State increases Mille Lacs safe harvest levels from ’08

DNR Reports

St. Paul – Safe fish harvest levels have been set at Lake Mille
Lacs for the 2009 fishing season.

The safe harvest of walleye has been set at 541,000 pounds, up
from 430,000 pounds last fishing season. The state’s allocation is
414,500 pounds, up from 307,500 pounds last year.

Indian bands that signed the 1837 Treaty will be allocated
126,500 pounds of walleyes this fishing season, up from 122,500
pounds last year.

The state’s 2009 walleye harvest may include an overage
allowance of up to 5 percent.

The yellow perch and northern pike safe harvest levels are the
same as last year. The yellow perch level is 270,000 pounds; the
northern pike level is 25,000 pounds. The state’s allocation is
135,000 pounds of yellow perch and 12,500 pounds of northern
pike.

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

“Now that we know what the state’s walleye quota is for 2009, we
can evaluate where the winter fishery stands and can evaluate if
our current regulation will keep us within our allocation,” said
Ron Payer, Minnesota DNR fisheries chief. “And once we have done
that, we will meet with the Mille Lacs Fisheries Input Group.”

The current Mille Lacs regulation allows anglers to keep four
walleyes up to 18 inches, which may include one trophy over 28
inches. Anglers are required to release all walleyes from 18 to 28
inches.

Total walleye angling harvest was 76,000 pounds in 2008. The
safe harvest level was increased from last year due to low total
harvest in 2008.

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