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Lake Vermilion ice fishing creel survey begins

It's the first winter survey of fishing success since 1984.

wiinter walleye ice fishing
The Minnesota DNR will conduct a creel survey on Lake Vermilion this winter to assess angler harvest and fishing pressure. John Myers / 2019 file / Duluth News Tribune

Ice anglers on Lake Vermilion may be asked to participate in the lake’s first winter creel survey since 1984. Creel clerks from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be traveling the lake on foot and on snowmobile to interview anglers about their harvest through Feb. 27.

The creel clerks will ask anglers a few questions about their fishing trip for that day and record information on the fish species caught. Creel clerks may ask to record measurements of fish that anglers keep. DNR pilots and a local contractor will conduct aerial ice house counts to obtain information on angling effort.

Fisheries managers rely on creel surveys to collect information on fishing pressure, catch, harvest and size distribution of several important fish species in Lake Vermilion, including walleye. The data, when combined with other data gathered by DNR biologists, helps drive fish management, such as length limits and possession limits.

Angler participation is an essential part of this study, so the DNR is asking anglers to be patient with the creel clerks and provide information that is as accurate as possible. Since 1984, 13 creel surveys have been conducted on Lake Vermilion, all during the summer open-water season.

For more information, contact Matt Hennen at the DNR Tower area fisheries office at 218‐300‐ 7810 or .

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