After Monday, Sept. 4, Lake Mille Lacs’ on-again, off-again fishing for walleyes will be off for the remainder of the open-water season.
While anglers have not been allowed to keep walleyes at any point this season, they could target them, at least at times – from the fishing opener in May until early July, and then again from Aug. 11 through Labor Day, walleyes have been catch-and-release.
But starting Sept. 5, as was the case in the previous closure this summer – from early July until Aug. 11 – anglers cannot legally fish for walleyes on the lake. This closure will last through Nov. 30, or ultimately through the open-water season – if not beyond, should early season ice-fishing opportunities present themselves on the central Minnesota lake.
After closing that first time in early July, fishing for walleyes was scheduled to reopen July 28. But a week prior to that, the 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.” 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 first 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.