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Walleye fishing season to end early on Mille Lacs

The DNR says that the seasonal limit has nearly been reached.

Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will end on Friday, Sept. 6, the Minnesota DNR announced Monday.

The decision has been taken so that state anglers don't exceed the state walleye harvest level, which they are inching closer to because "angling pressure and walleye catch rates were high" this open water season.

Catch rates were particularly high in July and August thanks to warmer waters, which resulted in increased hooking mortality and a higher-than-expected walleye kill.

The limit this year is for 87,800 pounds of walleye for state anglers and 62,600 pounds for tribal fishing, as agreed between the DNR and the Ojibwe tribal authorities.

From 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 6, anglers won't be able to target walleye when fishing on Mille Lacs, though they can fish for other species and use live bait.

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The winter regulations for walleye fishing will be announced in November.

"Mille Lacs Lake walleye regulations allowed some harvest this year but it’s still important to proceed with caution to ensure continued recovery of the lake’s walleye,” said DNR fisheries chief Brad Parsons.

"The restrictive regulations we enacted in previous years protected young walleye, allowing the population to increase to a number not observed since before 2007. Continuing to manage the Mille Lacs walleye fishery for recovery will allow us to provide good angling opportunities in the future."

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