It may not be quite what anglers were hoping for, but it is progress.
Anglers who want to keep walleye from Lake Mille Lacs will have that opportunity for the month of May. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced a one fish limit between 21 and 23 inches from May 11th until May 31st. It’s the first time anglers will be able to keep a walleye during the open water season since 2015. Starting on June 1st, regulations switch to a catch-and-release. There will also be a night closure for walleye on Mille Lacs from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. According to the DNR, May harvest is possible because of an improving walleye population and cooler water temperatures in May will lower the hook mortality rates.
“It’s good news that anglers get to keep some walleye this May, but we are being cautious,” said Brad Parsons, DNR fisheries chief. “These regulations represent a careful balance between expanding fishing opportunities and conserving the fishery for the future.”
For those who choose to target other species on Mille Lacs:
Anglers will be able to keep five northern pike this summer except for a protected slot of between 30 and 40 inches with only one fish over 40 inches allowed. A three-fish bag limit will be allowed for largemouth and smallmouth bass starting May 25th. Bass between 17 and 21 inches must be released and only one bass over 21 inches can be kept. New statewide regulations mean anglers must release all smallmouth bass starting September 9th through February 23rd, 2020.