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Harvest slot relaxed for fall walleye fishing on Mille Lacs

  • Jon Jordan
    Keymaster
    St. Paul, Mn
    Posts: 4420
    #2141659

    News release: Harvest slot relaxed for fall walleye fishing on Mille Lacs
    August 15, 2022

    Mille Lacs Lake walleye anglers will see a relaxed harvest slot for walleye fishing beginning Thursday, Sept. 1.

    As announced in March of this year, the one-fish walleye limit will resume on Mille Lacs on Sept. 1. In an expansion of the harvest slot, anglers will be able to harvest one walleye 20-23 inches or one longer than 26 inches, with fishing allowed from 6 a.m. to midnight. The original walleye harvest slot for fall fishing on Mille Lacs this year was one fish 21-23 inches or one longer than 28 inches.

    “Given the current size structure of Mille Lacs’ walleye population, this regulation change will meaningfully increase the amount of walleye available for anglers to harvest,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Catch rates may not improve this season, but there will be a better chance to keep a fish.”

    The recent lower catch rate of walleye in Mille Lacs Lake is less a reflection of the number of walleye in the lake than it is how hungry those fish are. The number of walleye longer than 14 inches has been similar each year from 2020 to 2022. But an abundance of yellow perch from a strong 2020 year class has created more natural food for walleye, which consequently are not as willing to bite on anglers’ baits.

    Each year, the state and the eight Ojibwe bands that have treaty fishing rights on Lake Mille Lacs establish a safe harvest level for walleye in Mille Lacs Lake. That total is split between the state and bands.

    The DNR sets regulations to keep the harvest within the state’s share based on projections using recent data. If actual conditions differ substantially from the projections, the number of walleye taken can be lower or higher than expected.

    “We’re seeing that this year,” Parsons said. “With actual state angler catch rates and harvest significantly lower than expected, we’re adjusting the regulation to provide more opportunity without significant risk to the long-term sustainability of Mille Lacs’ walleye population.”

    Regulations for all other species remain unchanged. Walleye regulations for the winter season, which begins Thursday, Dec. 1, will be announced in November.

    Information explaining DNR fisheries management and research, citizen engagement and Mille Lacs area recreation opportunities is available on the DNR website.

    https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/news/2022/08/15/harvest-slot-relaxed-fall-walleye-fishing-mille-lacs

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7965
    #2141660

    A while back I posted how dumb it was to have the July 1-15 closure and I wasn’t sure if they could alter that. Well, clearly, this demonstrates that they can alter it because they have.

    Not sure about the part of keeping a 26+ incher though. Are people really trying to keep a 27 inch walleye to eat it? I always thought the smaller ones were better eating.

    Good to see that people will be able to at least fish part of the night in the fall too.

    Deuces
    Participant
    Posts: 3683
    #2141663

    We always keep our “overs” on Leech, and they are just as delicious as the small ones. I just cut them into comparable sizes to the smaller ones for cooking purposes. They make great fish patties to with the bigger flakes.

    Angler II
    Participant
    Posts: 490
    #2141664

    We always keep our “overs” on Leech, and they are just as delicious as the small ones. I just cut them into comparable sizes to the smaller ones for cooking purposes. They make great fish patties to with the bigger flakes.

    We do this one Winnie as well. A couple 24″ fish equates to about 8-16″ fish.

    This is a step in the right direction for mille lacs. First time i’ve said that in years..

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 3289
    #2141668

    Wow, a little bit of good news for a change! Thanks Jon

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 2507
    #2141670

    Wow did not see that coming thanks for posting it Jon.

    ganderpike
    Participant
    Alexandria
    Posts: 513
    #2141671

    Yeah big fish not eating well is more a reflection of fish handling practices after they hit the cooler. Erie guys laugh at us for being apologists to big fish. Apples to oranges, but there really is not much of a difference if you bleed then ice.

    I haven’t been on the big pond in a few years, may have to do some October full moon trolling out there.

    bigcrappie
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 3076
    #2141675

    Like Christmas in September. lol

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5873
    #2141676

    A while back I posted how dumb it was to have the July 1-15 closure and I wasn’t sure if they could alter that. Well, clearly, this demonstrates that they can alter it because they have.

    Not sure about the part of keeping a 26+ incher though. Are people really trying to keep a 27 inch walleye to eat it? I always thought the smaller ones were better eating.

    Good to see that people will be able to at least fish part of the night in the fall too.

    There will be very little if any fish harvested over 26. There are not many in the lake right now. We are at 13k lbs as of last survey. This change will not even get the number to 1/3 of the harvest.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7965
    #2141677

    There will be very little if any fish harvested over 26. There are not many in the lake right now. These regs will not stay this way through winter.

    No, I didn’t expect there was either. You were right back in June. I questioned whether the DNR had the authority to change these regs on the fly. This demonstrates that they do.

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 2507
    #2141678

    There will be very little if any fish harvested over 26. There are not many in the lake right now. These regs will not stay this way through winter.

    Rip is unfortunately correct. Still might get me out there more this fall.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5873
    #2141680

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Ripjiggen wrote:</div>
    There will be very little if any fish harvested over 26. There are not many in the lake right now. These regs will not stay this way through winter.

    No, I didn’t expect there was either. You were right back in June. I questioned whether the DNR had the authority to change these regs on the fly. This demonstrates that they do.

    Yea makes there July closure look even more dumb.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7965
    #2141681

    Yea makes there July closure look even more dumb.

    I agree

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5873
    #2141687

    The fish and pole people will have given back about 100k lbs the last three seasons. About 140k in the last 5. Let that sink in.

    rjthehunter
    Participant
    Brainerd
    Posts: 1103
    #2141693

    Cool, they relaxed the regs, now we can keep 1 fish 20-23 instead of 21-23… How thoughtful of them!

    Shame to see such a fertile lake being ruined.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5873
    #2141697

    Cool, they relaxed the regs, now we can keep 1 fish 20-23 instead of 21-23… How thoughtful of them!

    Shame to see such a fertile lake being ruined.

    Shh it’s an election year. whistling

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 7022
    #2141699

    “The peasants will beg for crumbs, and thank us for them!” Sarah Strommen to Warden Walz….probably. moon rotflol jester

    John Rasmussen
    Participant
    Blaine
    Posts: 2507
    #2141714

    The fish and pole people will have given back about 100k lbs the last three seasons. About 140k in the last 5. Let that sink in.

    I was literally just having that conversation with a coworker that has a cabin on it. I was unsure of the weight but said it had to be thousands and thousands. Just sad really.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5873
    #2141728

    That info can be found on the DNR website. If you are curious.

    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 7965
    #2141731

    I have to wonder why they don’t just open it up all night starting Sept 1? Muskie anglers can be out there all night, seems to me that walleye anglers trolling cranks certainly should be too.

    Ripjiggen
    Participant
    Posts: 5873
    #2141743

    Because they might exceed the harvest number.:???: coffee

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