The spawning migration is monitored by video. The spring run was lower than any other in at least the past 25 years. The spring run is typically much smaller than the fall run.
Overall, the 2015-16 run was better than several in the past few years.
“A few warm days in the spring coincided with the spring peak, yet consistently low water temperatures were common in the lower river during March and early April,” said Paul Piszczek, DNR fisheries biologist in Superior. “In general, Brule-area weather is more consistent in fall than in spring, and fall migration timing responds with more year-to-year consistency. In contrast, the spring migration timing is more variable relative to spring weather patterns, particularly as they influence water temperature and the timing of ice-out.”
Five- and 6-year-old fish were common in the spring run, and they ranged from 21 to 29 inches long, Piszczek said. Nearly 62 percent of the run was made up of fish 20 to 25 inches long that weighed from 3 to 5 pounds. Twenty-five percent of the run equaled or exceeded the minimum legal length limit of 26 inches for anglers to keep, with weights from 6 to 10 pounds.