Nature Matters: New Steelhead Season

By KBJR News 1

April 12, 2011 Updated Apr 12, 2011 at 10:52 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) Early spring means Steelhead fishing season to anglers in the Lake Superior Basin.
The feisty fish is targeted all along the shoreline and in streams flowing into the big lake.

In this week's "Nature Matters" David Hoole meets a group of experienced anglers hoping to set the hook on a new generation.

(Walking along the shoreline) "Keep right on going 'till we have a clear area, keep right on going."

Gary Siverson has been chasing Steelhead along Lake Superior for years...

"Let's see how the drift is going here"

Recently he got the chance to pass some of his knowledge down to a new generation of anglers. He says the future of the sport, and the health of the fish population, depend on it.

"This game is a tough game to learn and if most of us have had to do it by the seat of our pants and hopefully these kids will get an interest because they have some knowledge about it when they really get started on the right foot."

To help get that started, the Lake Superior Steelhead Association and the Hartley Nature Center arranged to get the students equipped with rods, reels, and tackle. Some of the kids were surprised by how much gear is needed.

"I have pliers, scissors, extra hooks, and these are the spawn bags that we tied... it's a whole bunch of fish eggs tied into a little mesh."

Safety is also needed when spending time wading in the river.

"Well obviously the high water situation, you have to be really aware of what's going on with the river, the ice coming down, logs, anything that's been along the river all winter, everything is coming down to the lake."

There are terrestrial hazards to contend with as well.

"This line gets caught on all the brush and trees along the paths of rivers... so if you break your rod down in half like this it's really easy to control and you can kind of weave it through the brush especially if you're not on a real path."

With the guidance and patience shown to the students they have a good start on the path of a lifelong interest in fishing.
On the Lester River, near Duluth, I'm David Hoole for nature matters.

The students and their mentors have another outing planned next weekend.
They're hoping the fish will be biting a little better then.