Mille Lacs Annual Walleye Quota Surpassed
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says a recent estimate of the Mille Lacs Lake walleye harvest indicates anglers have surpassed this year’s walleye quota.
A similar announcement last summer was followed by an early and to the walleye fishing season on the popular Minnesota Lake, but this year the DNR says the catch-and-release season will continue. DNR officials say the catch-and-release regulations have been successful in conserving the Mille Lacs Lake’s future spawning population of walleye.
“Based on the data we’ve seen so far this year, keeping the season open will have minimal additional impact on the walleye population,” Pereira said. “The primary goal of the catch-and-release restriction is protecting young walleye, especially the robust 2013 year class. Current data show that only 1 percent of the 2013 fish have been impacted by hooking mortality, which is remarkably low.”
At the end of June, state-licensed angler harvest was estimated at only 6,950 pounds. But due to increased angler activity, warm water temperatures and high catch rates, the estimated harvest increased rapidly in July, putting the most recent creel estimate at 37,922 pounds.
The 2016 walleye harvest allocation is 40,000 pounds. 28,600 pounds of that amount went to state licensed anglers, while the remaining 11,400 pounds was reserved for tribal fishing. At last report, the tribal anglers had not taken their entire allocation.