Laabs column: Mille Lacs to be open again to harvesting walleye
Well, the big news, just released from the DNR recently, is that there will be some type of allowable walleye harvest on the nationally renowned walleye fishery, Mille Lacs Lake.
The last several years, the DNR and the eight Chippewa bands involved with the management of Mille Lacs, have worked cooperatively to help recover a depleted walleye population.
The bands had agreed to minimal netting for a season, and a couple of years of no harvest. The DNR, along with an advisory group, limited recreational harvest with strict size and number for harvest, as well as closed walleye seasons.
The lake has been heavily researched and aggressive stocking was also implemented. The positive evaluation of the lake status indicates it can start again to have some type of walleye harvest.
The total harvest limit allowed this year will be 150,000 pounds. Of that, the tribes will be allocated 62,200 pounds and 87,800 pounds will be allocated to the state for licensed anglers.
Three proposals are under consideration at this time. One will be an open season for anglers from May 11 until May 31 with a fall season with dates yet to be decided also being included. The rest of the season will be catch and release only.
The second proposal is for a May 11 through June 15 open harvest season, with catch and release only for the remainder of the year.
The third proposal is a May 11 through June 15 harvest season with a planned closure for July and August and catch and release in the fall.
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