Catch-and-release walleye fishing set to reopen on Mille Lacs

Both guys who joined the writer on a recent walleye-fishing trip on Lake Erie are experienced fishermen, and each have had their hopes dashed by big fish escaping their hooks time and again – including via a netting snafu on this trip. (Photo courtesy of Windigo Images)

After a one-month shutdown, anglers can again fish for walleye on Lake Mille Lacs and use live bait, effective Saturday, Aug. 1. Catch-and-release walleye fishing is scheduled to continue through Monday, Nov. 30.

The planned July closure reduces, but does not eliminate, the likelihood of an unplanned closure later in the season, according to the Minnesota DNR. An unplanned closure would be triggered if the state reaches its share of the safe harvest amount agreed upon by the state and eight Ojibwe nations that have treaty fishing rights on Mille Lacs. Through July 15, state-licensed anglers had harvested 58,437 pounds of the state’s 87,800-pound walleye allocation for the 2020 season.

The planned walleye fishing closure and live bait restrictions during the month of July were the result of record ice fishing pressure this past winter that resulted in a harvest of almost 30,000 pounds of walleye. July was selected for the closure because it’s generally the period when warm water temperatures cause the highest rates of hooking mortality.

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Categories: News, Walleye

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