Anglers will again be allowed to target walleyes on Lake Mille Lacs starting Friday, Aug. 11. But as was the norm until the most recent closure, all walleyes caught must be released.
This “reopening” will be short-lived, running through Sept. 4. After that, no fishing for walleyes will be allowed from Sept. 5 through Nov. 30 – basically through the open-water season.
Walleyes have been off limits since early July on the central Minnesota lake. After that closure, fishing for walleyes was scheduled to reopen July 28. But a week prior to that, the Minnesota DNR announced that the closure would be extended until Aug. 11 “to protect the fishery and ensure the long-term sustainability of Mille Lacs Lake’s walleye population,” according to a news release at the time by the DNR.
The release went on to say that, “In order to extend the walleye fishing season through Labor Day, the state will allow for an additional 11,000 pounds of walleye harvest. Catch-and-release walleye fishing will run from Friday, Aug. 11, through Monday, Sept. 4, for the Labor Day weekend. Walleye fishing will then be closed from Tuesday, Sept. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 30.”
According to the DNR, the decision to allow for the additional harvest was made with input from the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee.
After Sept. 4, fishing for all other species at Mille Lacs will remain open, as was the case with the current closure, with only artificial baits and lures allowed in possession – except for anglers targeting northern pike or muskie, who may fish with sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.
A prohibition on night fishing will remain in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Nov. 30, according to the DNR. However, anglers may fish for muskie and northern pike at night, but may only use artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. Bowfishing for rough fish also is allowed at night, but possession of angling equipment is not allowed and only rough fish may be in possession, the DNR said.
For more information, go to www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.