Building a sustainable future
Improving Mille Lacs Lake's walleye fishery as expediently as possible with as little negative impact to the local community as possible is the DNR's primary goal.
Even with regulations that protect small walleye, Mille Lacs remains a quality fishery. You'll find high numbers of large walleye and excellent fishing for northern pike, smallmouth bass and muskellunge.
2016-17 winter regulations open Mille Lacs walleye fishing
Anglers will be able to fish for and keep walleye at Mille Lacs Lake this winter. The winter walleye regulation will allow anglers to keep one walleye between 19 and 21 inches or one longer than 28 inches. The winter walleye season begins Thursday, Dec. 1, and extends through Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.
Northern pike will provide anglers and darkhouse spearers with additional opportunity to harvest fish this winter. Like last winter, a less restrictive winter regulation will replace the current open water regulation and allow ice anglers and spearers to keep up to five fish with one longer than 30 inches. Anglers and spearers may only keep a northern longer than 30 inches if they have caught or speared two pike shorter than 30 inches and have both in immediate possession. The pike regulation goes into effect on Dec. 1. It continues through Sunday, March 26, 2017, for angling and Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 for spearing.
For now, bass regulations will remain the same. But on the heels of a very successful Toyota Angler of the Year tournament and the increased attention it has focused on Mille Lacs' world-class smallmouth, discussions with the Mille Lacs advisory committee will be ongoing to determine if changes may be warranted for the open water bass season.
DNR analyzed the data collected in its creel survey every two weeks throughout the summer to monitor fishing on Mille Lacs.
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Mille Lacs bass shine
The world's top 50 bass anglers experienced what Minnesotans already know: Mille Lacs Lake is one of the nation's premier bass fishing destinations.
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Mille Lacs Lake and its surrounding communities offer visitors fish and a whole lot more.
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