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Minn. DNR tightens restrictions on Mille Lacs walleye

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Due to a declining walleye population in Mille Lacs Lake, the Minnesota Department of Natural resources is limiting the number of walleye anglers can take this season to two--half as many allowed last year.

The new regulations adjust the harvest slot between 18 and 20 inches, the Star Tribune reports. One walleye in the two-fish limit can be larger that 28 inches.

Last season all walleye from 17 to 28 inches had to be released, the Associated Press says.

Last October, walleye numbers in Mille Lacs fell to their lowest level in 40 years.

"We are committed to remedying the situation as quickly as possible through regulations that are designed to increase survival of the lake’s younger and smaller walleye,” Dirk Peterson, DNR fisheries chief, tells the Star Tribune.

However, the state loosened regulations for northerns and smallmouth bass.

The protected slot narrowed to 33 and 40 inches for northerns. The limit is three, allowing one longer than 40 inches.

The smallmouth bass protected slot will be 17 to 20 inches and the possession limit is six, with only one longer than 20 inches allowed.

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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.