High catch rates force early closure of Mille Lacs Lake walleye fishing

High catch rates force early closure of Mille Lacs Lake walleye fishing Photo: KSTP

Updated: August 26, 2019 12:20 PM

High angling pressure and catch rates throughout July and August has led to the closure of walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.

According to a statement from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, high angling pressure and catch rates during a time of the year when water temperatures were at their highest increased hooking mortality resulting in a larger-than-expected walleye kill.


Hooking mortality, which is when a fish is caught and released but dies anyway, is more likely when water is warm. 

Walleye harvest brings anglers to Mille Lacs on fishing opener

Mille Lacs open-water walleye harvest proposed for 2019

"We're glad anglers had the opportunity to harvest walleye in May and fish for walleye through much of the open water season," said Brad Parsons, fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "Because angling pressure and walleye catch rates were high, the coming closure is necessary to stay within established limits."

The ban goes into effect starting Sept. 6 at 12:01 a.m. At that time, anglers will no longer be able to target walleye on Mille Lacs Lake. Anglers may still fish for other species using live bait. 

Regulations regarding walleye fishing for the winter of 2019-2020 on Mille Lacs Lake will be announced in November. 

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Charlie Wiese

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