Walleye angling on Mille Lacs Lake will be closed beginning Wednesday, July 1, and continuing through Friday, July 31. Additionally, anglers cannot use most live baits for any species in July. The exceptions are sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length for targeting northern pike and muskellunge, and wax worms for panfish and perch.
The closure and live bait ban are due in part to a record ice fishing season on Mille Lacs this past winter that resulted in a harvest of almost 30,000 pounds of walleye. Closing the fishery in July, when warm water temperatures cause the highest rates of hooking mortality, is intended to avoid an unplanned closure later in the season. An unplanned closure would be triggered prior to the end of the open water season if the state reaches its share of the safe harvest amount agreed upon by the state and eight Chippewa bands that have treaty fishing rights on Mille Lacs.
With the exception of the month of July, walleye angling on the lake is catch-and-release this season. Catch-and-release walleye fishing is scheduled to re-open on Saturday, Aug. 1, and continue through Monday, Nov. 30. More information on Mille Lacs Lake is available on the DNR website.
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