It’s the height of the walleye fishing season and every weekend, lakes around Minnesota are filled with anglers searching for that big catch.
While fisheries managers try to figure out how to restore the struggling walleye population on Mille Lacs Lake, they’re encouraging anglers to consider what had been unthinkable for many: eat bass instead.
Nearly a half million people are out on Minnesota’s lakes this weekend for the state fishing opener. Governor Dayton was in the Brainerd Lakes area, trying his luck on Gull Lake. The governor was among thousands of Minnesotans who got out on the water at the stroke of midnight.
The Governor’s Fishing Opener kicks off the walleye and northern pike season at midnight Friday. This year’s festivities are being held in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Gov. Mark Dayton will fish out of Grand View Lodge in Nisswa on Gull Lake.
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In November 1998, Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment on the ballot that is meant to preserve the state’s storied hunting and fishing heritage.
The Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa has named 13 northeastern Minnesota lakes where members intend to exercise their treaty rights to spear walleyes this spring. The tribe worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to set quotas and select the lakes.
The walleye regulations on Lake Mille Lacs are largely staying the same for the 2014 fishing season, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday. It’s part of a larger plan to increase fishing opportunities, improve walleye numbers and stay within the state’s harvest allocation.
The Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa says it plans to exercise its treaty rights for the first time to spear walleyes on northeastern Minnesota lakes this spring. Secretary-Treasurer Ferdinand Martineau Jr. says the tribe is working with the state to determine which lakes and set harvest quotas.
Fisheries officials say walleye anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will likely see regulations similar to last year despite its struggling walleye population. The Department of Natural Resources says the safe harvest level has been set at 60,000 pounds for the upcoming season.
Lake Mille Lacs has been known for decades as a Minnesota summer hotspot. But this year, businesses around the lake are saying it’s been one of their worst summers ever. It’s gotten so bad that a popular restaurant with a 90-year history is shutting its doors.
Colder weather and ice, may have kept some from taking part in the fishing opener, but not Gov. Mark Dayton. He hit Fish Hook Lake Saturday morning in Park Rapids for the 66th annual fishing opener. He caught a nice-sized walleye less than a half hour after midnight Saturday morning.
It’s just two days until the fishing opener. Assuming you go to southern Minnesota to find fish this weekend, it’s safe to say there will be plenty of pressure from other anglers as lakes may be quite busy.
On Saturday, Minnesotans will launch their boats in search of open water for the annual fishing opener.
Minnesota’s walleye, pike and lake trout opener is just around the corner, causing worry for fishing guides and others faced with ice-locked lakes.