Less restrictive Red Lake winter walleye regulations announced

Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this winter will be able to keep three walleye – one more than last winter’s limit – and those fish can be from a broader size range.

Effective Tuesday, Dec. 1, the daily bag and possession limit for Red Lake will be three walleye, only one of which may be longer than 17 inches.

Last winter, anglers could keep two walleye, one of which could be longer than 26 inches. All walleye 17-26 inches had to be immediately released.

“In fall assessment netting by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, there was high walleye abundance and large numbers of fish from 12 to 21 inches,” said Gary Barnard, DNR Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “The coming winter’s less restrictive regulations are based on the excellent status of Red Lake’s walleye fishery.”  

The DNR and the Red Lake Band have developed a joint harvest plan that governs walleye harvest on an annual basis. The harvest plan was recently revised for the first time since the walleye fishery reopened in 2006 after being closed in the 1990s due to overharvest.

Harvest regulation options were the topic at a Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee meeting in late September.

“The Citizen’s Advisory Committee wholeheartedly endorses the new winter regulations for the 2015-2016 ice fishing season,” said Advisory Committee member Joe Corcoran. “We are optimistic these regulations will be successful at keeping walleye harvest within the established target harvest range for the winter season.”

More information on Red Lake fishing regulations are available on the fishing Web page.