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Time is ripe for to capitalize on river fishing bonanza

by Ken Johnston

Fall fishing season has begun.

Over the weekend I noticed many trucks and trailers parked at the Rainy River Marina. Many of them I recognized as those of anglers who are competing in this year’s Rainy River Walleye Tournament (RRWT).

I spoke with one angler early Sunday morning who said he had been out prefishing already and said that he had caught a really nice walleye last week.

He said the walleye are starting to move into the river and as long as temperatures stay cool for the next two weeks the fishing will be great at the tournament.

The awareness of great fall fishing on the Rainy River has been growing for the past decade or so; moreso on the American side of the river.

Now we have created a stellar event that truly shows the potential for trophy sized catches on the Rainy River. With that in mind it would be great if more of that discovery would turn into tourism dollars for communities along the river.

For decades people were afraid to eat the fish out of the river for fear of contaminents from pollution. However since the mid 1970s the water has cleaned itself up to the point where one would hardly know there is a pair of paper mills upstream at Fort Frances and International Falls.

That plus the fact that most of the walleye spend the summer on the clean waters of Lake of the Woods and move into the river at this time of the year means the fish have had little exposure to the river water.

Perhaps it is time we as a district looked at ways of better capitalizing on the fall fishing bonanza and catch ourselves a limit of tourist dollars.

–Until then,