DNR sets winter walleye fishing limit for Upper Red and Mille Lacs lakes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced the winter walleye fishing limit for anglers on Upper Red Lake and Mille Lacs Lake. 

The DNR said Tuesday the winter regulations for both lakes are based on the results of the fall walleye population assessment, which showed that the lakes have a healthy population.

"Fall netting assessments on both lakes suggest these harvest levels will keep walleye populations sustainable and healthy," said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, in a statement. "We’re pleased to offer anglers harvest opportunities on both lakes."

Starting on Wednesday, Nov. 1, anglers on Upper Red Lake are allowed to keep four walleye this season, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches, compared to the five allowed during open water season last year. 

The DNR said the Upper Red Lake assessment showed an "optimal level of walleye spawning stock" and net catch rate of nearly mature walleye.

The end of the summer open water season for Mille Lacs Lake is Thursday, Nov. 30, with the winter regulations going into effect on Dec. 1. License anglers are allowed to keep one walleye between 21–23 inches or longer than 28 inches. 

The DNR said the regulations are remaining the same as last winter season after the fall population assessment found slightly lower walleye numbers than in 2022. However, the number of walleye born in 2013, 2017, 2021, and 2022 suggests there is still an "adequate number" of fish to keep the population sustainable. 

The DNR's fishing regulations on Mille Lacs Lake can be found here. Fishing regulations for Upper Red can be found here