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

Upcoming special regulation

Not effective until Saturday, May 9

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

  • Walleye
    • May 9-June 30: All walleye must be immediately released.
    • July 1-31: Walleye may not be targeted. No live bait allowed on the lake except sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length for anglers targeting northern pike and muskellunge.
    • Aug. 1-Nov. 30: All walleye must be immediately released.
  • Northern pike: All greater than 30 inches must be immediately released. Limit of three from Saturday, May 9, through Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Same regulations for spearing, which concludes Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021.
  • Smallmouth and largemouth bass: Immediate release of all bass greater than 17 inches during the harvest season, which begins Saturday, May 23. Limit of three in combination. Smallmouth harvest ends Sunday, Sept. 13. Largemouth harvest ends Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021.
  • Night closure
    • Effective 10 p.m. on Monday, May 11, through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 30.
    • Monday, May 11, through Friday, June 5: No fishing for any species from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
    • Saturday, June 6, through Nov. 30: No fishing from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. except for species and methods listed below:
      • Muskellunge and northern pike: 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 rough fish: You may not possess angling equipment while bowfishing and only rough fish may be in possession.
Current regulations

Dark house spearing

Size and harvest restrictions listed below 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 angling is allowed on Mille Lacs Lake after the statewide dark house spearing season closes.


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