Water levels in MN

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Heidi's picture
Water levels in MN

Not sure if this post/thread should go in the Roundup 2012 thread in the Gatherings forum, so admin feel free to move it, but I'm wondering how the recent heavy rainfall (Sat night in particular) will affect conditions for the roundup? Should I bring extra/bigger sinkers if the current is stronger? Will this change feeding patterns, and how? Should I still bring a lot of crawlers, or other bait? And mostly, will the bite be slower or faster? 


The Junebugs are out, and if I can catch enough, I was thinking of bringing a jar full down to test as bait

Corey's picture
Water Levels

The Root River Valley has been starved for rain.  The river was so low I was worried about whether or not we'd be able to float it, and none of the fish were spawning yet.  The fish need those heavy spring rains, and I'm very happy that we got a deluge just at the perfect time.  The rain wasn't heavy enough to cause a flood because the ground was so dry.

Even with the rains we've had, I still expect the river to be lower than normal.  Honestly, I think the fishing is going to be spectacular this year.  We'll see.  We've had about ten roundups, and sometimes the river is a raging uncontrollable torrent that looks like chocolate milk.  Sometimes it's as clear as gin so you can see every fish and every pebble on the bottom.  Sometimes, the riffles are so full of spawning shortheads that their flashing red tails paint the river bright crimson.  Sometimes there aren't many redhorse, and it's white suckers and trout only.  I'd much rather have the heavy storms come the week before the roundup than during it.

I wouldn't worry about sinkers or bait.  You'll be fine.  I can't wait.

Jknuth's picture
As of today the guage at

As of today the guage at Lanesboro was only at 3.07 feet
here is a picture of it at 2.53 feet 

Water is clear and blue green. We wont be far from that at all. It may make the float a little less dramatic. Still follow the arrow, lol
It should be great for sight fishing too. 

The water temps at CARIMONA were 62. I am not sure quite what they will be by us though.

I am having issues finding what the level was last year, but it ws much much much higher. 

Bring what you have for gear. It wouldnt hurt to have some heavier sinkers to set the bait in the faster runs.

Dr Flathead
Dr Flathead's picture
Wow, I cant believe its still

Wow, I cant believe its still that clear.  We had a ton of rain.  Fishing should be good, with more variety of species this year.  Probably even Shovelnose Sturgeon after dark...

Dutch's picture
Last year

Last year it was between 5 and 6 feet if I remember

Jknuth's picture
I think you are right. It was

I think you are right. It was pushing 8 when my dad was making plans to go or scrub it.

JK's picture
Like they said...


Howdy Cowpokes,


I took a look at the USGS gauge at Pilot Mound (upstream of Eagle Cliff) and while it shows a quick rise in water level in the last few days, the river is still lower than average for this time of year. I think we'll have lower than normal conditions, but I've had fantastic fishing in lower water. Like Corey said, we've had Roundups with all different river levels and always seemed to find fish.


Crawlers will still be the bait of choice, although I'd be pretty interested to see what kind of fish perfer Junebugs. If it turns out that blue suckers can't resist them, the market price will quickly be about $75 per Junebug.


Extra sinkers are always a good idea because it's easy to snag and lose tackle in any river, but I don't think you'll need anything out of the ordinary due to river levels. There will be no shortage of people to borrow extra lead from, have you seen Eric Kol's sinker bag? That thing weighs about 35 lbs.



Tyler W
Tyler W's picture

I think I started last years derby with three rods rigged with three different sinkers: 1/2oz, 1oz and 1.5oz. I think to get my shorthead I may have had to upsize to a larger sinker... but most of my fishing was done with sinkers less than 2oz. That being said, the water off the "wing dams" is deep and moving fast. I wouldn't be suprised if those spots required a pyramid sinker even in averge flows. Granted, bringing sinkers to the round up is like bringing nuts to a squirrel farm - probably unnecessary and definitely dangerous.

Dutch's picture
Water Level

I was just looking at the DNR data for the Root, last year on 4-30 the water level was 4.25

this morning it is at 2.90 and falling



roughfish29's picture
i thought that "high" water

i thought that "high" water would make fishing at last years roundup slow. i was wrong. very wrong.