Minnesota’s DNR Says Keep 6 Smallmouth Bass Per Day To Rescue Walleyes
World famous Mille Lacs Lake has become a prime smallmouth bass lake in recent years. According to the Department of Natural Resources it is too good. They feel that the large population of smallmouth bass is having a detrimental effect on walleye so they are allowing more “harvesting” of smallmouth bass as well as Northern Pike.
Through population studies, the DNR states that walleye populations are at a 40 year low and that young walleye are being eaten by aggressive smallmouth bass and Northern Pike.
The smallmouth bass season will start earlier on the lake, on the May 10 walleye and northern opener, while Mille Lacs will be exempt from a statewide catch-and-release smallmouth rule that takes effect in mid-September.
The northern season will now run through the last Sunday in March.
The limit remains six. But size restrictions will be relaxed. Under the old rules all smallmouths had to be between 17 and 20 inches, except for one longer than 20. There’s no minimum size for 2014, but only one can be longer than 18 inches. Original article here
There are also significant changes being made to the walleye harvest. Walleye taste better than walleye and bass and grow much faster. The limit is now going to be 2 and there will be a ban on nightime fishing as well. The goal is to dramatically reduce the harvesting of walleye and reduce the population of smallies and northerns to bring “balance” back to the lake.
If you fish Mille Lacs, what’s your opinion? If you are against this change, sign the petition here: click