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On the south end...  Fish houses can be on the ice through March 31st.  Walleyes are open through April 14th, pike never close.  A good week of fishing despite a number of temperature changes.  A variety of walleyes, saugers, perch, pike, tullibee and eelpout being caught in 29-33 feet.  Jigging spoons with a glow stick or rattles tipped with a piece of minnow for the jigging line.  On the deadstick, a colored hook with a live fathead has been effective.  Electronics are helpful to show suspended fish.  When suspended fish are spotted, reel up quickly before fish swims through.  When your lure is 2 feet below the fish, reel up to the fish slowly so you don't spook the fish.  The suspended fish have been larger walleyes overall.

Big pike being caught on tip-ups with a quick strike rig and either live sucker or large dead baitfish in 5 - 15' of water.     

On the Rainy River...   Morning / evening bite continues to be the best.  Remember, March 1st - April 14th, catch and release only for walleyes on Four Mile Bay and the Rainy River.  The snowmobile trail on the river from Baudette to Wheeler's Point to the NW Angle staked and groomed. 

Up at the NW Angle...  With the border closure, there are four ways to travel to the NW Angle without crossing the border.  1.  NW Angle Guest Ice Road from south shore up to the Angle.  2.  Snowmobile trails across the lake.  3.  Lake of the Woods Passenger Service (bombardier).  4.  Lake Country Air flying service.

A good number of walleyes caught this week up at the NW Angle.  Walleyes in 24 - 31' of water.  Jigging with a lure producing noise with rattles is effective.  Tip jigging spoons with minnow head, tail or whole minnow.  Experiment until you figure out what the walleyes want.  Plain hook or a glow jig with a live minnow on deadstick.  Communicate with your favorite NW Angle resort for specifics.  Ice fishing on LOW through March.  Remember, a new MN Fishing License is required March 1st.  A complete list of lodging and ice fishing packages available at



Cookie's Red Lake Fishing Report


Going out with a hot bite for sure. The Wisconsin boys Paul and Evan teamed up with Jake and the boys Gabriel and Lakken figures they caught over 100 fish  . Jake ate fish cooked by westwind every evening. The second day with all of our fish Jake took 6 lbs of fish to get them cooked.
 The hammer and I spent two evenings having dinner in old minnesota  missing more fish then we caught.
 Sean, Chad,  Dave and Wyatt  ate fish in montana the first night. They packed up yesterday with a few more fresh fish to take home.
 As the season winds down we start looking for the elusive yet still catchable upper red lake crappie. We have me looking one way , johnny boy another.  Then jake going where no man has gone before. Were thinking the spot we have been looking is to infested with walleyes to find the mother load. Fun catching all these fish for sure. Then out of no ware a big old famous fish fools you at the hole. Its been a treat watching the hammer in action. I'm still having a hoot with the chubby darters. Now jake has challenged me to catch a elusive upper red lake crappie with one. I think if I have the right color it could be lites out.
 I have a idea where I want old minnesota sunday evning as the season ends. I'm  really hoping that spot pans out. Only time will tell but I may know by next monday morning? I might even have to break out the fish call .
 I set up Tim with his wheel housemonday .Yesterday if said he caught a fish all day about every half hour.
 We also set Ken and his buddy's up yesterday .They have 7 keepers so far. No crappies though. Pesky  bottom feeding walleyes.
 Time to get busy for the day as I again plan to wet a line at the bewitching hour with my fishing partner the hammer.
 We have california open this last weekend as well as another cancelation This time florida is wide open. She will be on a fresh spot also


St. Croix River in good health, although pollution threats loom

By Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The St. Croix River is still in good health but is facing pollution threats, according to two new reports.

Popular for its scenic beauty and recreation opportunities for boaters and anglers, the St. Croix remains one of the cleanest tributaries to the Mississippi River, thanks in part to a large forested watershed that helps filter out contaminants.

But the reports highlight some troubling trends, including increasing development that leads to more polluted runoff entering the river, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

The St. Croix flows more than 160 miles before joining the Mississippi River at Prescott, Wis., forming a large part of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. It was one of the first rivers in the United States to be designated for protection under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s study of the river’s health finds much to be positive about, said Pam Anderson, who manages the MPCA’s surface water monitoring program.

“The St. Croix River is a beautiful river, (with) lots of intact natural shorelines,” Anderson said. “We have relatively good water quality. We see low levels of bacteria. We have excellent fish communities and good bug communities.”

Much of that cleanliness can be attributed to the scenic river protections and the heavily forested watershed, said Monica Zachay, program director for the St. Croix River Association. which released its first “State of the St. Croix River” report.

“Forests are really good for water quality,” Zachay said. “They’re our best defense against water quality degradation as when it rains. Those natural ecosystems soak in the water into the ground and they act as natural filters.”

However, the reports highlight some threats to the river, including too much phosphorus from farm and urban runoff, which can cause algae growth. The stretch of the river from Taylors Falls to Lake St. Croix is considered impaired because of phosphorus levels.

Cities and industries discharge stormwater and treated wastewater into the river, which can contain phosphorus and other pollutants. That includes chloride from road salt or water softeners. Levels of chloride in the St. Croix are relatively low but rising, according to the MPCA report.

“We are adding more chloride to the system than should be there, and that’s something that can’t really take out of the water,” Anderson said. “So it’s imperative that we do what we can to minimize what goes into the system.”

Urban stormwater also can raise the temperature of streams, which can threaten fish and other aquatic life.

The St. Croix is home to 41 different species of freshwater mussels, including five that are listed as federally endangered. But 26 of the 41 mussel species live in water that is close to the maximum temperature that they can tolerate, so preventing further warming of the water is crucial, the MPCA report states.

Other contaminants have been detected in the river, including pharmaceuticals, microplastics and synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, which are used in a variety of consumer products because of their durability and resistance to heat and water.

And the St. Croix also faces a potential threat from invasive species, including zebra mussels and invasive carp.

Zachay said local governments, soil and water conservation districts and other groups have been making strides toward improving the St. Croix’s water quality, with efforts such as adopting conservation tillage practices to reduce runoff and adding retention basins and rain gardens to capture stormwater.

Unlike some rivers that are “so far gone,” the St. Croix still stands a chance of seeing improvement and possibly being removed from the state’s list of impaired waters, Zachay said.

“We are right kind of at this tipping point where we could actually see significant results in our lifetime,” she said.

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