Get Ready Minnesota Anglers! Trout Fishing Fun Begins Soon In Grand Rapids
Ice fishing season is upon us and although walleye, pike, and panfish are the species targeted by most Minnesota ice anglers, trout angling is an ice fishing tradition for many as it combines fun, family time outdoors, and a tasty catch.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says their stocking efforts help ensure diverse angling opportunities and beginning Saturday, January 14, anglers can try their luck stream trout fishing in the Grand Rapids area. Stream trout species that anglers can catch include brook, brown, rainbow, and splake.
The DNR manages seven natural lakes and three mine pit lakes in the Grand Rapids area for stream trout. They note the designated trout lakes include Camp Four, Deepwater, Erskine, Kremer, Lucky, Moonshine, and Pickerel lakes, along with Kinney, LaRue, and Tioga mine pit lakes. Designated trout lakes are typically stocked with trout once per year in the spring or fall.
Staff from the DNR and the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board stocked trout from the Spire Valley, Crystal Springs, and Lanesboro state fish hatcheries into nine of the Grand Rapids area’s ten designated trout lakes this year:
- Camp Four Lake, 11 miles northeast of Chisholm, received 375 yearling brook trout.
- Erskine Lake, 13 miles northeast of Bigfork, received 2,740 fingerling splake.
- Kremer Lake, 16 miles north of Grand Rapids, received 3,600 yearling rainbow trout.
- Lucky Lake, 14 miles north of Grand Rapids, received 600 yearling brown trout.
- Moonshine Lake, 17 miles north of Grand Rapids, received 500 yearling rainbow trout.
- Pickerel Lake (McCarthy Beach State Park), 15 miles northwest of Chisholm, received 335 yearling splake.
- LaRue mine pit in Nashwauk received 1,500 yearling rainbow trout.
- Kinney mine pit in Kinney received 2,400 yearling rainbow trout.
- Tioga mine pit, three miles south of Cohasset, received 2,100 yearling rainbow trout.
- Deepwater Lake will be stocked in 2023.
“Stocking these stream trout species offers trout angling opportunities and the chance for fresh fish for the dinner table,” said Matt Ward, DNR Grand Rapids assistant area fisheries supervisor. “The area’s trout lakes offer unique ice fishing experiences, with water clarity allowing anglers to see the bottom in 20 feet of water on some lakes.”
Ward also recommends anglers do a little pre-fishing homework and bring a variety of baits. This is because each species of stream trout may behave differently from one another and differently during the summer and winter seasons.
He suggests bringing small artificial baits with a fish scent, live leeches, worms, wax worms, and frozen minnows. Live minnows aren’t allowed on designated trout lakes.
It's also important to remember seasonal trout fishing on the lakes above requires an annual angling license and a trout stamp. Anglers fishing trout in these lakes with a 24- or 72-hour angling license are not required to purchase a trout stamp.
Fishing hours for stream trout on inland waters run from one hour before sunrise to 11 p.m. The 2023 winter season for anglers on the lakes listed above is from Saturday, January 14, through Friday, March 31, while the summer season is from Saturday, May 13, through Tuesday, October 31, 2023.