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Winter trout fishing changes and seasons

Anglers will have added opportunities for trout fishing this winter in Aitkin and Hubbard counties, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The lakes that will be open to trout fishing Jan. 12 - March 16, 2008, include Taylor Lake near Hill City, Loon Lake in Savanna Portage State Park, Blue Lake just west of Aitkin in Aitkin County and Blue Lake, six miles north of Park Rapids in Hubbard County.

Taylor and Loon lakes are designated trout lakes, and the use and possession of live minnows is prohibited.

Anglers are required to have a trout stamp validation on their fishing or sports license when fishing on designated trout lakes or when in possession of a trout or salmon.

"This is the first time since the 1960s that these lakes have been open to winter fishing for trout," said Aitkin Area DNR Fisheries Supervisor Rick Bruesewitz.

All of the Aitkin County waters have "carry-in" type public accesses. No motorized vehicles are permitted on these trails or adjacent public lands.

Martin Torgerson, the Savanna Portage State Park manager, reminds anglers that the road to Loon Lake will not be open in the winter and will require a scenic 0.7 mile hike into the rustic lake. The nonmotorized designation for the Taylor Lake area is a change from past management.

The hike from the parking area to Taylor Lake is less than 300 yards, and is even less at Blue Lake.

In Hubbard County, only Blue Lake is open to winter trout fishing.

For lakes entirely within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, except for Ram Lake, the open season for lake and stream trout will be Dec. 29, 2007 - March 31, 2008.

For lakes outside or partially outside the BWCAW, the season is Jan. 12 - March 16, 2008.

Only one line is allowed when fishing on designated stream trout lakes and designated trout streams, winter or summer.