Hinckley Area Fisheries Office
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7/29/2016 Fish kill on Little Stanchfield Lake
On Thursday, July 28 the Hinckley Area Fisheries Office received a report of numerous dead fish on Little Stanchfield Lake west of Grandy in Isanti County. Fish of various sizes and species were reported. As with the fish kill earlier in the week on the Snake River, this kill was likely due to low oxygen levels. A combination of factors, including an influx of organic matter from high water on the Rum River, high temperatures last weekend, and mixing of the water column due to storm activity, created temporary conditions that depleted oxygen in the lake. Any fish that are caught live in the lake should be safe to eat, as long as they are thoroughly rinsed with fresh water.
7/25/2016 Low dissolved oxygen likely cause of fish kill in Cross Lake and Snake River
On Monday, July 25 the Hinckley Area Fisheries Office received several reports of dead fish in the Snake River and on portions of shoreline in Cross Lake. DNR personnel investigated the situation Monday and found small numbers of dead fish on the east shore of Cross Lake south of the Snake River outlet, and scattered dead fish between Cross Lake and the I-35 bridge over the Snake River. The Pollution Control Agency reports low dissolved oxygen levels in the Snake River at Grasston and below the Cross Lake dam. These levels weren't low enough to kill most fish, but in backwater areas where water is stagnant, oxygen levels can drop even further overnight. This is likely the cause of the fish kill.
Recent heavy rains and flooding have washed large amounts of organic matter into the Snake River system. This matter, from wetlands and bogs, uses up oxygen as it decomposes. As water levels continue to drop, the matter will eventually get washed out of the system and oxygen levels will return to normal. Oxygen levels in most parts of Cross Lake should not be affected.
7/15/2016 River and stream surveys scheduled for late summer
The St. Croix River will be the main waterway targeted for a fish population assessment in 2016 by Hinckley Fisheries crews. The river will be sampled using an electrofishing boat at 12 survey sites. Sampling dates will depend on water levels. Several trout streams will also be sampled in August and September. These include:
7/15/2016 Lake surveys underway
Crews have begun sampling lakes as part of the ongoing fish population and habitat monitoring conducted by the Section of Fisheries. Lakes on the 2016 schedule include Goose and West Rush lakes in Chisago county, Green Lake in Isanti County, and Tamarack, Sand, and Grindstone lakes in Pine County. Sampling methods include gill nets, trap nets, night electrofishing (completed late spring), shoreline seining, and shoreline backpack electrofishing (Sand and Grindstone only). Preliminary results will be posted here as they become available.
Vegetation and shoreline habitat surveys are also planned for the following lakes: Tamarack, Big Pine, South Pine, and Sturgeon lakes in Pine County, and Lake Eleven in Kanabec County.
4/12/2016 Trout stocked in Crooked Creek; stream trout season opens April 16
300 rainbow and 300 brown trout were stocked in Crooked Creek east of Hinckley on Thursday, April 7. These fish went to two locations in the creek: just north of State Highway 48, and at the Matthew Lourey State Trail crossing in St. Croix State Park. Hay Creek and Little Hay Creek, also within and near St. Croix State Park, have natural brook trout populations and offer fishing opportunities. A map of these streams is available here .
12/1/2015 Spearing ban lifted on East and West Rush Lakes
East and West Rush Lakes were among the lakes with darkhouse spearing bans that were recently lifted by state legislative action. Spearing bans were originally put in place on muskellunge lakes to prevent accidental spearing of muskie in lakes with populations that were just getting established. Now that muskie populations are widely established, and the genetic strain stocked looks more distinct from northern pike, spearing bans are considered unnecessary.
This action is not expected to cause big changes to the winter fishery on East and West Rush for several reasons: 1) There is a 26-40 inch protected slot limit on northern pike, which may cause spearers to choose nearby lakes with no limits; 2) Low water clarity can make spearing difficult; and 3) Creel surveys on nearby lakes where spearing has been allowed have shown that spearing makes up a small percentage (<5%) of all winter fishing pressure.
Hinckley Area fisheries information