Bemidji Area Streams Closed to Fishing During the First Week of Walleye Season

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is extending fishing closures on six streams in Beltrami and Clearwater counties from May 10 through May 16 to protect concentrations of spawning walleye. Major access points will be posted during the period of closure.

The affected streams are:

  • Blackduck River – County Road 32 north to Red Lake Reservation boundary
  • Clearwater River – Below Clearwater Lake Dam for 900 feet
  • Mississippi River – Below Ottertail Power Dam to County Road 12
  • Shotley Brook – State Highway 72 to Upper Red Lake
  • Tamarac River – Upper Red Lake to Beltrami-Koochiching county line
  • Turtle River – Below Three Island Dam to County Road 23

The closure will not restrict boat traffic to Upper Red Lake from the boat ramps on the Tamarac River.

“It is a difficult decision to restrict fishing because stream closures limit shore angling opportunity,” said Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor, “but most anglers would agree it is important to protect spawning walleye.”

Just days before the fishing opener ice still remains on some Bemidji area lakes and large concentrations of walleye are still actively spawning in many tributary streams. According to the DNR, the last time these stream closures were extended beyond opening day was 1996 when similar late ice conditions existed.

For more information, contact Bemidji Area Fisheries Office at (218) 308-2339.