Officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have put in place a strict catch-and-release fishing season this year for walleye in Lake Mille Lacs. The move is meant to help walleye populations recover after they have struggled there for some time.
The rules will stay in place for the most of 2016. During that time, state natural resources managers are also requiring that anglers only use fake bait when fishing for walleye. Using live bait is prohibited because walleye tend to have a higher mortality rate when they’re caught using it.
The limits are in place from May 14 through December 1, and are a compromise allowing some walleye fishing so that surrounding businesses don’t suffer. For Northern pike and muskie fishermen, they can use sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. All other anglers can’t use any other bait that is live, dead or frozen.
Officials with the DNR and business owners around the lake are satisfied with the rule change. It is enough to protect walleye while also making it possible for anglers to continue enjoying what Lake Mille Lacs has to offer.