Mille Lacs Residents Sue Minnesota DNR Over Walleye
ST. PAUL (AP) – A group of Mille Lacs Lake residents have sued the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources claiming the agency has mismanaged the lake’s struggling walleye population.
Attorney Erick Kaardal told reporters Thursday the DNR did not consider a state constitutional amendment on Minnesota’s fishing and hunting heritage when setting its walleye management plan for the lake, thus treating non-tribal members unfairly.
Mille Lacs area residents behind the lawsuit whose businesses rely on walleye anglers said rules allowing Ojibwe bands to spear and net walleye while they spawn have decimated the population.
Tight regulations have been imposed to limit the walleye harvest this year.
DNR spokesman Chris Niskanen says agency officials can’t comment on the lawsuit. He says biologists are still trying to determine why the lake’s walleye counts have dropped.