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DNR seeks input on Mille Lacs Lake management plan

Mille Lacs Lake boasts exceptional fishing for trophy walleye, smallmouth bass, muskie and northern pike. The DNR hopes that interested anglers will help define a management plan that will further enhance the fishery. Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking anglers to help establish a new management plan for the lake.

The DNR plan only impacts the state portion of the fishery. Tribes that have fishing rights on Mille Lacs manage their own portion of the fishery.

The DNR is particularly interested in establishing regulations that reflect angler values while still protecting the fishery from over harvest.

Mille Lacs Lake currently hosts several special regulations, including:

  • Combined possession limit of three largemouth and smallmouth bass, with only one greater than 21 inches. All bass from 17-21 inches must be released.

  • Possession limit of five northern pike, less than 30 inches. Harvest of one fish over 40 inches is allowed, but all fish from 30-40 inches must be released.

  • No walleye harvest is permitted from June 1 to Nov. 30. Winter harvest regulations for the 2019-2020 ice-fishing season have not been established.

  • From June 1 to Nov. 30, fishing is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. except for pike and muskie angling with baits longer than eight inches and bowfishing for rough fish.

The DNR also hopes to educate anglers on biological changes in the lake that will continue to impact the water, the fish and the fishing.

Meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m, and will include a DNR presentation and dedicated discussion time.

  • Thursday, July 11: Northland Arboretum,14250 Conservation Drive, Brainerd

  • Tuesday, July 16: Mille Lacs Kathio State Park classroom, 15066 Kathio State Park Road, Onamia

  • Thursday, July 18: Indian Mounds Regional Park pavillion, 10 Mounds Boulevard, St. Paul

An online survey will be available on the DNR website from July 11 to Aug. 1.

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