MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton traveled to Lake Mille Lacs Friday for a town hall meeting on the walleye crisis. The lack of walleye is so drastic, the Department of Natural Resources may ban walleye fishing altogether.
At the town hall meeting, Dayton announced the Mille Lacs Band has agreed to forgo netting on Lake Mille Lacs until next year.
Breaking News: MN Gov Dayton announces that Mille Lacs Band has agreed to forgo netting on Mille Lacs next year. pic.twitter.com/QPleh8uU8w
— Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) July 31, 2015
Anglers have already harvested the annual quota of 40,000 pounds of walleye, compared to 500,000 pounds harvested in 2012.
Gov. Dayton says he’s worried about the future of the lake and businesses that rely on the walleye population for revenue. He’s preparing a $20 million disaster rescue package for businesses and resorts.
A possible Mille Lacs bailout plan could include no-interest loans, property tax abatements and tourism promotion dollars.
Gov. Dayton said he’s prepared to call a special session as soon as Democratic and Republican lawmakers can agree on the help.
Once the economy is stabilized, Dayton says he will confront complaints about how Lake Mille Lacs is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and try to solve what he calls serious trust issues between the state agency and businesses.