If you're one of the 40% of Minnesota anglers who purchased a trout stamp for the 2021 fishing season, then the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says now is the time to head to Grand Rapids.

According to the DNR, Grand Rapids area fisheries manages three mine pit lakes and seven natural lakes for stream trout. The DNR typically stocks trout in these lakes once per year. Stocked waters include Kremer, Lucky, Moonshine, Erskine, Camp Four, Deepwater, Pickerel, LaRue, Tioga and Kinney lakes.

“Stocking these stream trout species in the lakes in our area offers trout angling opportunities, good scenery while fishing, as well as fish for the dinner table,” said Matt Ward, DNR Grand Rapids assistant area fisheries supervisor. “It’s a unique angling experience, with anglers either socializing in groups of camping chairs along shore, carrying in a canoe, or fishing solo from kayaks.”

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In May, DNR staff stocked trout from the Spire Valley, Crystal Springs and Lanesboro state fish hatcheries into five lakes in the Grand Rapids area:

  • Kremer Lake 16 miles north of Grand Rapids received 3,600 yearling brown trout.
  • Erskine Lake 13 miles northeast of Bigfork received 1,700 yearling rainbow trout.
  • Camp Four Lake 11 miles northeast of Chisholm received 375 yearling brook trout.
  • Pickerel Lake (McCarthy Beach State Park) 15 miles northwest of Chisholm received 1,425 yearling rainbow trout.
  • LaRue mine pit in Nashwauk received 1,000 yearling rainbow trout.

Each trout species behaves differently so the DNR recommends anglers do a little homework before hitting the water. Bringing a variety of baits is a good idea and some recommended options include artificial soft plastic baits with a fish scent, live leeches, worms, wax worms and frozen minnows. Keep in mind that live minnows cannot be possessed on designated trout lakes.

Fishing hours for stream trout on inland waters run from one hour before sunrise to 11:00 p.m. The 2021 summer season for anglers on these lakes continues through October 31. The winter season is from January 15 to March 31, 2022.

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