Mille Lacs Catch-and-Release Walleye Season to Remain Open
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Anglers have surpassed the walleye quota on Mille Lacs Lake, but fisheries managers are keeping the season open anyway.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, that's because the catch-and-release-only regulations imposed this season are successfully conserving the popular lake's future spawning population of walleye.
Fisheries chief Don Pereiera says keeping the season open will have a minimal impact on the walleye population, but it will limit the economic losses to the Mille Lacs area tourism economy.
Mille Lacs' sport angling quota was set at 28,600 pounds this season. The DNR's latest harvest estimate is nearly 38,000 pounds, including fish that died after being released. But Pereira says the impact of hooking mortality on young walleye from the big 2013 year-class has been a remarkably low 1 percent.