News release: DNR sets winter walleye fishing regulations for Upper Red, Mille Lacs lakes

October 31, 2023

The walleye limit for Upper Red Lake will decrease from the five allowed during open water season to four this winter while the Mille Lacs Lake walleye limit will remain at one.

“Fall netting assessments on both lakes suggest these harvest levels will keep walleye populations sustainable and healthy,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We’re pleased to offer anglers harvest opportunities on both lakes.”

Effective Wednesday, Nov. 1, anglers fishing on the state waters of Upper Red Lake can keep up to four walleye with one longer than 17 inches.

Beginning Friday, Dec. 1, Mille Lacs Lake anglers can keep one walleye 21-23 inches long or one longer than 28 inches.

The DNR sets winter regulations for these lakes after completion of annual fall population assessments.

Results from Upper Red showed an optimal level of walleye spawning stock and a high overall net catch rate, especially of nearly mature walleye.

Mille Lacs’ results found slightly lower walleye numbers than in 2022.

But the continued strong presence of walleye born in 2013 and 2017 and acceptable numbers of walleye born in 2021 and 2022 suggest there are adequate numbers of younger fish to keep the population sustainable as they mature and reproduce to replace fish caught by anglers.

Complete winter fishing regulations are available on the Upper Red Lake regulations webpage and the Mille Lacs Lake regulations webpage.

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