DNR adjusts walleye regulations on Mille Lacs

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is making some changes to walleye fishing regulations on Mille Lacs lake, hoping to give anglers more opportunities to keep a walleye.

Beginning August 1, the minimum length of walleye anglers can keep drops from 21 to 20 inches. The one-fish limit on this lake will still be in place, but the change allows anglers to keep one walleye between 20-23 inches or one longer than 28.

“With the catch rates we’ve had this spring and early summer, we can expand opportunity a bit for the rest of the open water season without harm to the long-term sustainability of the lake’s walleye population,” said Brian Nerbonne, central region fisheries manager for the Minnesota DNR.

The DNR says the recent lower catch-rate on Mille Lacs is less a reflection of the number of walleyes in the lake, than the abundance of natural forage. The DNR’s population models show the number of walleye in the lake longer than 14 inches has been similar from 2020-2023, but test netting shows an increase in the number of yellow perch. The agency says with more forage fish to eat, walleye have not been as willing to bite on angler’s lines.

Regulations for all other species on the lake remain unchanged. New walleye regulations will be announced in November for the winter season, which begins Friday, December 1.