Upper Red Lake in Northern Minnesota

  • Upper Red Lake information

    While anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this spring will again be able to keep fourwalleye, a change in the size regulation will allow them to take one fish over 20 inches – making potential keepers out of considerably more of the lake's walleyepopulation. The lake seems to have a lot of bigger fish.

    If you are looking for a fishing guide for Upper Red Lake or Blackduck Lake give me a call at 218-553-0209. The rates are $350 for 3 people in a 20' boat with all gear and bait provided for 8 hours. If you want to catch a bunch of fish this is the way to go.

    White Birch Resort is located 30 minutes from Upper Red Lake and 30 minutes from Bemidi. We offer the only cabin in Minnesota with a private hot tub. We offer 4 bedroom luxury homes with a 12 person hot tub at Only $300 per night during the winter. Check out home #3 or #4 for more details of this winter cabin special in Minnesota.

    If you want a small cabin check out Studio Cabin #8 or #9 at only $100 per night during the winter. This cabin has 1 full bed, full kitchen and full bathroom. 

    On Blackduck you will catch perch during the day and then hit the crappie and walleye for the last 1 1/2 hours. We do not have anything that bites after dark like Red Lake.

    If you want a 5 star accommodation at a great deal give us a call. All of the homes we have built in the last few years are not considered cabins anymore. We are the only resort in Minnesota that can offer you a luxury 6 bedroom home with a private hot tub built right in the deck. We do also have smaller units if you are looking for just a few people.

    For all fishing reports for Upper Red Lake please give Timberline a call at 218-835-4636.


    White Birch Resort is 20 minutes from Upper Red Lake(Rogers Access) and we do offer rental cabins that are open in the winter. Fish Blackduck and catch some perch and crappie for part of a day then cruise up to Red lake for the evening bite of walleye.

    The resort does have some homes that have hot tubs on the deck that are open year round so maybe the women of the group would enjoy a stay here while the guys are up on Red lake fishing???

    We do have a NEW studio cabin for only $100 a night for 2 people.

    Stay in new accommodations even if you are headed to Upper Red Lake which is 20 minutes from our resort.

    Due to insurance regulations we allow only guests staying at White Birch Resort to use our lake access.

    Please call for details. 218-835-4552

    Check out or specials page to get the best deal Special Packages

    Minnesota Cabin with hot tub

    Name: Red (Upper Red)

    Nearest Town: Waskish

    Primary County: Beltrami Survey Date: 07/01/2012

    Inventory Number: 04003501

    Public Access Information

    Ownership Type Description

    DNR Concrete

    DNR Concrete

    Fishing Regulations:

    Special and/or Experimental Fishing Regulations exist on this lake. Please refer to our online Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

    Source: MNDNR

    Lake Characteristics

    Lake Area (acres): 48000

    Littoral Area (acres): 47681.2

    Maximum Depth (ft): 15

    Water Clarity (ft): N/A

    Dominant Bottom Substrate: N/A

    Abundance of Aquatic Plants: N/A

    Maximum Depth of Plant Growth (ft): N/A

    Did you know? Much of Minnesota's fisheries program is reimbursed by the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program (federal excise tax), administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Fish Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year


    Gear Used

    Number of fish per net

    Average Fish Weight (lbs)

    Normal Range (lbs)


    Normal Range

    Black Crappie Gill net 0.60 0.1 - 0.7 0.29 0.2 - 0.5

    Freshwater Drum Gill net 1.00 0.8 - 11.9 1.31 0.4 - 0.8

    Goldeye Gill net 0.35 N/A 1.01 N/A

    Lake Whitefish Gill net 0.20 0.0 - 0.2 1.90 0.3 - 4.4

    Northern Pike Gill net 2.10 0.9 - 4.3 2.79 2.4 - 4.3

    Quillback Gill net 0.05 N/A 4.67 N/A

    Rock Bass Gill net 0.10 0.1 - 1.1 0.34 0.3 - 0.6

    Shorthead Redhorse Gill net 0.35 0.1 - 0.9 1.31 0.9 - 2.5

    Trout-perch Gill net 0.05 N/A 0.01 N/A

    Walleye Gill net 60.80 3.3 - 14.8 0.92 0.9 - 1.5

    White Sucker Gill net 0.45 0.8 - 2.4 1.32 1.6 - 2.1

    Yellow Perch Gill net 17.35 9.9 - 57.1 0.28 0.2 - 0.3

    Normal Ranges represent typical catches for lakes with similar physical and chemical characteristics.

