NANFA-- Fish Observations in Minnesota

Mark Otnes (
Sat, 28 Apr 2001 16:47:43 -0500

I took a couple days off work and did some exploring in Minnesota on
Thursday and Friday. The large deep lakes still have ice on them but the
others are all ice free. On Thursday I worked my way through the lake
country from Fergus Falls to Alexandria. Its kind of interesting, some of
the lakes are in the Hudson Bay drainage and then less than a mile or so
away a lake may be in the Minnesota or Upper Mississippi Drainage.
My goal is to find Longnose Gar in the Hudson Bay drainage some day, being
they are very common in lakes in the Minnesota River drainage (some day
there will be a big flood, etc.).

I checked out a small steam entering Wall Lake and there were numerous
spawning White Suckers. I took my 4X4 seine through and caught a lot of
Iowa Darters (they still weren't real bright) and one Johnny Darter. There
were also a lot of Brook Sticklebacks, Blacknose Shiners, and a few Creek

Near Alexandria there was a stream coming out of Lake Miltona and it was
full of large spawning Walleyes. Thankfully the area was marked off as off
limits to boating and fishing until the end of June.

The next day I travelled further north between Detroit Lakes and Park
Rapids. Here there was more ice on the lakes and still some patches of snow
still in the woods. At Long Lake near park rapids it did a little Crappie
fishing and ending up hooking into a Largemouth Bass. Some small Black
Crappies were being pulled out but I didn't get any. There were clouds of
small fish throughout the shallows of the lake and I netted a some to see if
I could identify them. There were small, rather slender and silvery
cyprinids about an inch or so long. I'm not sure what they were, Emerald or
Mimic Shiners perhaps? I saw several Yellow Perch and one spawning Walleye
in the shallows.

Later I went to the close to the headwaters of the Ottertail River and ran
my seine throught the edges of a large pool. Iowa Darters and Blacknose
Shiners were abundant. I also got Blackchin Shiners, Golden Shiners, Common
Shiners, some small Yellow Perch and Johnny Darters. In the deeper waters I
could see large White Suckers. While seining a beaver came crashing out of
the weeds between my dog and me and jumped into the water. It didn't stick
around, fortunately as I was afraid my beagle would chase it into the water.
There was also a porcupine in a small tree next to the pool.

Mark Otnes
Fargo ND

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