News release: Upper Red Lake walleye regulations announced for open water season

April 18, 2023

Anglers fishing on Upper Red Lake in northern Minnesota during the 2023 open-water season that starts May 13 will have a five-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“This summer we are able to have a more generous bag limit as the 2019 class is super abundant. These fish are around 15 inches and are now becoming mature,” said Edie Evarts, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “We hope anglers will enjoy this extra opportunity, which will also meet our goal of managing spawning walleye stock at a level that produces future strong year classes.”

The 2022 open water season had a four-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 20 inches allowed.

“More spawning stock is not always better on Upper Red Lake. Our management has shown that too many spawners in the lake can result in smaller year classes,” Evarts said.

The Red Lake Nation and the Minnesota DNR manage walleye harvest on Red Lake under a joint harvest plan that the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee revised in 2015. The 2023-2024 winter harvest regulations will be determined after the summer fishing season and the completion of fall assessment netting.

An Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee reviews walleye harvest totals and regulation options and provides recommendations for the state waters of Upper Red Lake. Upper Red Lake fishing regulations are available on the Minnesota DNR fishing regulations page.

Anglers are reminded to protect Upper Red Lake from aquatic invasive species by cleaning and draining watercraft and equipment and disposing of unwanted bait in the trash. A permanent decontamination station is coming soon to the Tamarac River Big Bog Public Water Access, referred to locally as Homestead Park.

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