DNR sets 5-walleye possession limit for Upper Red Lake

Anglers on Upper Red Lake will be able to take home up to five walleye — but only one longer than 17 inches — during this year’s open-water season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.

A bevy of mature walleye stock means anglers can keep more fish than in previous years; in 2022, the limit was four, and only one could measure longer than 20 inches.

“This summer we are able to have a more generous bag limit as the 2019 class is super abundant. These fish are around 15 inches and are now becoming mature,” said Edie Evarts, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “We hope anglers will enjoy this extra opportunity, which will also meet our goal of managing spawning walleye stock at a level that produces future strong year classes.”

The Red Lake Nation and the DNR co-manage walleye on Red Lake under a joint harvest plan. The take during the open-water season — which lasts from May 13 through Nov. 30 — will determine how much anglers can harvest in the winter.

Tuesday’s announcement comes a month after the DNR said it will have relaxed rules at another popular walleye fishing destination: Mille Lacs Lake.

Mille Lacs Lake is also under a harvest agreement with local tribes, and in recent years, the DNR instituted blackout dates and limits on live bait use. But for 2023, anglers can keep one fish between 21-23 inches in length or more than 28 inches and use live bait through the entire open-water season.