ST. PAUL – Mille Lacs Lake anglers will be allowed to keep one walleye per day during this winter fishing season and dark house spearing for northern pike will continue on the lake.
“We welcome the news that anglers can plan on taking walleyes home this winter,” Lueck said. “That will be good for the dinner table and our local businesses that depend on a robust winter fishing season on Mille Lacs.”
The winter regulations will allow anglers to keep a walleye between 19 and 21 inches, or one longer than 28 inches.
The Department of Natural Resources announcement also included the winter angler and dark house northern pike spearing regulations, which Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, said are not entirely pleasing.
“Asking fisherman to pass up a northern that is larger than 30 inches until they have caught or speared at least two northerns smaller than 30 inches is a very big ask,” Lueck said. “I believe that adds an unnecessary complication to enforcement and may tempt some to consider disregarding the regulation.
“From a dark house spearing perspective, it’s about the same as asking a deer hunter to pass up that 30-point buck until they have at least sighted two or more fork-horn bucks that day. Overall, I am pleased we will be taking home walleyes to eat from the big lake again this winter, but I would have hoped we could have kept the northern pike regulations a little simpler.”
Ice anglers and spearers on Mille Lacs can keep up to five northern pike with one longer than 30 inches. However, in order to keep the one northern pike longer than 30 inches, anglers and spearers must have caught or speared two northern pike shorter than 30 inches and have both smaller fish in immediate possession.
Each angler also may keep five northern pike during that season, which is Dec. 1 through March 26 for angling and Dec. 1 through Feb. 26 for spearing.