BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Walleye regulations will become more restrictive on Upper Red Lake starting Jan. 23 because of a record December walleye harvest, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The daily bag and possession limit will be two walleye, and anglers must immediately release all walleye 17- to 26-inches long, the release said.

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Only one walleye in possession may be longer than 26 inches. The current regulation allowed three walleyes in the daily bag and possession limit.

Walleye fishing pressure and harvest continue to increase on Upper Red Lake despite more restrictive angling regulations implemented Dec. 1.

"Fishing pressure in December was more than double compared to last December," Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor, said in the release. "High walleye catch rates and ideal ice travel conditions attracted a record number of walleye anglers to Upper Red Lake this winter."

Walleye harvest is up 57 percent from estimates for a comparable time period last year, requiring some action to help curtail excessive winter harvest.

Upper Red Lake harvest restrictions are necessary to comply with a joint walleye harvest plan agreement with the Red Lake Band of Chippewa. For more information on Red Lake fishing regulations, see www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.

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