MILLE LACS LAKE, Minn. - Anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be allowed to keep and eat a walleye this season for the first time in four years.
The DNR announced the new regulations Tuesday, which state an angler can keep one walleye from 21 to 23 inches, or one walleye over 28 inches, from May 11 through May 31.
This is the first time the DNR has allowed anglers to keep any walleye during open water fishing on Mille Lacs since 2015.
“It’s good news that anglers get to keep some walleye this May, but we are being cautious,” said Brad Parsons, DNR fisheries chief.
Mille Lacs will have a night closure on walleye for the 2019 season from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. beginning May 13. That restriction will remain in place for the entire season, which ends Nov. 30.
Catch-and-release walleye fishing will begin June 1.
The DNR says the walleye population is improving, which is why they're allowing this change, but the focus remains on conservation.
“These regulations represent a careful balance between expanding fishing opportunities and conserving the fishery for the future," Parsons said.