The Minnesota DNR is closing portions of some rivers in northwest Minnesota for opening weekend and some days thereafter to protect staging walleyes preparing to spawn, or spawning.
Here is the list of waters that will be closed, and dates, from the DNR:
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.
No fishing will be allowed during these periods in the specified areas. Signs will be posted at access points within the closed areas.
"The closures are necessary to protect adult walleye that have concentrated around historic spawning sites," said Henry Drewes, DNR Northwest Region fisheries manager. "It's always a difficult decision to close the areas and restrict recreation. Our first responsibility is to the long-term health of the fishery."
The DNR said this is the first time since 2008 that so many locations have been closed on the opener.
Although closed to fishing, there are no restrictions on boat travel through these areas.
For more information, contact the Northwest Region fisheries office in Bemidji, 218-308-2623.