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

Dark house spearing

Size and harvest restrictions for northern pike also apply for dark house spearing. Note that the dark house spearing season on Mille Lacs Lake coincides with the statewide dark house spearing season, which concludes the last Sunday in February. Only northern pike angling is allowed on Mille Lacs Lake after the statewide dark house spearing season closes.

Special regulations

Not Effective until May 13, 2023

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


  • Angling allowed Saturday, May 13, to Sunday, Nov. 30.
  • One walleye between 21 and 23 inches in length or over 28 inches in length may be possessed.

Northern pike

  • Angling allowed Saturday, May 13, to Sunday, March 31, 2024.
  • Spearing season follows statewide open dates.
  • Possession limit is 3.
  • All northern pike greater than 30 inches must be immediately released.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass

  • Angling season follows statewide regulations.
  • Possession limit is 3 combined.
  • All bass greater than 17 inches must be immediately released.


  • Catch and release only. All burbot must be immediately released.

Tullibee (cisco)

  • Possession limit is 5.

All other species

  • Follow statewide regulations.


  • Bowfishing for rough fish is allowed.

Night fishing closure

  • Monday, May 15, to Thursday, Aug. 31: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., no fishing allowed (see exceptions below).
  • Friday, Sept. 1 – Thursday, Nov. 30: Midnight (12 a.m.) to 6 a.m., no fishing allowed (see exceptions below).


  • Saturday, June 3, to Thursday, Nov. 30: Muskellunge and northern pike may be targeted at night with artificial lures longer than 8 inches or sucker minnows longer than 8 inches.
  • Bowfishing is allowed at night. While bowfishing at night, angling equipment is not allowed in possession and no species other than rough fish may be in possession.

No culling or livewell sorting

  • Fish taken into possession may not be exchanged for another fish, except that culling is allowed for bass prior to reaching a possession limit.
Current regulations

Tagged Fish: Please record tag number, species, fish length, date & place caught, angler type (e.g. boat, launch, shore, ice, etc.), and whether released (leave tag attached) or kept (send tag). Postcards are available at public accesses & businesses on Mille Lacs Lake. Fish can be reported by:

  • Contacting or mailing Minnesota DNR-Fisheries, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S, Aitkin, MN, 56431
  • Sending an e-mail to [email protected]
  • Online