Mille Lacs Lake to be catch-and-release for walleye anglers

Walleye angling on Mille Lacs Lake will be catch-and-release only during the upcoming fishing season.

The Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that walleye anglers may use only artificial bait on the popular lake and must immediately release all walleyes from when the season opens May 14, through Dec. 1. The DNR is making a limited exception to the no-live-bait rule for anglers who fish on commercial launches.

DNR fisheries chief Don Pereira says in a statement that not allowing a harvest is a difficult decision, but it’s the best option. He says a catch-and-release walleye season will protect future spawners while allowing fishing to remain open.

Last year anglers could keep one walleye. The season closed Aug. 1 after the state exceeded the lake’s harvest limit.

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