Upper Red Lake walleye regulations change for winter season

(Photo by Rob Drieslein)

Anglers fishing during the winter season on Upper Red Lake will have a four-walleye bag limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed.

The regulations, which become effective Sunday, Dec. 1, are the same as those of last winter but more restrictive than during 2019 open water fishing.

“Anglers should remember to take a good measuring device along with them on their trip to Upper Red Lake as many walleye will measure just above, and just under, the 17-inch size restriction,” said Andy Thompson, Minnesota DNR area fisheries supervisor.

More restrictive winter regulations are necessary because of the amount of fishing pressure during the winter. Anglers spent 1.9 million hours fishing on Red Lake during the winter of 2018-19, significantly higher than the 178,000 hours they spent open water fishing in 2019. Those anglers harvested 293,000 pounds of walleye during the summer and winter of 2019 – a record high for annual harvest since walleye fishing resumed on the lake in 2006.

The Red Lake Nation and the DNR manage walleye harvest on Red Lake under a joint harvest plan that was revised in 2015 by the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee.

Next year’s open water harvest regulations will be determined following the conclusion of the winter fishing season. An Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee reviews walleye harvest totals and regulation options and provides recommendations for regulations for the state waters of Upper Red Lake.

Upper Red Lake fishing regulations are available at mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.

Categories: Ice Fishing, Walleye

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