The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is liberalizing fishing regulations on Lake Wakanda in Kandiyohi County from Dec. 18 through Feb. 27, 2022. The liberalized fishing rules are in response to a lake rehabilitation project that will temporarily draw down water levels.
Minnesota residents with a fishing license may take for their personal use all species of fish in any quantity and in any manner; except they are not allowed to use seines, hoopnets, fyke nets or explosives. Carp, buffalo, bullhead and suckers that are taken from Lake Wakanda may be sold.
Anglers must obey all private property trespassing laws. Also, it is against the law to discard fish on shore or on lake ice.
The Lake Wakanda rehabilitation project included the construction of four fish barriers that are designed to limit the migration of rough fish into the lake. Drawing down water levels is intended to reduce the lake’s existing carp population and improve water quality. The two-year drawdown has lowered lake levels by two and a half feet, consistent with the lake’s management plan.
Drawdowns mimic drought conditions, which act as a reset to a lake ecosystem by consolidating sediments, establishing vegetation and reducing rough fish populations. The practice also creates conditions conducive for winterkill, which can occur with lowered oxygen levels. Removal of rough fish improves fish and wildlife habitat and helps sustain a more diverse fishery.
Lake Wakanda will remain in drawdown through the winter of 2021-2022 before DNR managers allow it to naturally refill in 2022. Fisheries crews will then stock a diversity of game species in order to control rough fish populations and maintain desirable fish habitat.