Gov. Dayton went fishing on Mille Lacs, but not for walleye; hopes to boost tourism in the area

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Gov. Mark Dayton cast his line out on Mille Lacs Saturday, but he wasn't fishing for walleye due to an early end to the walleye season.

Anglers on Mille Lacs have exceeded the state’s walleye allotment for the year, causing the Department of Natural Resources to close fishing for that species last Monday.

Dayton's trip was to promote tourism and fishing on the popular lake as a reminder that northern pike, smallmouth bass, muskellunge and other species are still biting and are still legal for anglers to catch.

The DNR is promoting bass fish on Mille Lacs, and WCCO reports it's one of the top 10 bass fishing lakes in the nation. The DNR even loosened bass fishing restrictions this week, hoping to attract a national tournament.

Dayton's day included meeting with business owners and posing for photos.

Dayton wants to call a special legislative session and have lawmakers approve a $20 million aid package for businesses, WCCO reports.

A legislative work group met earlier in the week to brainstorm possible ways to help local businesses, but some lawmakers were cool to the idea of special assistance for the area.

Another proposal put forth by the DNR was to restock Mille Lacs with walleye, but the Star Tribune reports that idea was also met with a mixed response amid questions about whether it would be effective.

More information about fishing on Mille Lacs is available on the tourist website.

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