'Dark day' for Mille Lacs as walleye season closes early

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton declared Monday, Aug. 3 “a dark day” on Lake Mille Lacs, with the unprecedented early closure of the walleye fishing season. But the governor pledged to return to the lake this Saturday to fish for muskie and bass, which remain plentiful.

Gov. Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources put an early end to the Mille Lacs walleye season, months ahead of schedule, because anglers have already gone over the harvest quota. Despite drastically limiting the size and number of walleye anglers could keep, the walleye season will close at 10 p.m. Monday.

The governor will meet with state leaders this week to discuss another special session to approve relief for area businesses. That could mean no-interest loans, property tax abatements and more state money for advertising to promote other fishing species.