Minnesota's stream trout fishing season opens Saturday, and you might need long johns and a hot cup of optimism.

With snow, rain and sleet predicted the next several days, southeastern Minnesota streams could be cloudy, cold and fast-moving come Saturday.

"The water was starting to clear up,'' said Steve Klotz, Department of Natural Resources area fisheries manager in Lanesboro. "But there's a chance of rain every day this week. A combination of cold, dirty water isn't good for fishing.''

The usual stocking of catchable rainbow trout in the Whitewater River could be postponed because of poor stream conditions, Klotz said. Meanwhile, eager stream anglers have been out during the spring catch-and-release season.

"Everybody has the itch,'' he said.

Did you know?

•They're still catching fish through the ice on lakes in northern Minnesota, including Lake of the Woods. But ice is getting tenuous on some lakes. An ice angler learned that last weekend on Lac qui Parle Lake in western Minnesota when his 16-foot wheeled ice house broke through thin ice — a long way from shore. A towing company had to use a quarter-mile of cable to pull out the partially submerged house.

"People should be using extreme caution out there,'' said conservation officer Ed Picht of Montevideo.

•Open-water angling pressure on the Rainy River on the Minnesota-Ontario border has been intense, with more than 400 boats reported on the river daily. The spring walleye season ends there April 14.

•You never know what people have up their sleeves, reports conservation officer Rick Reller of Buffalo. He saw two anglers catching over-limits of crappies, but when confronted, they showed him only 15 fish. But Reller found 15 more in a bag and an additional 21 stuffed down a coat sleeve. The pair were 31 fish over their limit.

Doug Smith