News release: DNR sets open water fishing regulations for Upper Red Lake

March 13, 2024

Anglers fishing on Upper Red Lake during the 2024 open-water season that starts May 11 will have a three-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed. Beginning June 15, the limit will change to a four-walleye possession limit, with only one walleye longer than 17 inches allowed.

“This fishing regulation is a reflection of the lake’s popularity, especially when fishing is good,” said Edie Evarts, DNR area fisheries supervisor for Bemidji. “We’ve opted for a slightly more conservative bag limit for the early part of the summer to maintain the long-term health of the fishery and keep Upper Red Lake a premier angling destination.”

In response to a record-high harvest this winter and the need to stay within the state’s annual harvest quota, the DNR has opted for a lower daily limit during the early open water season, when catch rates and angler effort are highest. The decision to increase the possession limit by one fish starting June 15 will allow additional angling harvest opportunity while maintaining a healthy walleye population.

Walleye management on Red Lake is a collaborative effort between Red Lake Nation and the Minnesota DNR, governed by a joint harvest plan revised by the Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee in 2015. Winter harvest regulations for 2024-2025 will be determined after the summer fishing season and completion of fall assessment netting.

The 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 and all Minnesota waters from aquatic invasive species by cleaning and draining watercraft and equipment and disposing of unwanted bait in the trash. A decontamination station is available at the Tamarac River Big Bog Public Water Access, referred to locally as Homestead Park.

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