Posted at: 01/31/2014 2:35 PM
Updated at: 02/01/2014 12:51 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Fisheries officials say walleye anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will likely see regulations similar to last year despite its struggling walleye population, but the total pounds of walleyes allowed for harvest this year will be the lowest ever.
The Department of Natural Resources says the safe harvest level has been set at 60,000 pounds for the upcoming season. The Star Tribune reports that last year's safe harvest was 250,00 pounds. Out of the 60,000 allowed this year, 42,900 pounds are allocated to sport anglers while 17,100 pounds are for eight Chippewa bands with treaty rights.
DNR Fisheries Chief Don Pereira says existing and potential new restrictions will provide the needed protection and won't impair the lake's ability to produce future generations of walleye.
Mille Lacs hasn't produced a strong year class of walleye since 2008 despite adequate spawning stock and excellent fingerling production.
Pereira says size and bag limits won't be finalized until after the DNR confers with stakeholders in February.
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