Mille Lacs Lake fishing regulations

If regulations change, they will be posted at public accesses and on this web page. Printed and electronic copies of these regulations are available from the DNR Information Center by emailing [email protected] or by calling 1-888-646-6367

Special regulations

Effective May 14, 2022

Mille Lacs Lake including all tributaries from the mouth upstream to posted boundaries.

  • Walleye
    • May 14-May 31:
      • Possession limit is 1.
      • 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.
    • June 1-June 30:
      • All walleye must be immediately released.
    • July 1-July 15:
      • Walleye fishing is closed.
      • Walleye may not be targeted.
    • July 16-Aug. 31:
      • All walleye must be immediately released.
    • Sept. 1-Nov. 30:
      • Possession limit is 1.
      • Only walleye between 20 inches and 23 inches in length or one walleye 26 inches or greater are legal to keep.
  • Northern pike: For angling and spearing, all greater than 30 inches must be immediately released. Limit of three from Saturday, May 14, through Friday, March 31, 2023. Spearing season coincides with the statewide spearing season.
  • Smallmouth and largemouth bass: All bass greater than 17 inches must be immediately released during the harvest season. Limit of three in combination. Angling seasons follow statewide fishing seasons.
  • Night closure
    • May 16-June 3: No fishing for any species from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    • June 4-Aug. 31: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., no fishing allowed. See exemptions.
    • Sept. 1-Nov. 30: Midnight (12 a.m.) to 6 a.m., no fishing allowed. See exemptions.
    • Exemptions:
      • Muskellunge and northern pike: Beginning June 4, these species may be targeted with artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. While fishing during the night closure, you may not possess or target any species other than muskellunge or northern pike.
      • Bowfishing for non-game fish: You may not possess angling equipment while bowfishing and only non-game fish may be in possession.
  • Bait restrictions
    • July 1-July 15: Anglers targeting northern pike and muskellunge can use sucker minnows longer than 8 inches. But anglers targeting all other fish species may not use live, dead, preserved or parts of minnows, night crawlers, worms, leeches or crayfish.