Rainy River fishing/boat access update

Spring weather has taken a step backwards the past few days, but that hasn’t halted the progress of open water on the Rainy River along the Minnesota-Ontario border.

Birchdale Ramp

Clementson Resort posted this photo earlier this morning showing the boat ramp on the Rainy River at Nelson Park in Birchdale, Minn., has been cleared of ice and now is accessible to larger boats.

Clementson Resort posted a photo on its Facebook page this morning showing the boat ramp at Nelson Park in Birchdale, Minn., has been cleared of ice and is now accessible to big boats. Located about 30 miles east of Baudette, Minn., the Birchdale ramp is typically one of the first to open to large boat traffic.

As for the fishing, I haven’t heard a lot of reports to this point, but word is anglers are averaging about 25 walleyes per boat. No big walleyes yet, but numerous eater-sized fish and walleyes up to about 24 inches have been reported.

Springtime regulations on the Rainy limit anglers to two fish, and all walleyes longer than 19½ inches must be released. The regulation applies to all waters of the Rainy, including Four-Mile Bay of Lake of the Woods.

Clementson Resort and Royal Dutchman Resort near Baudette both are offering daily updates on their Facebook pages. Conditions on the river will change daily as ice-out progresses, but bottom line is one ramp is already open to large boats. Fishing season on the Rainy River and other Minnesota-Ontario border waters is open through April 14. When the river is open to Lake of the Woods remains to be seen and likely will hinge on the return of warmer temperatures.

More information about spring fishing on the Rainy River is available here.

Marv the peregrine flies into town

A sure sign of spring flew into town this week with the arrival of Marv, the male peregrine falcon that mated with female Terminator last year atop the UND water tower.

Tim Driscoll, the Grand Forks raptor expert who banded Marv in June 2013 while the bird was still a nestling in Fargo, said he’s positive the bird is Marv because he mistakenly put the colored  band on the falcon’s right leg instead of the left leg where it should have gone.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting for Terminator to arrive. Driscoll said he wouldn’t expect that to happen until about March 22 or so.

Marv’s arrival in Grand Forks is about 40 days earlier than last year, when the peregrine flew into town April 24, Driscoll said. Terminator arrived “somewhere around April 3” last year, he said.

Terminator’s mate from 2013 never showed up last year, Driscoll said, and so Marv took his place. He’s considered a “third year” bird, even though he technically is less than 24 months old, Driscoll said, because he now is in his third year of life. Terminator has been nesting in Grand Forks since 2008.


Fishing in Minnesota? Better buy a new license

Better get a new license if you’re going fishing  in Minnesota; 2014 fishing, game and trapping licenses expire Saturday.

This could be a point of confusion for some people, because Minnesota fishing licenses for a few years didn’t expire until the end of April.

No longer; some hunting and fishing seasons continue past the end of February when the old licenses expired, and new licenses now are required.

The exception is ice shelter permits, which remain effective through April 30.

New licenses are available at all Electronic Licensing System outlets, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by phone at (888) 665-4236.