The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has published its fisheries management plan for Leech Lake for 2011-2015. It’s available online at www.mndnr.gov/leechlake. Some of the key points in the plan are highlighted here:
- Annual assessments, including gill netting, trawling, electrofishing, seining, and water chemistry. Conduct creel surveys 2 of 6 years. The next scheduled surveys are 2010-2011 and 2016-2017.
- Formally review the current special walleye regulation during 2010, with any potential changes effective in spring 2011. Currently, there’s an 18- to 26-inch protected slot limit on Leech Lake walleyes, with a bag limit of four fish and a provision to keep one walleye longer than 26 inches. That provision is currently under review, but public comment favored keeping that slot limit, said Doug Schultz, DNR large lake specialist at Walker.
- Continue to improve upon age-0 predictors of potential walleye year class strength.
- Continue to support the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Division of Resource Management financially and technically with double-crested cormorant control and evaluation efforts on Leech Lake.
- Complete on-going muskellunge genetic mark-recapture population estimate study as planned.
Stocking & related activities
- Stock Boy River strain walleye fry as follows: 22 million in 2011; 7.5 million in 2012; 7.5 million in 2013; 22 million in 2014; Open in 2015. “Open” includes the potential for a blank (zero fry stocked) to evaluate the capacity for natural reproduction, 7.5 million, or 22 million. Cutfoot strain walleye fry will be used to backfill a shortage from the Boy River run if necessary.
- Continue to conduct muskellunge spawn take every four years based on statewide needs to maintain genetic diversity in brood stock lakes; return 600 muskellunge fingerlings to Leech Lake during spawn take years.