CHASKA — Courthouse Lake in downtown Chaska is stocked with trout — 1,300 to be exact.
It’s the annual winter opener for trout fishing in Minnesota on Saturday, Jan. 18, and officials expect it to be busy as usual. Some 400 anglers are expected to arrive.
The designated trout lake, which sits just west of the Carver County Courthouse, is a “put-and-take” fishery, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Rainbow and brown trout are stocked three times per year at Courthouse Lake: For the winter opener, once before the summer open-water season, and again in the fall.
The DNR said larger trout — about 100 rainbow and 175 brown — will be in the lake this weekend, too.
What is a designated trout lake? “That means you can fish one line and no live bait, and you can’t fish at any other time other than trout season,” said Mario Travaline, with DNR West Metro Fisheries.
The opener, he said, creates an opportunity to fish for a species not typically found in the area.
“There aren’t trout lakes in what one might call a natural sense around here,” Travaline said.
“There are waters in Minnesota that have trout and their relatives that do have self-sustaining populations. Seasons are set up to protect their spawning, but for us down here, it kind of coincides with how their spawn hatched,” he added.