2024 Rainy River Spring Fishing

Courtesy of the MN DNRMN DNR logo,

2024 Rainy River Spring Fishery

(March 1 – April 14)
The Rainy River forms the border between Ontario and Minnesota for its entire length of about 90 miles. Anglers intending to fish Ontario waters of the Rainy River should refer to the Ontario Fishing Regulations Synopsis for details (https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-fishing-regulations-summary).

If you choose to fish Ontario waters of the Rainy River, you must comply with Ontario laws, and with USA-Canada border crossing regulations. This handout addresses special fishing regulations for Minnesota waters only.

Spring fishing on the Rainy RiverMinnesota Waters of the Rainy River from International Falls Dam Downstream to Lake of the Woods

Walleye and Sauger

On Fourmile Bay of Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River

Effective Mar. 1 – Apr. 14
Walleye/Sauger catch and release fishing is allowed during this time period. All Walleye and Sauger must be returned to the water immediately.

Lake Sturgeon

No harvest is allowed from Mar 1 through Apr 23. Anglers are allowed to catch-and-release lake sturgeon during this period.

Northern Pike

There is no closed season for northern pike on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. The possession limit for northern pike is three. All northern pike from 30 through 40 inches must be immediately released; only one northern pike over 40 inches may be possessed.

Gaffs not allowed

A person may not possess or use a gaff while fishing on the Rainy River.

*The Rainy River is designated as “infested waters.” Regulations related to bait harvest, water transport, and draining water apply to these waters. For a more thorough listing of the regulations that apply to Minnesota-Ontario border waters, please see the Canada-Minnesota Border Waters section of the Minnesota Fishing Regulations synopsis.


Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers and Ontario MNR Conservation Officers are commonly observed checking anglers, their boats, and safety equipment during the spring Rainy River season. Anglers should expect to encounter these resource officers during either their Minnesota or Ontario fishing activities.

To report fishing or boating violations, call:

Minnesota State Patrol: 218-748-2426, Minnesota TIP (Turn In Poachers): 1-800-652-9093, or, Ontario Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

To report other violations, or for emergencies, call: Koochiching County Sheriff: 218-283-4416, or, Lake of the Woods County Sheriff: 218-634-1143

For information on Rainy River spring fishing: Baudette Area Fisheries Office: 218-395-6040
International Falls Area Fisheries Office: 218-598-8190

For customs and border protection, call: International Falls Port of Entry: (218) 283-2541
Canada Border Services: (807) 274-3655

For information on lodging and other accommodations, please contact:
Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau
218-634-1174 or toll free; 800-382-3474
Email: info@lakeofthewoodsmn.com Web site: https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com

International Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau
1-800-FALLS-MN; 1-800-325-5766
Email: cvb@rainylake.org Web site: www.rainylake.org

Rainy River boat access areas administered by Koochiching County, City of Baudette, and Minnesota DNRRainy River

The Site Manager may be on duty to ensure that activities occur as safely and efficiently as possible during periods of high use. Do not park on State Highway #11.

Wheeler’s Point Access

This access, with a boat dock and triple ramp, is located 12 miles north of Baudette on State Highway 172, near the mouth of the Rainy River. No camping is allowed.

Baudette Access in Timbermill Park

A boat access, with a double ramp, is located near the City Park, located on the east edge of Baudette. No camping is allowed at the access. Camping is allowed in authorized areas of the City Park.

Vidas Access

This access with a double ramp is located 1.5 miles east of Clementson at the end of Koochiching County Road UT 392. Signs have been installed to direct traffic and reduce congestion. Parking is allowed on both sides of UT 392. No camping is allowed from March 15 through April 14.

Birchdale Boat RampFrontier Access

This access with a single ramp is located approximately 17 miles east of Baudette along State Highway 11. No parking is allowed along Highway 11. Parking is restricted along Koochiching County Highway 4. No camping is allowed from March 15 through April 14.

Nelson Park – Birchdale

This access with a double ramp is north of Birchdale on Koochiching County Road UT 118, which runs from State Highway 11 to Nelson Park. Parking is allowed on the east side of UT 118. Camping is allowed in designated areas.

Upper Sault Access (near Franze Jevne Park)

This access with a single ramp is located at the end of Koochiching County Road 85, just east of Birchdale. This ramp is best suited to small boats. No camping is allowed.

Manitou Rapids Access

This site has a primitive boat access, and ample shore fishing areas. The access is appropriate for boats that can be carried-in, or for boats that can be transported on the marked trail with an ATV. The site is located approximately 34 miles east of Baudette on Highway 11, or about ½ mile west of the Indus School. There is parking available. No camping is allowed.

Black River Access at Loman

This access is in the City of Loman, on the Black River. The Black River is often still frozen during this period and will not be accessible to boats until it opens each spring. Camping is available in authorized areas of this park.

Reedy Flats Access

This access is located on the south side of State Highway #11, along the Bigfork River. The Bigfork River is often still frozen during this period and will not be accessible to boats until it opens each spring. No camping is allowed from March 1 through the second Thursday in May.

Kuttes Landing

This access is located just east of the junction of Highway 71 and Highway 11 at Pelland. No camping is allowed.

Ron Hall Memorial Access (Shorewood Ramp)

This access is located on Shorewood Drive in International Falls. There is parking available across the street from the access. No camping is allowed.


Info on the Rainy River

Info about the Lake of the Woods Area



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