TALKIN' WITH DOKKEN: Is the fishing any good in warm water near water treatment discharge?
Q. The Red River in Fargo on the north side of town has open water many winters from water treatment discharge, etc. I've not a clue what the water temperature is, but it has to be relatively warm. Would there be pretty good odds of catching catf...
Q. The Red River in Fargo on the north side of town has open water many winters from water treatment discharge, etc. I've not a clue what the water temperature is, but it has to be relatively warm. Would there be pretty good odds of catching catfish in the winter in a spot like that -- or not so much? Is there a similar spot in the Grand Forks area?
A. Lynn Schlueter, a retired Red River fisheries biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and avid catfish angler, wasn't optimistic about the prospects for catching catfish, which generally go dormant in winter on the Red River.
According to Schlueter, catfish in winter move to deep holes and often use the same areas year after year. Catfish can feed and be active under the ice, but such activity would be very limited -- about 8 percent of the energy they would expend in the summer based on changes in metabolism rates, Schlueter said.
Several fish tend to congregate in wintering holes, and while some will feed occasionally, the bite generally is very soft and very slow.
"It is unlikely that the area would provide much chance to catch a catfish," Schlueter said.
I don't know of any warm water discharges in Grand Forks -- not to say they don't exist -- but open water often can be found below the Riverside Dam rapids in Grand Forks and the Point Dam rapids at the mouth of the Red Lake River in East Grand Forks. But again, neither spot would provide much of an opportunity for catching wintertime catfish.
Your best bet is to wait for a nice spring day and kick back on shore or in a boat and wait for a catfish to strike. That actually sounds pretty good right now.