Walleye Shutdown? Mille Lacs Lake catch nearing walleye limit

Brainerd Dispatch, Northland Outdoors
Mille Lacs Lake fishing guide Steve Fellegy holds a 26-inch walleye taken on his boat Tuesday, July 9, 2013, while fishing mud flats at the north end of the lake. Although fishing has been good on Mille Lacs, last fall's survey of walleyes was the lowest in the past 40 years. (Sam Cook/Duluth News Tribune)

Mille Lacs Lake is nearing its limit for walleye fishing,The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday.

A creel survey conducted last week on estimated walleye harvests, releases and kill on Mille Lacs Lake during the first two weeks of July showed drastic increases that could result in the state reaching the limit by July 29, the DNR said in a release.

Despite the ongoing challenges with the walleye population, other fishing on the lake remains strong and near record highs. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr stressed that anglers should take advantage of the continuation of liberal northern pike and smallmouth bass regulations on the lake.

"Mille Lacs Lake remains one of the premier fishing destinations in the state," Landwehr said in the release. "Northern pike and smallmouth bass are at or near record highs. Anglers should take advantage of the liberal regulations for these species. DNR tagging studies also indicate that muskies larger than 50 inches have never been more abundant."

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