Mille Lacs Lake To Close Walleye Fishing Starting September 6th
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will close Friday, Sept. 6 so state anglers do not exceed a safe walleye harvest level. Starting Sept. 6 at 12:01 a.m., anglers will not be able to target walleye when fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.
High angling pressure and catch rates in July and August when water temperatures were at their warmest increased hooking mortality, resulting in a larger-than-expected walleye kill. Hooking mortality, which is more likely as water temperatures warm, occurs when a fish is caught and returned to the water but dies anyway.
“We’re glad anglers had the opportunity to harvest walleye in May and fish for walleye through much of the open water season, because angling pressure and walleye catch rates were high, the coming closure is necessary to stay within established limits,” said fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Brad Parsons.
The state of Minnesota and Ojibwe tribal authorities with fishing rights on Mille Lacs agreed on a 2019 safe harvest level of 87,800 pounds for state anglers and 62,200 pounds for tribal fishing.
“Mille Lacs Lake walleye regulations allowed some harvest this year but it’s still important to proceed with caution to ensure continued recovery of the lake’s walleye,” said Parsons.
Anglers may still fish for other species and use live bait. Walleye regulations for the winter of 2019-2020 on Mille Lacs Lake will be announced in November after data from fall walleye assessments are available. Winter regulations become effective on Sunday, Dec. 1.