DNR hold on walleye fishing in Mille Lacs Lake ends Aug. 1

Beginning Aug. 1, anglers can again fish for walleyes with live bait at Mille Lacs Lake.
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Lake Mille Lacs

Mille Lacs Lake 

Minnesota anglers will soon be allowed fish for walleye with live bait on Mille Lacs Lake.

The Minnesota DNR imposed a shutdown for walleye fishing and restrictions on live bait for the month of July, a restriction it deemed necessary to ensure greater walleye numbers in the future, after last winter's record ice fishing season brought in almost 30,000 pounds of the state fish. 

The DNR says that July was selected for the closure because it's the month when warm water temperatures result in higher levels of hooking mortality in the fish.

Because a closure has already occurred, a second closure later in the season is less likely but still possible if the state reaches its portion of the safe harvest amount agreed on by Minnesota and eight Ojibwe nations with treaty fishing rights on Mille Lacs, according to the DNR. 

As of July 15, anglers had harvested 58,437 pounds of the state’s 87,800-pound walleye limit for the year. 

Catch-and-release walleye fishing is scheduled to continue through Monday, Nov. 30. More information is available at mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

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DNR tightens walleye size rules on Mille Lacs

Anglers fishing on Mille Lacs Lake this year can keep walleye less than 17 inches in length. That's a change from last year rules, which allowed anglers to keep walleye under 18 inches. The DNR expects the fishing to be good this year. "The winter bite was good. The open water bite should be very good, too," said fisheries chief Dirk Peterson.