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Late thaw was a blessing for fishery

The late ice out on the Rainy River this year was a welcome sight for many who have felt like spring would take forever to get here.
With its exit on Sunday (in front of the Town of Rainy River) the warmer temperatures seemed like a just reward for the wait we all had to endure as winter clung on for just a little while longer.
While it was later than the average time, which is the first week of April, it was in actual fact a blessing in disguise. The poor ice conditions meant that no one would venture out on it to fish.
Locals know that the fish are in the river preparing to spawn. It is a time where the big walleye’s are in great numbers and many will bite on an angler’s lure. The fishing season closed on Monday to both sides of the border; a day after the ice went out.
There were many anglers that journeyed upstream to launch boats on both sides of the border to fish in the Pinewood and Birchdale areas. In fact some of them were so fanatical about it that there were reports of fist fights at the U.S. landing over who would launch next and parking as it is limited there.
All this so that they could get out there and remove fish that should be left alone at this time of year. Some argue that they practise live-release, but truth-be-told the removal of the fish for even just a short while can be detrimental to the spawn by that fish.
Thankfully the slaughter did not go on for very long this year. Let’s hope for a late thaw again next year.
–Until then,