Minnesota fishing regulations

Minnesota Fishing Regulations: History of Walleye Regulation Changes on Mille Lacs

Something to always keep in mind before heading off for a fishing trip is keeping up with local fishing laws. Minnesota fishing regulations can change annually, so it’s vital to check in before each season to make sure you are up to date. Fishing laws have been around for decades and have a very important role in maintaining the ecological state of our environment. Before we head into the MN walleye season, here are a few facts on why regulations exist and the history behind them. 

Why Do We Have Minnesota Fishing Regulations?

Minnesota fishing regulationsThough fishing regulations can sometimes feel like someone out there is just trying to ruin your fun on the water, they exist for a few very good reasons. The most important reason that laws and regulations on fishing are put into place is to make sure that the waters we love to frequent don’t get fished out. Habitats can be greatly impacted by overfishing to where entire species can go nearly extinct in certain areas. Lake Mille Lacs is an extremely popular destination for its fishing opportunities, but it’s only remained that way because of the regulations that have been put in place. Fishing out lakes results in harm to the environment of the body of water, local economies can be negatively impacted, and most often, fisheries are forced to close. 

Minnesota fishing regulations play a big part in also making sure people aren’t being idiots on the water. There’s always someone out there that wants to catch the biggest fish all the time, keep them, and mount them. Though that’s fine and dandy, once you multiply that by a couple hundred, your water habitat ends up full of tiny fish and way less spawning every year. When that happens, your top fishing destinations turn into boring spots with catches the size of goldfish on your line. By making sure each angler can only keep fish of a certain size and a limited amount, you avoid ruining it for the entire group and population of fish. 

A Look Into the History of MN Fishing Regulations

If history has taught us anything, it is that it repeats itself. Various bodies of water that were once extremely popular hot-spots for fishing have endured the worst case scenario, and that’s how we learned the importance of regulations. For Lake Mille Lacs, walleyes were at one point the MN DNR was concerned that they were in danger of being fished out and efforts were swiftly made to halt their diminishing numbers and rebuild their population. Seasons were created to work around spawning periods and limits were greatly restricted to help alleviate the pressure of growing popularity and targeting from anglers. There have been a few seasons that the health of the lake was in such distress that the entire lake was shut down, but in the most recent past years, the lake has been in a pretty safe zone for conditions.Minnesota fishing regulations Catch and release has been the common narrative in recent years, but in 2022, anglers are allowed to selectively keep one walleye. This is fantastic news! What this means is that the walleye population is becoming more and more abundant and is getting closer to what it should be. 

Minnesota Fishing Season Q&A

When does fishing season start in Minnesota for walleye?

From May 14th through May 31st and again from September 1st through November 30th, walleye can be caught and the limit can be kept for catches of acceptable sizes. June 1st through June 30th and then again from July 16th through August 31st, walleye are strictly catch and release. Walleye cannot be targeted from July 1st through July 30th.

What is the limit for walleye?

As of the year 2022, walleye limits now allow the possession of one walleye that meets size requirements. 

What size walleye can I keep?

Per Minnesota fishing regulations: “All walleye less than 21 inches or greater than 23 inches in length must be immediately released, except one walleye 28 inches or greater may be kept.” – MN DNR

Where can I find Minnesota fishing regulations for Lake Mille Lacs?

The easiest way to stay updated on the latest Minnesota fishing regulations and lake specific information is to visit the MN DNR website. You can also keep up with The Red Door Resort’s Fishing Report. Keep in mind that fishing regulations are known to change from year to year, so always check in before you head out. You don’t want to be out casting lines and have your day ruined by having patrols roll up without your bases covered. 



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