Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz

Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal & Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Minn.

January 10, 2000

Crow River has 3 forks

In last week's column, I let you know I would be writing a series of columns and general information on the Crow River, both the north and south forks.

In the past week, I began my research in earnest. The process provided one very important piece of information and brought me to one very important conclusion.

First of all, there is also a middle fork to the Crow River.

This fork, appropriately named, follows a path between the south and north forks and meets with the north fork near Eden Valley. At this point in research and collecting information, I'm not sure where it begins, ends, or which direction it goes.

Secondly, the conclusion I have come to in my early stages of research is that there is very little information out there on the Crow River. The only published piece I have found so far is a canoe route map and a small brochure the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has published on the north fork.

To keep the current flowing at a fast pace and you interested, here are a few facts on the Crow.

  • The north fork begins at Lake Koronis in Pope County and flows for about 175 miles until it joins the Mississippi River near Dayton.
  • The river was named by the Ojibway Indians for the bird they called "the marauder of newly planted corn."
  • The south fork, I believe, begins at Lake Lillian and joins the north fork near Rockford.
  • The south, middle, and north forks are all part of a state designated canoe and boating route.
  • The river falls at an average of less than three feet per mile.

Area lakes fishing report

The ice is there, however, according to reports from officials and law enforcement, conditions vary from lake to lake and there has been a higher than usual number of people, fishhouses, and vehicles breaking through the ice recently.

One official noted there may be 10 inches of ice in one location on a lake and only a few inches of ice just a short distance away.

Ice conditions always vary from lake to lake and often from one part of a lake to another. This year, because of contrasting and warm weather conditions, the quality and thickness of the ice is more inconsistent than on a normal year.

Moving on to the fishing part of ice fishing, Joe's Sport Shop in Howard Lake reported: Howard has been producing some dandy northerns and a few lunker walleyes. The crappie action has still been good on Big Waverly. Collinwood has been producing northerns and there has been a lot of activity on Buffalo.

LiL' Angie's Bait and Tackle near Lester Prairie reported: The crappie action on Howard continues to be slow. Walleyes are coming off the center bar on Ann, Collinwood is starting to give up a few walleyes, and the walleye bite on Diamond and Green Lakes near Willmar has been excellent.

Other reports have Mille Lacs providing excellent fishing, with resorts just starting to let anglers drive out on the ice.

Outdoor notes

  • If you have any information to share on the Crow River, please give me a call at 320-485-2535 or 320-543-2131.
  • Winsted Sportsmen's Club will meet Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. at Tom's Corner Bar in Winsted. Club members will discuss and make plans for the he/she mixer.
  • The Howard Lake Sportsmen's Club will hold its 54th annual fishing derby Saturday, Feb. 12. Funds raised at this year's event will be used for walleye stocking in Howard Lake.
  • Have fun ice fishing, and remember that ice is never completely safe.

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