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DNR delays fishing opener on six Bemidji-area streams:

A late spring has forced the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to delay the fishing opener on six streams in Beltrami and Clearwater counties, including the Tamarac River, which flows into Upper Red Lake near Waskish, Minn.

A late spring has forced the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to delay the fishing opener on six streams in Beltrami and Clearwater counties, including the Tamarac River, which flows into Upper Red Lake near Waskish, Minn.

While Minnesota's fishing opener is Saturday, the DNR has extended the period of closed fishing on the six streams through May 16 to protect concentrations of spawning walleyes.

The affected streams are:

-- Blackduck River: County Road 32 north to Red Lake Reservation boundary.

-- Clearwater River: Below Clearwater Lake Dam for 900 feet.

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-- Mississippi River: Below Ottertail Power Dam to County Road 12.

-- Shotley Brook: State Highway 72 to Upper Red Lake.

-- Tamarac River: Upper Red Lake to Beltrami-Koochiching county line.

-- Turtle River: Below Three Island Dam to County Road 23.

The closure will not restrict boat traffic to Upper Red Lake from the boat ramps on the Tamarac River. The DNR will post major access points where the fishing season has been delayed.

"It is a difficult decision to restrict fishing because stream closures limit shore angling opportunity," said Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. "But most anglers would agree it is important to protect spawning walleye."

Ice remains on some Bemidji-area lakes, and large concentrations of walleyes are still spawning in many tributary streams. The DNR last extended stream closures beyond opening day in 1996, when similar late ice conditions existed.

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