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Rick

OutdoorMN News - DNR seeking input on Leech Lake proposed walleye regulation change

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Rick

The Department of Natural Resources will seek public input this fall on a proposed walleye regulation change on Leech Lake that would take effect at the start of the 2019 open water fishing season. Public comments will be solicited at an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Walker Area Community Center, Monday, Sept. 24. 

The current walleye regulation on Leech Lake is four fish, requiring the immediate release of any walleye that are within a 20 to 26-inch protected slot limit. Only one fish over 26 inches allowed in possession.  The four-fish walleye possession limit on Leech Lake has been in effect since 2005.

“The regulation was initially put in place to help protect spawning fish,” said Doug Schultz, DNR Walker area fisheries supervisor. “Regulation goals have been exceeded, prompting the DNR to propose increased harvest opportunity at this time.”

The proposed regulation change would remove the 20 to 26-inch protected slot and replace it with a regulation similar to the statewide regulation, but with a four fish walleye limit, only one of which can be over 20 inches.

According to Carl Pedersen, the DNR large lake specialist on Leech Lake, the walleye population is in excellent condition at this time and can afford some additional harvest.

“We have an abundant population of spawning age fish with a wide distribution of sizes, and multiple year classes of smaller fish entering the fishery,” said Pedersen. “Protective fishing regulations combined with very consistent production of year classes over the past 10 years have put us in a very good position.”

When future fisheries assessments indicate harvest should be reduced, the DNR anticipates revisiting the protected slot limit at that time.

Following the meeting, comments will be accepted through Oct. 5. Those unable to attend the meeting can provide comments by calling the Walker Area fisheries office at 218-547-1683 or by emailing [email protected]. Metro anglers can also provide comments in person to Al Stevens at the DNR Office in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road, on Sept. 26.

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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