News release: DNR seeks input on Big Sandy Lake walleye regulations

September 12, 2022

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is asking for input on special walleye fishing regulations for Big Sandy Lake and connected waters in Aitkin County.

The current regulation, in place since 2011, was implemented to improve catch rates of larger fish and to improve reproduction. The regulation is now due for review before a decision is made to extend, change or allow it to expire.

“The Big Sandy Lake walleye population is entirely sustained by natural reproduction, so regulations that focus on reproductive conditions are a critical component of fish management in this system,” said Rick Bruesewitz, Aitkin area fisheries supervisor. “Since the current regulation was implemented, the abundance of 14- to 18-inch walleye has increased substantially and reproduction has improved and stabilized. As part of the review process, it’s important for us to hear from anglers about their experience on the water.”

For those who want to provide input in-person, an open house will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Aitkin Area DNR Office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S., Aitkin, MN 56431. Comment can be sent by U.S. mail to the same address or emailed to [email protected].

Anyone can provide input about this and other area proposals currently open for review via an online survey that is available through Monday, Oct. 17. General input may also be submitted to Jon Hansen at [email protected] or 651-259-5239, or via U.S. mail to Fishing Regulations, c/o Jon Hansen, Box 20, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155.

A Twin Cities metro area open house to receive input on all proposals will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the DNR’s Central Office at 500 Lafayette Road in St. Paul.

Notification of the proposed changes to special fishing regulations have been posted at the accesses to each lake included in the proposal. If enacted, the proposed regulations would take effect for the 2023 fishing season.