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Minnesota Announces Winter Fishing Regulations

Ice anglers on Mille Lacs and Upper Red lakes can harvest walleye on both lakes this winter season.

A four-walleye bag limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed, went into effect on Upper Red Lake on Monday, Nov. 1.

Effective Wednesday, Dec. 1, through Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, winter anglers on Mille Lacs may keep one walleye between 21-23 inches or one fish longer than 28 inches.

The new regulation on Upper Red increases the possession limit from the three-fish limit that was in place during the 2020-2021 winter season and 2021 open water season, when mature walleye were lower in abundance. Results of this fall’s walleye population assessment showed a wide range of sizes with an abundance of mature spawning walleye, which allowed the more generous bag limit while also creating conditions that are favorable for the survival of upcoming walleye year classes.

This is the sixth consecutive year of winter walleye harvest on Mille Lacs, where winter regulations are set after completion of the annual fall netting assessment. Results from 2021 showed that the walleye population has declined from recent years but remains above population lows seen from 2012 to 2016.

Mille Lacs Lake winter regulations also reduce the possession limit for cisco (tullibee) from 10 to five and forbid the harvest of burbot (eelpout).

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s website offers regulation Information on both lakes – Upper Red Lake and Mille Lacs Lake. 

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