Lake of the Woods – one of Minnesota’s 10 large walleye lakes – has a new draft management plan and the Department of Natural Resources is seeking input on it beginning Monday, June 11.
The plan outlines the proposed five-year fish population objectives and fisheries management actions. It incorporates the recommendations of the 14-member Lake of the Woods Fisheries Input Group, which has met five times since December 2017.
“Fishing on Lake of the Woods is very important to the communities of Baudette and Warroad, as well as surrounding areas,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette area fisheries supervisor. “The diverse Lake of the Woods fishery is also a significant statewide resource that all Minnesotans can enjoy.”
Members from the input group added great value to the content of the management plan. Long-term sustainability was at the forefront of the group’s discussion. Input group members were concerned about the growth in winter angling pressure on Lake of the Woods and encouraged the DNR to continue to support the creel surveys in order to monitor fishing pressure over time.
The input group also expressed concerns about system change from things like invasive species. They recommended that the DNR continue to study the potential impact of invasive species on the sustainability of the Lake of the Woods fishery.
The lake has thriving walleye, sauger, and lake sturgeon populations, making it one of the premier fishing destinations in Minnesota.
Public comments will be accepted through Monday, July 11, and online at mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods. Paper questionnaires also are available at the DNR’s Baudette Area Fisheries Office, 204 Main St. East in Baudette. Comments will be reviewed and considered in July and August. The final Lake of the Woods management plan will be completed in September.
For more information on the Lake of the Woods draft management plan and the public input process, contact the DNR’s Baudette Area Fisheries Office, 218-634-2522.