The Department of Natural Resources and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe have set a catch-and-release fishing season from May 11th through August 15th. The plan is to begin allowing one walleye between 21-23 inches or one over 28 inches on August 16.  WJON's Lee Voss' story.

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Glen Schmitt from Outdoor News joined me on WJON.  He says he's frustrated with the process more than anything else.  Schmitt doesn't believe in the explanation of a high catch rate this fall and winter as a reason for the decision.  He says ice fishing this winter has been way down.  Schmitt says there was little to no traffic in some locations on the lake this winter due to poor ice conditions.

Schmitt explains some resorts this winter weren't able to get their fish houses out to get the general public out on the lake.  He says the lake is healthy and it's full of walleyes right now.  Schmitt's experience with those fishing Mille Lacs this winter shows fish being caught of all sizes in good healthy shape.

Schmitt believes this is going to have an adverse affect on lake traffic on Mille Lacs this spring and summer and will especially hurt resorts and tourism in the area.

photo courtesy of Glen Schmitt
photo courtesy of Glen Schmitt

The warmer weather in Central Minnesota has allowed for some open water fishing.  Schmitt got out locally a couple times in the past week.  He says he wasn't the only boat out on the lake and he had success finding panfish.  Schmitt was able to locate sunfish in the bays and had success in 14-16 feet of water.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Glen Schmitt it is available below.



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