Walleye fishing catch-and-release only again on Mille Lacs, closed entirely in July

Rick Hedtke got a bite.
Walleye fishing will be catch-and-release only on Mille Lacs Lake again this year, and off limits altogether during July.
Matthew Hintz for MPR News 2015

Walleye fishing will be catch-and-release only again this year on Mille Lacs Lake, and off limits altogether during the month of July, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.

The restrictions are due in part to a record ice fishing season on the lake this winter. Poor ice conditions on other lakes meant increased traffic on Mille Lacs, resulting in what the DNR called the "highest fishing pressure there in 30 years." Anglers harvested almost 30,000 pounds, leaving only 57,000 pounds available.

“We know any summer walleye closure is disappointing, but anglers have told us they prefer a planned temporary closure in July to an unplanned one later in the season,” said DNR fisheries section manager Brad Parsons in a statement.

The agency also is setting new limits on bass and northern pike that Mille Lacs anglers can keep.

Walleye season opens May 9 and runs through Nov. 30.

MPR News reporter Kirsti Marohn contributed to this report.

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