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I fished on Briar Lake for the first time today. In 2004 over 6000 Rainbow were stocked.

Its max depth is 20’ so I’m assuming its spring fed. Main area of the lake is 5’ with one bowl going to 20’. Tried all depths and besides an occasional blip on the bottom, I’m assuming bullheads or suckers, we saw nothing. There was a consistent line on the graph running about 4’ under the ice and when ever we would pop a hole minnows would show up in the hole with their heads to the surface, 2” chubs, 1” bullheads, and lots of little ½” ones (possible baby chubs?)

My question is do you think that is a sign the oxygen is in the upper 4’? Would the trout be roaming right under the Ice? Seemed strange? Everyone we ran into claimed it has been dead for a month.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I haven't fish Briar for years but when I did I fished just a couple feet under the ice. The band you saw could've been temp change or a layer of suspended particles. Briar has always been weedy but it seems like its gotten worse. Quite a few lakes had a bad winter kill last winter and I wouldn't doubt Briar was one of them. Springs don't offer any relief to fish suffocating because spring water has no oxygen.

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A couple of us fished it yesterday (Saturday) for the first time also. We had the same thing happen, had minnows come to the surface.

Two groups were coming off as we were heading out. Nothing for them or us. Later in the day ran into a friend of mine who was there the day before and same thing, zip.

I thought it was strange for the water was really cloudy.

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I haven't been out there since shortly after the winter trout opener, but that wasn't going on at that time. The water was real murky, but we didn't see the minnows coming up. I caught about 15 rainbows on opener and they were all right under the ice, for a while fish were cruising through almost constantly. I'm kinda surprised that the fishing has been so poor out there lately, could be that most of the fish have been pulled out of there.

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I fished briar 3 or 4 times this year with every fish being hooked within 2 feet under the ice. It seems that lake gets hit pretty hard so I wouldn't be surprised if it was pretty closed to fished out for this season.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • smurfy
      Heard that too. Also heard 38 was closed for a but north of rapids due to flooding.    I know the water really came up when I was up last week compared to when I was there in April. 
    • Kettle
      Someone said 4 inches in the past week, more expected this weekend. A few roads, including county roads that are asphalt ended up with sink holes. Lakes are the highest I've ever seen in the 30+ years coming to the area and now living here. Several people lost trees Tues night
    • smurfy
      Dang Kettle  that bites. Great to hear fishing was good though.   How much rain you get up that way?
    • Dash 1
      50 in 6 hours is great. Boat issues really put a damper on a great day though. Hope you get it fixed quickly.  
    • Kettle
      Well boat finally got "fixed" and I picked it up Saturday. Last week worked 96 hrs so Sunday wanted the day to fish alone. Boat ran great out to the spot, 4 miles or so. Fishing was great boated over 50 walleye in about 6 hrs. Caught them lindy rigging, jigging and bobber fishing watching them on the live scope. Kept 6 between 18-20 inches. After using the trolling motor for the entire time fishing, go to fire up the tiller and it bogs down and dies. Another 4 hours running the trolling motor back to the launch. Fortunate it's under warranty. Bummer of a day but fishing was great landed one about 7 lbs too  
    • Dash 1
      Terrible news for that area especially this being such a prime time for tourism. We can only hope for dryer days ahead so they can get back to normal.
    • SkunkedAgain
      For those not in the area, the Lake Vermilion area got anywhere from 5-10" of rain the other day (depending on your source). The lake is rising rapidly affecting docks, shorelines, and cabins. The Littlefork River that runs through Cook overran its banks and flooded the town. It's not expected to crest until at least Saturday, which means things will get worse. Places such as the Comet, the Muni, the library, and many other businesses are flooded. Many roads in the area have been destroyed by flooding as well. There's lots of damage. Below are two quick links.   https://www.northernnewsnow.com/2024/06/20/floodwaters-inundate-city-cook-evacuation-location-open/   https://www.mprnews.org/story/2024/06/20/cleanup-continues-flooding-in-northeast-minnesota-southern-minnesota-rivers-rising
    • delcecchi
      Apparently just the motorized portage.   If you paddle you are good to go.
    • CigarGuy
      The only way I could do it is running parallel to the shoreline on the "L", but with the wake from the boats and my rocky shoreline, the waves just bounce it around too much, even with bumpers tied off. My neighbors dock is recessed off the main channel, I'm going to sweet talk him into letting me dock it there.
    • partyonpine
      They closed the Trout Lake Portage down washed out.
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