ONAMIA - Resort owners around Mille Lacs Lake had hoped for a strong winter walleye season.

But the warm, early winter kept away ice anglers from Minnesota's premier walleye lake. That's dashed hopes of resort owners trying to recover from state officials' decision in August to abruptly close the open water walleye season on Mille Lacs.

The resort owners hope to see an upturn in business soon. But some business owners say they are on the brink.

In August, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources closed the summer walleye season on the lake after anglers exceeded a quota. The agency later said it would reopen the lake for walleye ice fishing this winter.

Six weeks of fishing remain before the walleye and northern pike season ends Feb. 28.

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