MILLE LACS, Minn. (FOX 9) - The DNR is closing Mille Lacs Lake to walleye fishing for the month of July in order to facilitate a fall walleye season ahead.
In an announcement from the DNR, it explained that the angling community said a fall season is more important than fishing in July, in which water temperatures are warmest and walleye hooking mortality is highest.
The walleye closure and live bait ban for all species during July comes after a record winter for walleye as anglers harvested almost 30,000 pounds.
In total, 87,800 pounds of walleye are allowed to be harvested each year, per the DNR’s agreement with the eight Ojibwe nations. Through May 31, 34,718 pounds of that had been harvested already.
“Even with the good walleye fishing Mille Lacs anglers have experienced this year, we have not exceeded our allocation and we don’t expect to,” said Brad Parsons, the DNR’s fisheries section manager. “We know many people really enjoy fall walleye fishing and we heard from folks that this was their priority. So we made plans this spring for the July closure to reduce the potential for an unplanned closure in the fall.”
Catch-and-release walleye fishing is scheduled to re-open Aug. 1, and continue through Monday, Nov. 30. Mille Lacs continues to offer northern pike, bass and muskellunge fishing.