Last call for walleye: Mille Lacs season ends Monday night


Minnesota's most popular walleye fishing lake will see this summer's walleye season come to an abrupt end on Monday night.

The Department of Natural Resources announced Sunday that anglers on Mille Lacs Lake have already exceeded the state's walleye allotment for the year and fishing for that species will close at 10 p.m. Monday.

The DNR said in July that an early end to walleye fishing on Mille Lacs was drawing near.

Fishing for northern pike, smallmouth bass, muskellunge and other species remains open. The DNR says special regulations will allow anglers to keep more northern and bass.

The walleye population on Mille Lacs has been shrinking for several years, and the DNR says it's at its lowest level in three decades. That's why the agency has tightened restrictions on walleye fishing at the central Minnesota lake.

The DNR and the eight Ojibwe bands that fish Mille Lacs agreed that 40,000 pounds would be a safe walleye harvest for 2015. The state's share of the total was set at 28,600 pounds, and the DNR says that number has now been surpassed by more than 2,000 pounds.

The Mille Lacs band of Ojibwe said Friday it will suspend gill netting of walleye in 2016 to help the fish's numbers rebound.

That announcement came during a public meeting Gov. Mark Dayton held with local business owners in the Mille Lacs area, where walleye fishing is the engine that drives the economy.

Resort owners said they are already getting cancellations for August,

" target="_blank">the Pioneer Press reported.

Gov. Dayton says he wants to call lawmakers back to St. Paul for a special session to provide economic help to Mille Lacs area businesses.

The DNR said in its Sunday announcement that such aid could include no-interest loans, property tax abatements and more money for tourism promotions. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr got that promotion started by reminding anglers that Mille Lacs is a good place to catch northern and bass.

Studies are underway to determine the causes behind the declining walleye population in Mille Lacs. The DNR says it's encouraged by the strong population of walleye that hatched in 2013, which are now 10 to 13 inches long.

Next Up

Danielle Hunter

Report: Danielle Hunter will attend mandatory minicamp

The big question is if he and the Vikings have worked out a new contract.

enbridge energy line 3

MN appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

The decision is a blow to Tribal leaders and environmentalists fighting the project.

Pixabay - police crime tape do not cross stock

Update: Standoff with barricaded suspect in Cannon Falls ends

The man had entered a multi-family building and stopped communicating.

1200 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 2019

Victim of shooting outside funeral in Minneapolis identified

Dontevius Ahmad Catchings was shot outside the Shiloh Temple, where a funeral for one of the victims of a May shooting was taking place.

Screen Shot 2021-06-14 at 8.45.06 AM

Loved ones identify woman killed in Uptown as Deona Marie Knajdek

She was among the protestors Sunday night when a motorist drove through the crowd.

hutchinson health hospital

Hutchinson Hospital forgives $184K in medical debt following settlement

The AG's office accused the nonprofit hospital of violating a regulatory agreement.


Chaska man seriously injured in waterskiing accident

The 24-year-old was airlifted to a hospital.

Flickr - beach water

9-year-old dies after drowning in Carver Lake in Woodbury

The incident follows a string of drownings in Minnesota over the weekend.

3001 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - August 2017

Owner closes JUUT in Uptown, cites 'escalating crime and violence'

JUUT is closed after 35 years at the Hennepin and Lake Street location.


Walleye fishing season to end early on Mille Lacs

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