5-year plan for Leech Lake shows healthy walleye population

MINNEAPOLIS - Fisheries officials say the walleye population in Leech Lake is healthy and stable, with anglers enjoying above-average catch rates.
    
The Department of Natural Resources issued the final version of its five-year management plan for the popular northern Minnesota lake Monday.
    
The report shows that Leech Lake's walleye population has recovered nicely after a big drop in the mid-2000s after the population of cormorants on the lake surged. The plan calls for keeping the cormorant population limited to 500 nesting pairs.
    
But the plan also highlights a recent falloff in Leech Lake's yellow perch population, the favorite prey for walleyes. The report puts part of the blame on heavy pressure by ice anglers, and suggests tighter limits may be necessary someday if the perch harvest routinely exceeds the plan target.


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