2015 Roseau River Fisheries Survey Activities
This past summer’s activities involved a variety of fisheries survey work in the Roseau River watershed. Survey work on the Roseau River began this spring at ice-out to capture spawning Northern Pike using trap nets. Sampling efforts were then directed toward old channel cutoffs in the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area using trap nets and electrofishing to assess the fish community during high water. Next, sport fish populations were assessed from below Hayes Lake dam to Caribou at the Minnesota-Manitoba border using trap nets, baited trotlines, and electrofishing.
Final activities for the MNDNR project on the Roseau River involved intensive survey work at several locations to describe instream fish habitat (also known as geomorphology).
The Roseau River is home to a diverse fish community with over 30 species of fish being documented. Anglers of the Roseau often seek Northern Pike, Walleye, and Channel Catfish. Results of the 2015 survey indicate healthy populations of all three species. Northern Pike ranged from 9 to 28 inches in length with variety of sizes in between that should provide good fishing in the future.
Walleye were sample over a broad range of sizes, including fish as long as 24 inches. Additionally, several newly hatched Walleye from this spring were sampled that should provide plenty of action in the next couple of years. Channel Catfish are also a popular sport fish on the river, and numerous “cats” exceeding 20 inches were documented with one over 30 inches!
Another interesting discovery was the presence of Channel Catfish upstream of the old Roseau city dam that was modified in 2001. Anglers fishing in the city of Roseau now have the opportunity to fish cats right in town.
Results of the 2015 Roseau River survey highlight a quality fishery that is a valuable natural resource for residents of northwestern Minnesota. Anglers have the opportunity to catch high-quality game fish such as Northern Pike, Walleye, and Channel Catfish. Additionally, Hayes Lake, which is a reservoir formed by a dam on the Roseau River, is home to other species that are not as abundant in the Roseau River. These additional species include Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, and Black Crappie.
Whether anglers are fishing from a small boat with an engine, a canoe, or on the ice, plenty of great fishing and exploring is to be had right in the backyard of Roseau and surrounding communities.