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Lake Mille Lacs Summer Walleye Season to be Catch and Release

Photo: KSTP/ File

February 17, 2017 05:56 AM

With the winter walleye season on Lake Mille Lacs wrapping up within days, there is now a clearer idea of what anglers can expect this summer.

RELATED: Mille Lacs Lake Winter Fishing Limits: 1 Walleye, 5 Northern

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This particular topic has been a source of controversy for quite some time now. In the past two years tension has grown between tribal and non-tribal members and it appears this summer may not be any different.

A member of the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Council confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced to the council on Wednesday that this summer will again be catch and release.

This is the result of trying to boost the declining walleye population in Mille Lacs.

Last spring, the DNR announced the summer of 2016 would be catch and release only. That announcement followed an uproar by many businesses and anglers the summer before when walleye fishing was closed midsummer after the state hit its annual limit negotiated with the eight Chippewa tribes that have rights to the lake.

Last year, the state still had a harvest limit despite it being catch and release because many of the fish hooked die once released.          

However, Gov. Dayton kept the season open after that number was reached, saying ending the season early would devastate area businesses.

Many anglers and businesses have been unhappy with the tight restrictions because they say walleye fishing is what drives people to Mille Lacs. However, the tribes say it's necessary to protect the declining walleye population.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has reached out the DNR for more information on this walleye season.

Credits

Cleo Greene

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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