Mille Lacs Lake's walleye size-limit regulations will remain through end of June. The harvest was 141,000 pounds through June 15.
Creel projections place the walleye harvest under the June 15 target level of 170,000 pounds, the DNR announced, meaning anglers can continue to keep walleyes 14-18 inches and one fish 28 inches or larger.
"We have plenty of breathing room right now," said Tom Jones, DNR large lake specialist. "The next two weeks will be critical because night fishing started this week."
Night fishing could cause problems if catch rates are much higher than day catch rates. Another concern is the continued harvest of walleyes in shallow water.
"The general pattern for walleye movement is from shallow rocks and sand to the flats accompanied by decreasing catch rates sometime in June," Jones said. "Right now, we have good fishing for big fish on the flats but also good fishing for all sizes of fish in shallow water.
"If catch rates do not drop off and the night fishing is extremely good the harvest in the second half of June could be higher than expected," he added.
The slot limits are required by law to comply with the 1837 Treaty court decisions. The fishing regulations will remain the same as long as the harvests do not exceed trigger levels set through mid-July.
"The good news is that we will not have to change the slot limit at this time," said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR treaty biologist. "We will continue monitoring the harvest levels every two weeks through July 15. If the harvest exceeds the trigger level at any of the two-week check points, the slot size will be reduced. However, if none of the triggers are exceeded by July 15 the regulation will remain the same for the remainder of the season."
If a change is needed the slot would change to 14-16 inches with no trophy fish. Anglers can check public access signs or bait shops for current regulations or call the DNR Information Center at (888) 646-6367. Regulation changes are not official until posted at public water access sites.
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