Walleye regulations announced for Upper Red Lake

The Minnesota Fishing Opener is right around the corner, and walleye regulations on Upper Red Lake have been announced.

The 2023 open water season begins on May 13. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says anglers on Upper Red Lake will have a five-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed.

The 2022 open water season had a four-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 20 inches allowed.

“This summer we are able to have a more generous bag limit as the 2019 class is super abundant. These fish are around 15 inches and are now becoming mature,” said Edie Evarts, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “We hope anglers will enjoy this extra opportunity, which will also meet our goal of managing spawning walleye stock at a level that produces future strong year classes.”

The Red Lake Nation and the Minnesota DNR manage walleye harvest on Red Lake under a joint harvest plan that the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee revised in 2015. The 2023-2024 winter harvest regulations will be determined after the summer fishing season and the completion of fall assessment netting.

“More spawning stock is not always better on Upper Red Lake. Our management has shown that too many spawners in the lake can result in smaller year classes,” Evarts said.

Anglers are reminded to protect Upper Red Lake from aquatic invasive species by cleaning and draining watercraft and equipment and disposing of unwanted bait in the trash. A permanent decontamination station is coming soon to the Tamarac River Big Bog Public Water Access, referred to locally as Homestead Park.