MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that it’s had a change of mind when it comes to the use of live bait on Mille Lacs Lake this season.

Don Pereira, the head of the DNR’s fisheries section, said that feedback from anglers prompted officials to reconsider the ban, which was announced last month alongside the catch-and-release stipulation for walleye on the lake.

“The DNR is hearing that anglers are accepting of the catch-and-release aspect of the walleye season, but members of the Mille Lacs Fisheries Advisory Committee heard clear concerns about the live bait restriction, as did the DNR,” Pereira said.

Live bait will be allowed on Mille Lacs starting with the season opener on May 14.

Initially, the live bait ban, as well as the catch-and-release condition, which still remains in place, were imposed on this year’s season so walleye populations could rebuild.

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