ST. PAUL (AP) - A major bass fishing tournament is heading to Mille Lacs Lake next year amid ongoing concerns about its walleye population.

The central Minnesota lake area's economy has been hit hard by the declining population and the state's decision to close walleye fishing season early this summer. Wildlife officials relaxed bass fishing catch-and-release rules on the lake in hopes of luring a tournament there.

The effort paid off this week. The 2016 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Tournament will be held at Mille Lacs Lake.

Bass Anglers Sportsman Society chief executive Bruce Akin credited the Department of Natural Resources in a statement Friday for reworking regulations to bring the tournament to Mille Lacs. Akin says the contest could bring more than $3 million in economic activity to the area.