There are worse ways to spend a warm spring day than standing in a cool trout stream. And beginning Saturday you can keep and cook the fish you pull out of Minnesota's trout streams.
Fisheries biologists with the DNR say there should be ample trout this year in southeastern Minnesota streams, which have a reputation for being the best in the Upper Midwest. (Find a map of them here.)
Two straight mild winters that produced no flooding have made for good reproduction of brown trout and there should be a large percentage of big fish, the DNR says.
The colder water in northern streams will slow fish activity but with temperatures climbing into the 60s Saturday, the water will be warming up.
Anglers who love trout fishing do it for most of the year but in Minnesota trout must be released outside of the season that runs from April 16 through September 14 this year.
Pioneer Press columnist Dave Orrick writes that taking trout out of streams can sometimes lead to better fishing. In streams with lots of trout less than a foot long, removing some reduces the competition for food and lets the others grow larger, he says.
But don't expect to find trout as big as the one a St. Cloud man landed during his annual fishing trip to the Ozarks this week.
While hoping to land a rainbow trout for breakfast, Vic Eldrid instead found himself in a 25 minute fight with a brown trout in Lake Taneycomo. It weighed in at 20 pounds – "the biggest fish I've ever caught" he told the Springfield News-Leader.
Minnesota's season for lake trout opens on May 14.