East Metro Area Fisheries



Mississippi River Pool 2


Pool 2 is that portion of the Mississippi River above the dam at Hastings and extends upstream to the Ford Dam. Backwaters lakes included are Baldwin Lake, River Lake, Spring Lake, Mooers Lake, and Grey Cloud Slough. Pig's Eye Lake has a separate DNR identification number, but is also considered part of Pool 2 for fish management purposes.

Species Present:

Walleye: above normal abundance, above average size including some trophy fish.
Sauger: above normal abundance, above average size including some trophy fish.
Smallmouth Bass: average abundance, a variety of sizes.
Largemouth Bass: below average abundance, average size.
White Bass: average abundance, average size.
Bluegill: lower than average abundance, average size.
Crappie: lower than average abundance, average size with some larger individuals present.
Northern Pike: lower than average abundance, average size but larger fish present in some areas.
Catfish: above average abundance, all sizes present including some real whoppers.

Boat Access:

Shore Fishing:

Special Regulation:

Pool 2 is open to year around fishing. Fishing for walleye, sauger, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is restricted to catch and release only and these species must be returned to the water immediately.

Management Plans:

  1. Collect samples to test for the presence of V.H.S. virus.
  2. Conduct special assessments if staff are available.
  3. Continue to monitor tagged fish.
  4. Monitor the area for presence of invasive carp.


Aquatic Invasive Species:

Pool 2 contains several aquatic invasive species. Eurasian water milfoil, flowering rush and zebra mussels are present in addition to silver carp and bighead carp. Remove all visible plant material from your boat, boat trailer, and other boating gear before leaving the river. In addition, drain water from the motor, livewell, bilge and transom wells at the ramp or access before leaving the river. 


The Mississippi River is an incredible resource. Pool 2 contains the best population of quality walleye and sauger in the area. The most popular time to fish walleye and sauger is in the fall and winter, when fish are concentrated in the area between the St. Paul airport and the I-494 bridge.
Catfish are abundant (both flathead catfish and channel catfish), with trophy specimens of both species present.
Smallmouth bass are present in good numbers, but are lightly fished. Largemouth bass are limited to backwater areas like Mooers Lake, the Grey Cloud Channel and Grey Cloud Slough.
Fishing Pool 2 can be limited by high levels of recreational boating and by barge traffic in some places at certain times of the year. Boaters should be alert. Many areas outside the marked channel are shallow and contain many obstacles.