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MrBig

17-28 slot for 2012

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MrBig

DNR releases slot info for 2012:

New walleye regulation at Mille Lacs Lake; good fishing expected

(Released April 5, 2012)

Anglers who fish Mille Lacs Lake during the 2012 season will be able to keep walleye less than 17 inches in length, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This is a change from last year’s regulation that allowed keeping of walleye less than 18 inches.

The 17- to 28-inch protected slot regulation is designed to keep the walleye harvest by state licensed anglers within the state’s allocation of safe harvest. One walleye 28 inches or longer may be included in the four-fish limit. The walleye season is scheduled to open Saturday, May 12.

“We expect anglers to do very well at Mille Lacs,” said Dirk Peterson, DNR Fisheries Section chief. “The winter bite was good. The open water bite should be very good, too.” He said the new regulation on Mille Lacs is identical to that of Rainy Lake and similar to regulations on several other large walleye lakes.

Mille Lacs Lake is being managed this year for a safe walleye harvest level of 500,000 pounds. The state angler allocation is 357,500 pounds. The tribal allocation is 142,500 pounds. The DNR met with the citizen-comprised Mille Lacs Fishery Input Group twice this past winter to discuss fishing issues.

Peterson reminds anglers that Mille Lacs also offers outstanding muskellunge and smallmouth bass fishing. The muskellunge season opens June 2. The smallmouth bass season on Mille Lacs opens May 26.

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SkunkedAgain

I guess that's what a successful season of winter fishing gets ya!

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fish hawk kris

Yeah, kinda blows! Though the 17" slot has been working wonders on many of the other MN Walleye factories. Guess you cannot deny results!

FHK

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tfin

This isn't as bad as what might have happened. I don't know about the rest of you but I rarely catch a fish in the 17 to 18 inch range anyways. Now I'll just have to be excited about catching em in the 16 to 16.99999 in range.

I'm excited as ever to get out on the lake as the fish should be hammering most presentations this year. That's if the bait fish numbers are down as much as rumored.

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griff321

I take it the band turned down the request for the increased harvest?

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ldbbeck

I thought one of the main reason they went to 18" was to keep it the same so people would know what regulation was. Sure ice fishing was good but due to bad ice amount of people fishing was down. The fishing in the lake is good I dont think they needed to change anything. I dont catch that many fish in that range either.

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eyejob

what's the slot for netting? i guess the only thing that can survive the nets are the fingerlings.

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eyejob

new slot while the indians are still netting...rubbing salt on an open wound.

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Red Miller

I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that they did not slap a 2-fish limit on top of it.

This sort of reminds me of the year they had the 16-inch slot. I remember it well. We had 6 guys fishing for 3 days straight and came home with 2 keepers. The next year we moved our annual spring trip to Leech where many limits were caught.

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BrdHunter01

new slot while the indians are still netting...rubbing salt on an open wound.

+1

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gregg52

i sure hope those muskie's are naturally reproducing

would sadden me to know my license or tax money is going to restock that lake!!!!!!!!!

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Red Miller

i sure hope those muskie's are naturally reproducing

would sadden me to know my license or tax money is going to restock that lake!!!!!!!!!

This should probably be over on the other thread but it looks like they are stocking about 3000 fingerlings every other year for the last 8 years. (Muskies). After rereading, it appears that to some degree, there was private stocking included in the numbers.

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gregg52

well whatever thread

i guess in my opinion there should be no stocking

i'm curious as to who were the private people

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Red Miller

Well I would agree that it is foolish to stock especially with public money. But back to the slot limit issue, I dont understand how this new slot is going to relieve the pressure on the small males. And the other question is in the grand scheme of the harvest as it exists, why do the anglers get stuck with all the dinks and the natives can take all the decent size fish?? Why isnt it the other way around?

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gregg52

i personally like the small fish

but i agree

i dont fish over there much any more since the nets when in

but before the nets i was fishing over there alot and the slot was

up to 18 and one over so if you like those bigger ones you could take a couple home if you wanted and the fishing was very good back then

lots of good different year classes

i dont know what is a good slot as i'm not a boilogist but i know when the fishing was good i fish the north end now early sometimes if i cant make it up to winnie and seem to be albe to come home with my limit but its only 4 compared to 6 back then i eat alot of fish so thats alittle annoying

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MidCoast

I dislike the new slots. With the high gas prices expected this spring and summer and these new slots, I for sure will not be making the trip to Mille Lacs at all.

