You'll be able to keep 1 walleye when fishing on Mille Lacs this winter

This is likely welcomed news after a catch-and-release summer.

There's some good news for people who want to actually keep the fish they catch on Mille Lacs Lake. 

Anglers will be allowed to keep one walleye they catch on Mille Lacs Lake during the winter ice fishing season, which begins Dec. 1, the Minnesota DNR announced Friday

There are no bait restrictions, but you'll be limited to a single walleye that's 20-22 inches or longer than 28 inches. 

Last winter, anglers were allowed one walleye that was 19-21 inches or longer than 28 inches. But over the summer, it was catch-and-release only on the popular fishing lake due to the fact that anglers caught more walleye than expected during the ice fishing season. 

Officials have limited fishing on Mille Lacs in recent years in hopes of boosting the lake's declining walleye population, which they think is partly caused by younger walleye not surviving into their third year. The size restrictions are aimed at helping keep the younger walleye that are still spawning in the lake, while allowing anglers to catch and keep the larger and older fish. 

“We’re glad results of fall population survey show Mille Lacs anglers will be able to keep some walleye during the winter walleye season,” Don Pereira of the DNR said in a news release. “We know this is important to resorts and businesses because the ice fishing season contributes a lot to the local economy.”

You can learn more about Mille Lacs walleye regulations on the DNR's website here

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