May 19, 2014 | By: Lakeland PBS

DNR Encourages Keeping More Bass and Pikes

Two Walleye… Go Fish.
This season Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources is are encouraging fishermen to harvest other fish to help grow walleye population. The DNR is letting anglers keep 6 bass and 10 northerns opposed to only 2 walleye.
Aitkin Area Fishery Supervisor, Rick Bruesewitz, “We wanted to give anglers an alternative opportunity for harvesting some fish and that just makes them available.”
The DNR says the limits on walleye are to help protect the juvenile fish to create a sustainable walleye population for better future fishing seasons.
Bruesewitz says, “Right now we’re protecting that are going to be moving into that spawning stock in the near future. And that’s the main thing that we’re doing right now is protecting those smaller fish so they have an opportunity to get larger and enter the spawning stock.”
Dan Eigen, Walleye Dan, says, “It will come back and it’ll be a phenomenal Walleye fishery again. I totally believe that. Will it be in three years, could it be in two years? It’s gonna happen within the next 5 years it’ll be really good again.
Part of the DNR’s campaign is reminding fisherman if they’re looking for more excitement, they’ll find bass tend to put up more of a fight.
Walleye Dan says “When people want action there’s really no better fish to catch than a smallmouth bass. And Mille Lacs is loaded with them. And it’s an absolute blast when that bite is on. And it’s usually on, because smallmouth eat a lot.”
Kari Hough says, “When the walleyes are done biting because the water is too warm the bass are just getting going the best. That’s in late July and August.
Some of the local businesses are hoping to see more bass and northerns anglers come to fish, but they’re getting ready for a potentially slow year.
Hough says, “It might work I know it’ll definitely work for the northerns, because a lot of people keep the northerns. That’s what they want are the northerns. And we have a ton of them in the lake right now.”
The DNR says last year Mille Lac’s anglers caught over 70 thousand bass but only kept about two percent of them.

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