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Stick in Mud

Interesting responses to the changed slot. Personally, I couldn't care less if it's 17-28, 18-28, or anything else because I don't like eating fish anyways. I also don't know anything about fisheries management, so I'll just catch my fish, keep one or two, and keep my speculations to myself. smile

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tfin

God bless ya MidCoast and all with the same mindset,

Maybe your drive to Winni, url, leech or vermillion is shorter all lakes with similar slots and all still attracting numerous fishermen. I am however hoping that your stance against fishing mille lacs will bring about lower gas prices in the future.

I'll make the drive as will many others because the lake produces fish and I've caught alot of 10" fish over the last 2 years that will be perfect this year.

Good luck on whatever lakes you decide to fish.

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Stick in Mud

Yeah, tfin, those little cigars were THICK last year....How many inches does a walleye grow in one year??

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largemarge

so how does the night ban take effect? same as the opener wknd, then on the 7th or what?

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largemarge

when is the night ban then?

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CaptainMusky

i sure hope those muskie's are naturally reproducing

would sadden me to know my license or tax money is going to restock that lake!!!!!!!!!

wow. Should we compare the dollars spent on walleye stocking into lakes. Where they do not naturally reproduce to musky stocking?

Unless your comments are just in general due to the netting efforts and wasted money I may have taken it the wrong way.

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tfin

Carmike, I believe last years 10" would be about 13 to 14 inches this year and 15 to 16 next year. I don't know for sure but I remember reading about the growth of walleyes and being surprized how fast they get into the 15 inch range.

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desert_bulls

when is the night ban then?

No one may fish for any species or possess fishing gear on the lake from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. starting at 10 p.m. on May 14 and ending at 12:01 a.m. on June 11.

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griff321

Carmike, I believe last years 10" would be about 13 to 14 inches this year and 15 to 16 next year. I don't know for sure but I remember reading about the growth of walleyes and being surprized how fast they get into the 15 inch range.

Some quick math on the 2010 DNR report for Mille Lacs indicates by age three the average size is about 12.5" with fish ranging from 10.5" to 14". Numbers can vary year to year depending on the length of the grow season and the abundance of young-of-year perch and tullibee. I was reading an in-fisherman article that states some southern reservoirs see growth rates near 12" by year one!

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MidCoast

I don't know about the rest of you but I dislike keeping any Eyes under 15 inches for a meal. There is just no meat on it when you fillet it.

In the past two seasons, every keeper I caught was from 15 to 17.5 inches with most keepers being around 17 to 17.5 inches. I seldom caught ay 15 or 16 inch Walleyes. With these new slots, I will be releasing 95% of my catch and I am positive I will not have enough for a meal since I don't keep anything under 15 inches anyways. So those 10 inch Walleyes people talked about or 12 to 14 inch Walleyes don't interest me like it may for others.

If I just wanted to catch and release Walleyes, I would just fish Pool 2, Mississippi River, it is catch and release only and in my opinion is the best Walleye bite in MN.

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gregg52

Captain Musky

that was alittle sacrism

I dont care what kind of fish is going into mille lacs

the best natural reproducing lake in the world

i dont want any of my license or tax money going to restock it

while nets are taking fish out!!!!!

get the restocking money from across the street at the casino!!!!!!!!

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pushbutton

Yep, don't like keeping the small fish either. If you let them grow another year or two, you get way more meat. Problem is that the lake has so much harvest pressure and only so many lbs. can be taken from the lake. If you wanted a larger bottom end on the slot would have to reduce the bag.....which I guess I would prefer, but would suspect that would run into quite a bit of opposition. Too bad the smallie protection is so strict....that would at least provide an opportunity for our friends from Iowa and Nebraska to bring home something to eat wink

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tfin

MidCoast,

I don't think anybody keeps 10" walleyes and I'll keep 13.5 if it's looks fat. I've caught alot of 10" over the last 2 years though and all of those fish should be between 13 to 18 inches by now.

Also, 2 years ago on shermans flat I caught limits of 15 and higher almost every time out. Last year I caught nothing but big fish in the same areas so I figure I'm going to have to learn new areas of the lake this year.

I don't know whether or not to hope for a more agreeable slot next year though since I enjoyed eating a lot more fish this last winter.

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WallyGader

Not sure how to put this so that nobody is offended... but with the tighter slot (i know its only 1") and hearing stories of people with cabins on the lake keeping fish outside the slot. Dont you think more people are going to be "hiding" fish in there boats and not obeying as much so they feel that there trip is "worth it" or so that they can make a meal out of what little fish they were allowed to keep? Bottom line making the slot change semi worthless? I would like to think nobody does this but as we all know there are always some bad apples...

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