Outdoors blog: Steelhead run good but slowing
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
North Shore steelhead run slowing
In just eight days at the DNR's Knife River trap, 406 steelhead have been caught, measured, weighed and passed upstream, said Matt Ward, fisheries specialist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at French River.
"After only a week into our run, that's a good number," Ward said.
So far, the biggest day at the trap was last Thursday, when 116 steelhead were caught. The run had dropped to about 60 on Saturday, and in the 20s on Sunday and Monday.
Ward said fisheries biologists had projected a steelhead run of about 850 or 900 fish through the entire season. He said the number of steelhead that have come in so far "is coinciding with our expectation."
Meanwhile, the rivers are starting to run low and fairly clear, conditions in which steelhead are reluctant to enter the rivers to spawn because they're more vulnerable in clear water.
"In a perfect world, we'd get a half-inch rainfall twicce a week," Ward said.
Fishing has been good, according to reports of "creel clerks," who interview anglers as they leave streams.
"The catch rates for steelhead have been very good on the lower and middle shore up to the Split Rock River," Ward said. "The lower shore had 44 steelhead caught, and the middle shore had 50 caught from the Stewart to the Split Rock. The Stewart to the Split Rock is really going now. I'd guess the Baptism isn't too far behind. From Wednesday to Saturday, the Baptism should be hopping."
Even without rain, about 25 steelhead likely will be caught at the Knife River trap, Ward said, but a good rain would boost that number.