Mille Lacs Lake

Walleye lakes

Mille Lacs angler survey

An angler survey on one of Minnesota's lakesWalleye season is scheduled to remain open through 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5, provided harvest by state anglers doesn't exceed a conservation cap of 55,800 lbs.

To keep track of walleye caught, DNR relies on its creel, or angler survey, to monitor fishing on Mille Lacs Lake.

Monitoring by clerks stationed around the lake begins Dec. 1 and continues throughout the winter and summer fishing seasons. The first 2017 creel report will include winter fishing totals.

The 2017 safe walleye harvest level established by the DNR and Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission is 64,000 pounds, with 44,800 allocated to state anglers and 19,200 for tribal fishing.

Although all walleye caught must be immediately released, some fish die after being caught. Based on angler reports to creel clerks, the poundage of fish that die from hooking mortality is calculated and applied against the state's harvest allocation.

2016 creel reports

What is a creel survey?

Unlike many lakes, a creel survey is done each year on Mille Lacs because there are safe harvest limits on walleye, perch and northern pike.

DNR creel clerks interview anglers, measure fish, keep track of hours fished and count boats, fish houses and recreational craft. This year on Mille Lacs, clerks also are asking if anglers used live or artificial bait.

When the data is analyzed, it provides information about angler effort, harvest, size distribution of fish as well as insight into fishing quality and pressure.