Open Water Anglers Will Be Able To Keep “Some” Walleyes This Spring

It’s been a long time coming, but anglers on Lake Mille Lacs will have an opportunity to keep some walleye during the open-water fishing season this year, the MN DNR said in a news release Thursday, Feb. 14.

We’ve had several seasons of catch-and-release fishing on the lake. But last year, state anglers stayed well under the lake’s safe-harvest allocation for walleyes, the DNR said. So, with an improving walleye population, the DNR will allow some walleye harvest when the season opens Saturday, May 11. That number will be announced in mid-March with the Mille Lacs walleye regulations for the upcoming season.

“We’re happy to announce that, with some very conservative fishing regulations over the past three years, walleye are now at a level where we can cautiously allow anglers to start keeping some fish during the open-water season,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen

Mille Lacs Band DNR Commissioner Bradley Harrington said, “The upward trend of the walleye population reflects the conservation efforts of both the state of Minnesota and the Ojibwe tribes with harvest rights in Mille Lacs.”

In addition the DNR is considering allowing the walleye harvest during the cool-water periods in the spring and fall. The agency is exploring a variety of regulation options, and will be discussing the alternatives with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee, a group of local businesses, fishing experts and community leaders that help advise the agency on Mille Lacs fishing regulations and other issues. All in all I think this is great news for Mille Lacs and the businesses around it.