The new winter catch-and-release trout fishing season opens Monday, January 1, 2018, in eight southeastern Minnesota counties. They include Goodhue, Wabasha, Dodge, Olmstead, Winona, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston counties. The season is closed in the metro area.
Generally, trout streams don’t freeze over in this area, because so much of their flow comes from groundwater springs. The water comes out of the ground at about 48 degrees year around, keeping trout streams warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Trout can’t survive in warm water. Even the most tolerant species, brown trout, die when water temperatures hit 75 degrees.
The closest spot to the Twin Cities you can fish during the winter season is Goodhue County, which includes the city of Red Wing.
Our detailed fishing map of Hay Creek near Red Wing could help you do some prospecting. Twin Cities Trout Unlimited (TCTU) volunteers have restored six miles of the stream since 2009.
The orange section shows public fishing access provided by private landowners, through state angling easements.
Thank landowners if you see them.
Leave farm gates the way you found them, and don’t block access to any roads or driveways.
The blue section shows MNDNR-owned public access for fishing, where we also have done stream restoration work.
After fishing, stop at the Hay Creek Valley Campground Saloon and Café, for a burger and a beer. The owners have been strong supporters of our chapter’s work.
Catch-and-release trout fishing is open year around in several state parks in southern Minnesota.
It’s also open year around now through the central portions of several important trout fishing towns: Preston, Lanesboro, Chatfield, and Spring Valley.
Get maps of all of these areas, and details about the various fishing seasons, by going to the DNR’s main trout-fishing page online: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/trout_streams/index.html