2001 safe harvest levels set for Lake Mille Lacs

The 1837 Treaty Fisheries Technical Committee met Thursday and
Friday, Jan. 18-19, in Minneapolis to determine the new safe
harvest levels for Mille Lacs Lake for the 2001 walleye fishing
season starting May 12.

On Monday, the Minnesota DNR announced the 2001 combined safe
harvest levels for the state and the bands. They are 395,000 pounds
for walleye; 270,000 pounds for perch; 23,000 pounds for northern
pike; 24,000 pounds for tullibee; and 28,000 pounds for burbot

The state’s quota for these species will be 310,000 pounds of
walleye, 135,000 pounds of yellow perch, 11,500 pounds of northern
pike, 12,000 pounds of tullibee, and 14,000 pounds of burbot.

Every year fisheries experts from the DNR and from the eight
Ojibwe bands meet in January to share information and to determine
safe harvest levels.

“Now that we know what the state’s walleye quota is for 2001, we
can determine what regulations will work to keep us within the
quota,” said Rick Bruesewitz, Minnesota DNR fisheries biologist.
“Once we have the regulation scenarios worked out, we will meet
with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Input Group to get their perspective
on the preferred regulation for 2001.”

This will be the fifth year that the state has managed Mille
Lacs Lake with a walleye harvest quota. Past walleye quotas for the
state were: 280,000 pounds in 1997, 220,000 pounds in 1998; 495,000
pounds in 1999; and 300,000 pounds in 2000.

The state will meet with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Input Group
next week to determine the new walleye regulation for open water
2001. In 2000, state anglers kept about 225,000 pounds of walleyes,
well below the 300,000-pound state allowable harvest.

Band members were allowed a total of 70,000 pounds of walleyes
in 2000 and may harvest a combined total of 85,000 pounds for 2001.
Mostly via gill net, members of the bands have harvested about
46,000 pounds of walleyes to date for their 2000 fishing season,
which runs through March 31.

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