Skip to main content

DNR changes its mind: You can use live bait on Mille Lacs this year

  • Author:
  • Updated:

After much feedback, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reversing its live bait ban on Mille Lacs Lake for this year.

The announcement came after a pro-and-con discussion regarding the ban between the Mille Lacs Fisheries advisory committee and the DNR, the agency announced Thursday.

“The DNR is hearing that anglers are accepting of the catch-and-release aspect of the walleye season, but members of the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee heard clear concerns about the live bait restriction, as did the DNR," Don Pereira, fisheries section chief for the DNR, said in the release.

Those concerns included the difficult for anglers to adapt to artificial bait, and discouraging young anglers. Furthermore, bobber fishing with live bait is a tradition on the lake.

"We have had reasonable discussions with the DNR and they have changed the regulations to make them more appealing to a wider range of anglers, while still protecting the resource," said Johnsons Portside – a local bait, liquor and convenience store – in a Facebook post. "This discussion and resolution shows that we are all determined, first and foremost, to increase the walleye populations in Mille Lacs, while still providing the best recreational opportunities on Mille Lacs for families, children, and fishermen with a wide range of experience."

The DNR announced fishing regulations for Mille Lacs Lake last month. They were the strictest rules ever imposed on the lake, but were meant to avoid having to shut down the walleye season halfway through the year – like what happened last year.

The other regulations remain in place, including the catch-and-release regulation for walleye. Check out the other rules for this season here.

The DNR’s strict management plan comes after after years of a declining walleye population in the lake.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

2 women stabbed during parking lot brawl in St. Cloud

Police are searching for another woman in connection with the attack.

Screen Shot 2022-07-04 at 10.02.43 AM

One killed in St. Paul house fire

Two firefighters were injured as they battled the blaze.


Minneapolis: Stop calling 911 for fireworks noise complaints

The city wants people to submit complaints online instead.

American flag at half-staff/half mast.

What's open and closed in Minnesota on the Fourth of July

Grocery stores are open, though some have limited hours.


18-year-old killed by exploding firework in Brooklyn Park

Police arrived at the scene to see the victim's friend performing CPR.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 9.31.25 PM

Boy found in Brooklyn Park is reunited with parents

The boy was found shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

police tape, crime scene

1 dead, 1 arrested after shooting involving teens in Duluth

A 17-year-old was arrested around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Neither the victim nor the suspect has been identified.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 1.03.19 PM

NASCAR driver joins MN boy in reclaiming 'Let's go Brandon' slogan

Brandon Brundidge gained recognition when his mother shared the story of how he found inspiration in "Let's go Brandon" signs.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 10.20.27 AM

White supremacist propaganda flyers distributed in Cottage Grove

The department said the flyers have been left in driveways throughout the city.

Screen Shot 2022-07-04 at 7.18.23 AM

Search for 6-year-old girl continues after mother found dead in Northfield

"Police have reason to believe Wade may have been involved in Elle's disappearance before taking her own life."

Pixabay - jet skis resting

Jet skier injured in explosion on Minnesota lake

The explosion happened on Little Lake 14 in St. Louis County.