Field Reports: DNR to relax Mille Lacs fishing regulations

Effective Thursday, anglers who fish for walleye on Lake Mille Lacs can keep larger walleyes when a new midseason regulation takes effect, according to a Minnesota Department of the Natural Resources news release.

Effective Thursday, anglers who fish for walleye on Lake Mille Lacs can keep larger walleyes when a new midseason regulation takes effect, according to a Minnesota Department of the Natural Resources news release.

The new regulation will require anglers to immediately release all walleye 20-28 inches in length. Currently, anglers must immediately release all walleye 18-28 inches.

The daily limit of four walleyes on Mille Lacs remains in effect. Only one of the four walleyes an angler may keep can be longer than 28 inches.

The DNR broadened the harvest opportunity because angler harvest and hooking mortality is below the threshold necessary to maintain the current and more protective slot limit. As of

June 30, angler harvest of walleyes was less than half of the state's annual allocation of 411,500 pounds.


This year, the DNR instituted a policy on a trial basis that calls for relaxing the walleye regulation when harvest and hooking mortality is low, restricting the regulation when the harvest and hooking mortality is high, and keeping the regulation the same when the harvest is not significantly high or low.

The walleye size limit will revert back to the 18-28 inch protected slot limit on Dec. 1 for the winter angling season.

'Geriatric' geese recaptured

Wildife biologists with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources captured two relatively old Canada geese during a banding operation July 1 on Tamarack Lake south of Wright. The geese, both females, originally had been neck-collared with band numbers in 1998 and 1999, said Rich Staffon, DNR area wildlife manager at Cloquet.

"So, they were 11 and 12 years old," Staffon said. "They're definitely geriatric geese."

Canada geese can live to be 15 or 20 in the wild, Staffon said, but it's uncommon. These geese were originally captured as juveniles in the Twin Cities metro area and released on the Tamarack River two miles east of Wright. The transplanting was part of an effort by a now disbanded group called Geese Unlimited to reduce goose populations in the Twin Cities by relocating the birds to northern Minnesota.

Most of those relocated geese had disappeared three to five years after they were released, Staffon said. The DNR has been capturing and banding geese during their summer molting period, when they're flightless, since 2002.

"This is the first time I recall getting any neck-collared geese," Staffon said.


Neck collars are used in banding because the numbers are larger and can be read by someone using binoculars.

It's likely these geese have had broods through much of their lives, Staffon said. They were captured with many juvenile geese this summer, and it's likely some of those young were part of their broods.

Anyone seeing a neck-collared goose or coming across a leg-banded goose can call a migratory bird lab in Maryland at (800) 327-2263 to report the band and receive information about where and when it was banded.

Local anglers third in muskie tournament

Brian Johnson of Superior and Jesse Appleby of Duluth took third place in the Professional Musky Tournament Trail tournament held June 26-27 on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes at Eagle River, Wis. They caught three muskies -- 37 inches, 37 inches and 40½ inches -- and won $2,600. A total of 91 teams competed in the event.

Muskies Inc. to take vets fishing

The Lake Superior Chapter of Muskies Inc. will hold its second annual "Take a Veteran Muskie Fishing" from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 24 on the St. Louis River, with headquarters at the Park Point landing. Limited openings for veterans remain.

Contact Becca Krause at (218) 878-0173 or email: ; Terry DeMenge at (218) 879-2912 or email ; or Dustin Carlson at (218) 464-2379.


Wisconsin feral pigs must be licensed

Under a new Wisconsin rule that took effect July 1, residents must have a license to possess wolf-dog hybrids, feral or wild swine, and mute swans in captivity. Also as of that date, it became illegal to release any of these species into the wild and such releases can result in penalties of up to $1,142, as well as restitution costs for any damage caused by these animals, according to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources news release.

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