GARRISON -- The DNR has announced some changes to the fishing regulations on Lake Mille Lacs this season.

The walleye regulations won't change, but the rules for northern pike and smallmouth bass will be relaxed. DNR Fisheries Chief Don Pereira says it's a way they can help draw anglers to Mille Lacs and help the economy of the area.

The main change for walleye anglers is the extension of the nighttime fishing ban, which will run until December instead of ending in mid-June. Daily and possession limits remain unchanged at two walleyes from 18-20 inches, except for one longer than 28 inches.

Big northern are toothy critters that love to harass hooked fish. (Jerry Carlson)

The northern pike limit is being raised from three to 10, only one of which may be longer than 20 inches.  The DNR is also lifting the northern pike spearing ban on Mille Lacs.

The smallmouth bass limit remains six, but the size restrictions are being relaxed to a 17-20 inch slot limit, with one fish longer than 18 inches allowed. The smallmouth season will also be extended until the last Sunday in February.