    Length of Selected Species (Trapnet, Gillnet) Sampled for the 2012 Survey Year

    Species Number of fish caught in each category (inches)

    0-5 6-8 9-11 12-14 15-19 20-24 25-29 30+ Total

    black crappie 5 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 12

    freshwater drum 0 5 1 1 13 0 0 0 20

    goldeye 0 0 2 3 2 0 0 0 7

    lake whitefish 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4

    northern pike 0 0 1 0 14 16 7 4 42

    quillback 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1

    rock bass 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2

    shorthead redhorse 0 0 3 1 3 0 0 0 7

    trout-perch 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

    walleye 0 84 210 472 434 15 1 0 1216

    white sucker 0 0 2 3 4 0 0 0 9

    yellow perch 10 206 131 0 0 0 0 0 347

    For the record, the largest Yellow Bullhead taken in Minnesota weighed 3 lbs., 10.5 oz. and was caught:

    Where: Osakis Lake, Todd County

    When: 8/5/02

    Statistics: 17 7/8" length, 11 3/4" girth

    Fish Stocking Activity

    Fish Stocked by Species for the Last Ten Years

    Year Species Size Number Pounds

    2012 Lake Sturgeon fingerlings 13,500 375.0

    Privately Stocked Fish

    * indicates privately stocked fish. Private stocking includes fish purchased by the DNR for stocking and fish purchased and stocked by private citizens and sporting groups.

    Stocking Fish Sizes

    Fry - Newly hatched fish that are ready to be stocked usually called "swim-ups". Walleye fry are 1/3 of an inch or around 8 mm.

    Fingerling - Fingerlings are one to six months old and can range from a size of one to twelve inches depending on the species. Walleye fingerlings range from three to eight inches each fall.

    Yearling - Yearling fish are at least one year old. A one-year-old fish can range from three to twenty inches depending on the species. Walleye yearlings average from six to twelve inches.

    Adult - Adult fish are fish that have reached maturity. Depending on the species, maturity can be reached at two years of age. Walleye reach maturity between the ages of four and six years.

    Fish Consumption Guidelines


    These fish consumption guidelines help people make choices about which fish to eat and how often. Following the guidelin es enables people to reduce their exposure to contaminants while still enjoying the many benefits from fish.

    Pregnant Women, Women who may become pregnant and Children under age 15


    County, DOWID Species Meal Advice Contaminants

    Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat


    Beltrami Co., 04003501 Crappie All sizes Mercury

    Lake Whitefish All sizes

    Northern Pike All sizes Mercury

    Walleye All sizes Mercury

    White Sucker All sizes

    Yellow Perch All sizes Mercury


    General Population


    County, DOWID Species Meal Advice Contaminants

    Unrestricted 1 meal/week 1 meal/month Do not eat


    Beltrami Co., 04003501 Crappie All sizes Mercury

    Lake Whitefish All sizes

    Northern Pike All sizes

    Walleye All sizes Mercury

    White Sucker All sizes

    Yellow Perch All sizes


    DOWID - MN DNR, Divion of Waters' lake ID number.

    Contaminants listed were measured at levels that trigger advice to limit consumption.

    Listing of consumption guidelines do not imply the fish are legal to keep, MN DNR fishing regulations should be consulted.



    PCBS - Polychlorinated biphenyls

    PFOS - Perfluorooctane sulfanate


    Status of the Fishery (as of 07/01/2012)

