This time of year is crucial for walleye spawning and the DNR is not taking any chances by closing numerous rivers during the Minnesota fishing opener. A number of river reaches will be closed in Northwestern Minnesota for the Minnesota fishing opener on May 11. Most of these closures will extend through Midnight on May 17. Rivers are not only closed for walleye spawning but also because of the late ice out. The following portions of the Mississippi, Tamarac, Clearwater, Turtle and other rivers will be closed:
Closed Through May 17
Blackduck River – Beltrami County – County Road 32 north to Red Lake Reservation boundary.
Clearwater River – Clearwater County – below Clearwater Lake Dam for 900 feet.
Long Lake – Hubbard County – below the inlet culvert south of State Highway 34.
Mississippi River – Beltrami County – below Otter Tail Power Dam to Big Wolf Lake.
Otter Tail River – Becker County – below Highway 10 culvert near Frazee.
Pelican River – Becker County – below Bucks Mill Dam to Buck Lake.
Shotley Brook – Beltrami County – State Highway 72 to Upper Red Lake.
Tamarac River – Beltrami County – from Upper Red Lake upstream to Beltrami-Koochiching county line.
Turtle River – Beltrami County – below Three Island Dam to Turtle River Lake.
Closed May 9 Until Further Notice
Toad River – Otter Tail County – inlet to Big Pine Lake upstream to County Road 13.
Closed through May 24
Unnamed water – Hubbard County – connection between Lake Emma and Big Sand Lake.
During the closure no fishing will be allowed in these specified areas. There will be signs posted at all boat accesses for these locations. Although it is always a hard decision to close areas and restrict recreation it is the DNR’s first responsibility to protect the long-term health of the fishery. This is the first time since 2008 that so many river closures have taken place over the Minnesota fishing opener.
It seems like the hits just keep on coming for anglers itching to get out on the water for the Minnesota fishing opener. For any questions contact the Northwest Region fisheries office in Bemidji – 218-308-2623, or click here for a list of seasonal closures.