We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

DNR relaxes walleye harvest slot on Mille Lacs Lake

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.

Angler holds a walleye close up to the camera
In this file photo, a Minnesota angler holds a walleye before releasing it on Mille Lacs Lake.
Forum News Service file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

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

As announced by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in March of this year, the one-fish walleye limit will resume on Mille Lacs Lake 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 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, in a news release. “Catch rates may not improve this season, but there will be a better chance to keep a fish.”

Read more
On the St. Louis River Estuary, diehard angler Pam Zylka catches everything from sturgeon and walleye to drum and bass.
Getting vaccinated was never an issue in my world, but many people – some friends included – didn’t share that view. The topic became the elephant in the room on more than one occasion.
Her father, Capt. Pat Znajda, and grandfather, Ted Znajda, both preceded her as Minnesota DNR conservation officers.
Retired teacher Larry Weber, a Barnum resident, is the author of several books, including “Butterflies of the North Woods,” “Spiders of the North Woods,” “Webwood” and “In a Patch of Goldenrods.” Contact him via Katie Rohman at krohman@duluthnews.com.
Lake trout are off-limits in October, but the Gitch still offers browns, splake and more in Chequameogn Bay.
The DNR says about 972 wolves roamed the state in January, down from 1,150 in 2021.
Some of us will end up having a very mild and pleasant fall weekend while other parts of the Northern Plains will deal with cooler afternoons and periods of showers.
Editor’s note: Some events may have been canceled after the time of publication. Please check with local organizers. Email events to outdoors@duluthnews.com.
The event celebrated the opening of the St. Louis River Estuary National Water Trail.
Breann Zietz of Minot said she was hunting in a ground blind when a curious cow moose walked in from downwind for a closer look.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of Sept. 26.
All regions are still below average for the number of duck hunting wetlands observed, but the northwest (up 102%) and north central (up 51%) showed the greatest improvement from last year.
Ample wild food in the woods for sows should mean healthy cubs born this winter.
The county won't allow new or expanded deer farms to guard against chronic wasting disease.
Weather, duck numbers and hunter success varied by region across the state.
The U.S. Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy are researching how restored bogs help slow climate change.
The Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $25, raises approximately $40 million in sales each year. Funds from stamp sales support critical conservation to protect wetland habitats in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Members Only
Tony and Kathy Mommsen pedaled and paddled through Grand Forks in early September 2021 on the first leg of their adventure.
Members Only
“Nobody has done it solo that I’m aware of – male or female,” Eklund said. “So I’m the first one. And as far as kayaks go, I don’t think anybody’s done it in a kayak.”
'Be prepared' was good advice for Boy Scouts. It also works for adults.
Hometown Heroes Outdoors has offered nearly 2,200 outdoor excursions — all of them free — to more than 3,000 people in 26 states.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's July brood count survey tallied a 36% increase in duck broods from last year, an estimate 5% higher than the 1965-2021 average.
Retired teacher Larry Weber, a Barnum resident, is the author of several books, including “Butterflies of the North Woods,” “Spiders of the North Woods,” “Webwood” and “In a Patch of Goldenrods.” Contact him via Katie Rohman at krohman@duluthnews.com.
Recent rain has brought trout into Lake Superior tributary streams.
Showers will move across the region Friday with showers lingering for parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin on Saturday.
Editor’s note: Some events may have been canceled after the time of publication. Please check with local organizers. Email events to outdoors@duluthnews.com.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of Sept. 19.
The bald eagle is on the mend at a Spooner raptor hospital.
An eight-legged camp visitor wowed us with its engineering prowess.
Minnesota’s waterfowl season opens Sept. 24 with no sign of the once-storied duck's return to the state.

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 DNR stated. 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 with treaty fishing rights on Mille Lacs Lake establish a safe harvest level for walleye. That total is split between the state and bands.

ADVERTISEMENT

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 at mndnr.gov/MilleLacsLake .

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at www.brainerddispatch.com. News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
What to read next
Reporter Teri Cadeau crossed the Thomas Rukavina Memorial Bridge on the Mesabi Trail.