    Upper Red Lake is a 120,000 acre lake, 60% (72,000 acres) of which is under the jurisdiction of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians (Red Lake Band). The remaining 40% (48,000 acres) falls under the jurisdiction of the State of Minnesota. The collapse of the Red Lakes walleye population in the mid 1990's has been well documented. Similarly, the cooperative recovery effort that included a total closure on walleye harvest, a short-term walleye fry stocking program, intensified population monitoring, and increased law enforcement efforts has been widely publicized. In 2006, the Red Lakes were re-opened to walleye fishing under a conservative set of harvest regulations. Walleye harvest allocations, as outlined in the harvest management plan, are based on the proportion of surface water acreage within each jurisdiction. Specific fishing methods and regulations for managing harvest within the allocations are determined individually within each jurisdiction. In state waters of Upper Red Lake, a two-fish possession limit in combination with a 17-26 inch protected slot length limit (PSL; only one fish over 26 inches allowed in possession) was initially implemented for walleye. Over several years, regulations have been incrementally relaxed. In 2012, the fishing regulation included: a 4-fish bag limit, and a 17-26 inch PSL from the Fishing Opener until June 14th, followed by a slot adjustment (20-26 inch PSL) from mid-June through the end of the fishing season in February. Fishing regulations for the 2013 open-water season will remain the same and continuation of the 20-26 inch PSL through the winter season is likely. In addition to special walleye regulations, a special harvest regulation for northern pike has been in place since the 2006 fishing opener. The regulation from 2006 through 2010 was a 26-40 inch PSL (only one fish over 40 inches allowed in possession) and beginning with the 2011 fishing season opener, this slot limit was widened to a 26-44 inch protected slot (only one fish over 44 inches allowed in possession) to increase protection for large pike.

    Present Fish Population Status The 2012 walleye gill net catch-per-effort (CPE) was a record-high 60.8 per gill net. After restoration efforts, walleye density initially peaked in 2003 and slowly declined over the next few years. Current walleye biomass is now record high, largely due to the incredibly strong 2009 year class. Walleye from 13 different age classes from ages 1 to 15 were sampled with the oldest fish representing the 1997 year class. Approximately 96% of the walleye sample consisted of fish younger than age 7. Since no walleye stocking has occurred since 2005, those fish are entirely the result of natural reproduction. Sixty-two percent of the 2012 gill net catch was between 12 and 17 inches and 40% of the was between 14 and 17 inches. This size distribution suggests that fishing and the ability to find "keeper" walleyes should be good for the foreseeable future. Northern pike CPE was 2.1 fish per gill net in 2012, which is higher than recent years and slightly above the long-term median of 1.7 fish/net. Low pike density is a desirable condition for lakes such as Upper Red that are being managed for quality pike. An ice-out trap net assessment in 2012 captured approximately 1,000 northern pike with the largest fish approaching 46 inches and 7.3% of female fish over 40 inches. Yellow perch CPE in 2012 (17.4 fish/net) was similar to the median 17.5 fish/net. Yellow perch population abundance has returned to pre-walleye collapse levels after going through a period of low abundance during the 2000s. Growth rates of yellow perch in Upper Red Lake are good and 33% of the yellow perch catch was greater than 9 inches in length and 14% were over 10 inches. This has resulted in increased angling success with some anglers putting together catches of nice-sized fish. Age-1 black crappie have been documented in each of the last three gill net assessments and some fish are starting to reach 8- to 10 inches. Although these fish represent the first recruitment beyond age 0 since the "crappie boom" year classes in the late 1990s, they appear to be of modest strength and don't likely signal the next crappie boom. However, it is possible that anglers may pick up a few more "bonus" crappies while fishing walleyes than they have over the past few years.




    For more information on this lake, contact:

    Area Fisheries Supervisor

    2114 Bemidji Ave

    Bemidji, MN 56601

    Phone: (218) 308-2339

    Internet: Bemidji Fisheries

    E-Mail: Bemidji.Fisheries@state.mn.us

    Lake maps can be obtained from:

    Minnesota Bookstore

    660 Olive Street

    St. Paul, MN 55155

    (651) 297-3000 or (800) 657-3757

    No depth map available.


    For general DNR Information, contact:


    DNR Information Center

    500 Lafayette Road

    St. Paul, MN 55155-4040

    TDD: (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR

    Internet: www.dnr.state.mn.us

    E-Mail: info.dnr@state.mn.us

    Tip Logo Turn in Poachers (TIP):

    Toll-free: (800) 652-9093



    © 2013 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources • Equal Opportunity Employer • State of Minnesota • Disclaimers, Legal Notices and Policies • Email Us

Check out the Minnesota Lodging Specials

MN Vacation Deals


Contact White Birch Resort for Your Next Minnesota Vacation Experience