Spring is the busiest and most important time for DNR fisheries crews. Most of our fish species spawn in the spring, which creates the best window for us to survey populations. Surveys typically start immediately after ice out and continue for about two months. We try to survey 5-10 lakes each year, leading to a complicated schedule as we move from one lake to another trying to time our efforts as best as possible with varying ice off dates and spawning times.

In 2023, our team plans to start our surveys on Barker Lake, where the ice goes out very early because of the influence of the East Fork of the Chippewa River. From there we expect to head to Nelson Lake to survey northern pike and walleye. Our largest survey effort will be on Lost Land and Teal lakes, where we will survey multiple species and attempt to estimate the total number of adult walleye. We then plan to survey the Tiger Cat Flowage for musky and northern pike and Round Lake for musky and crappie.

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