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Mille Lacs Resort Owner Cautious on Fisheries Management Station Proposal

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ISLE — Years of studying the declining walleye population on Lake Mille Lacs and the tight bag limits designed to reverse it have prompted Governor Mark Dayton to propose bonding money to address the situation.

Dayton is recommending $3,500,000 to develop a fisheries management station on the lake including a DNR office, laboratory, and hatchery. But, not everyone is sold on the idea.

Mike Christensen owns Hunter Winfields Resort in Isle. He feels the DNR has been mismanaging the lake for years and wonders if throwing money at the problem would be helpful…

It maybe goes back to having faith in our DNR…well I don’t. So, it’s hard for me to believe that hiring more employees and studying more stuff would help. I mean, Mille Lacs is one of the most studied fisheries on the planet. You know, (as a result) we still don’t seem to know a whole lot…at least our DNR doesn’t seem to know a whole lot, in my opinion.

Christensen says there’s nothing wrong with the lake, but rather the fisheries regulations that hurts resorts. He says many believe the DNR Fisheries division doesn’t listen to the opinions of resort owners and guides. He says they operate in a shroud of secrecy and have flawed management practices.

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