New regulations: Changes are hard to take, but necessary
The new winter ice fishing regulations for Mille Lacs Lake have been released by the DNR after consulting with the newly established Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Advisory Committee. The walleye season will re-open Dec. 1 and continue through Feb. 28. ...
The new winter ice fishing regulations for Mille Lacs Lake have been released by the DNR after consulting with the newly established Mille Lacs Lake Fishing Advisory Committee. The walleye season will re-open Dec. 1 and continue through Feb. 28. Anglers will be able to keep one walleye between 18-20 inches. The DNR and biologists representing the Native American tribes concerned about the lake, agreed on a total winter harvest rate of 5,000 pounds. If the harvest is reached before the close of the ice season, a catch and release plan is in place so there will be no walleye season closure this winter like there was this summer.
A new northern pike regulation for Mille Lacs has also been put in place to start Dec. 1 and continue through March 27. Anglers will allowed to keep five northern pike with one being over 30 inches. You may not possess a northern over 30 inches unless you already have two that are already under 30 inches. This is a reduction from the previous regulation of 10 northern that was allowed for harvest during the summer season.
If you catch that northern trophy of a lifetime before you have your two under 30 inches…..you will have to put it back and hope you catch it again after you have your two under! Sometimes some of the regulations seem like a good idea, until they are really thought through! Keep in mind to CPR (catch, photo, release) if you get that trophy. Make sure you always have your camera or smart phone for pictures, and remember that taxidermists can do replicas for your mount if desired. You can also blow up your picture, frame it, and hang it for display. I think a live release picture is classy.
Red Lake is expected to have new winter regulations as well, but as of now, nothing has changed or been posted on the DNR website. If new regulations occur, they will be announced shortly, but they will remain as they are until the start and end dates that will be included in the change are announced.
As always, new regulations will be posted at the public access sites onto the lakes and on the DNR website. Newspapers will also be notified of any change in the walleye regulations for Red Lake. As of now, you can keep two walleyes on Red. They must be two under 17 inches, or one under 17 and one over 26 inches. The protected slot is for all walleyes between 17-26 inches.
Please also note, that you may only possess two Red Lake walleyes total as part of your six fish walleye possession limit. The daily and possession limit for RL walleyes is the same. If you catch two fish and eat them on the lake….you can’t catch two more and take them home. If you go for three days, you can’t keep two-a-day and accumulate to six, as you can only possess two RL walleyes.
I will be sure to write about any change with Red Lake as it occurs, as we have many anglers locally that travel to Red, Lake of the Woods, Leech, Winni, and Mille Lacs.
I know at times, things seem like they may be getting micro-managed. I know that sometimes some of the regulations might be confusing. It is because they are. As difficult as it may be for those that are regular anglers, how difficult does it become for the casual angler, or the out of state visitor?
As long as so many meetings and considerations are making it to the debate table, how about an across-the-board regulation that can work for the whole state? The Lake of the Woods slot and limit is a prime example that could be used as a baseline for the whole state. A four fish limit for walleye with a two day possession limit would not only make sense for Minnesota residents, but would be great for anglers visiting our state. It would also be more in line with our neighboring states.
As long as I make opinion public, hey state of Minnesota, how about joining the 21st
Century and go to two rods for the summer and not just the winter. It makes no difference for the number of fish that get harvested, but it provides options for presentations that anglers from other states already enjoy. Worth discussion at the state level I think.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs’ Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)