ST. PAUL (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is releasing muskie into the Gull Lake chain near Brainerd and the Fairmont chain of lakes in southern Minnesota this fall.

The muskellunge are being stocked as part of a plan to create new opportunities for muskie anglers around the state.

The DNR came up with a plan several years ago designed to balance an increased interest in muskie fishing with those opposed to muskie management and stocking.

Fisheries section chief Don Pereira says the DNR considered more than 1,800 public comments over the past two years. He says the majority of comments supported diversifying fisheries in the Gull Lake and Fairmont chain of lakes.

The DNR opted not to stock Big Marine Lake in Washington County and three lakes in Otter Tail County.