation of no recreational feeding is also nonsense in a social animal that deer naturally are . Licking , sniffing, sharing natural food sources already naturally occur with deer..It is for the most part a self elimination of the disease by death anyway.. Do what can be done with the farms , and don’t panic , things will be just fine . Time has proven this to be the case.. the numbers  after 60+ years of the existence of this disease speak for themselves ..  there are other deer diseases we should be more worried about anyway as they do  have the potential to setback the herd in large numbers , such as EHD .  Not much can be done to curb the spread of these more potential  deadly diseases either . It just is what it is ... all the more reason to control deer farms as that’s were things like EHD tend to start also .