Fishing on the Cannon River

I counted three dozen people fishing from the west side of Riverwalk on Sunday. (Click photo to enlarge.)

Is the fishing getting better on the Cannon? What’s being caught besides bullheads are carp? Are the fish safe to eat?

(FYI, the NDDC hosted a forum on the Cannon River yesterday morning. Ross blogged it at Experts Discuss Dam Possibilities but I didn’t attend so I could ask my fishing questions.)


  1. Skip Zimmerman said:

    According to the DNR/Department of Health sites below, there is some concern around Mercury contamination for men, women not planning to be pregnant, and the general population over 15 years old who are eating white suckers, redhorse suckers and walleye under 20 inches, caught in the Cannon River between Faribault and Northfield. Everything else seems to be okay.

    For pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and children under 15, the risks are greater, and carp also join the list of concern. The contamination levels do not appear to be high on the DNR/Department of Healths scale, but extant and perhaps moderate nonetheless.

    There does not appear to be any concern around PCB contamination, which is the other chemical for which the DNR/Department of Health tests. I can’t speak to what else is in the river or its fish, but would counsel caution. Runoff from the multiple non-organic farms along the Cannon’s banks and those of its tributaries scares me enough to consider only a catch-and-release approach to local fishing. And…if it’s not clean enough to support a healthy trout population (nope, not the Cannon!), then I’m probably not even likely to fish it anyway.

    You can see the DNR/Department of Health reports on the Cannon and other rivers at the following links:

    May 7, 2008
  2. I just this minute found my entry into the Cannon River poetry contest of 2002, I think. The only eyes which have seen this besides me and my dh,
    are the people at River City Books who were accepting the entries.

    The Cannon River-Every Ounce Counts

    It’s not too syrupy,
    We cannot bounce upon it
    It changes a lot when
    The ducks all pounce upon it

    It’s kinda like a skirt
    When you look from the sky
    Like the land has a pretty
    Little flounce around it

    Though it’s really just a stream
    We cannot renounce the steam
    It’s purely water to keep clean
    As we like to announce about it.

    Needless to say, I didn’t win the contest. A lady won who had a lovely story about generations of her family living around the river and the many memories associated with it. Sorry to have forgotten her name. Maybe someone around here knows.

    May 31, 2008
  3. malcolm watt said:

    well this is an old post but i thought id resurect it!

    ive been fishing these shores since they were dirt and junk cars in the 1970’s, and the fishing comes and goes as often as the waters height.

    this year ive become reaquainted with the walls and pools due to my son’s newfound love of fishing.

    he’s an inquesitive and fearless angler already baiting and reomoving fish from his line!

    his sister is mostly content with the bait, bringing us worms and leaches.

    so far this year we’ve run the Cannon gambit,

    smallmouth bass
    rock bass
    blue gill
    northern pike
    sheep head or “drum”
    flathead catfish

    and for the first time ever “bowfin” or better known dog fish

    between the three of us we have caught at least one of each!

    the fish and activity are as usual dependent on the waters height.

    spring run off cool water good fishing for almost all species.

    summer low water is for most anglers all about the carp and bullheads.

    but this summers heavy rains and the woolen mills no longer using
    water for the mill have led to a unusualy high water and increadably good multi species fishing!

    i also think the new bridge at waterford or the “old steel bridge”
    has made some much needed structure and flow!

    anyway thats just my two cents, or two “dollers”


    July 18, 2010

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