DNR to offer two walleye proposals for Leech Lake

Tom Neustrom of Grand Rapids used a jig to take this 25-inch walleye on Leech Lake in May. (News Tribune file photo)

Fisheries officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will offer two proposals that would maintain or modify walleye regulations on Leech Lake. A public meeting to discuss those proposals will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Walker/Hackensack/Akeley school commons in Walker.

DNR fisheries staff will explain why the department is considering maintaining regulations adopted in 2005, which require Leech Lake anglers to immediately release all walleye 18 to 26 inches in length. Anglers are allowed to keep up to four walleye, only one of which can be longer than 26 inches.

A second proposal would require anglers to immediately release all walleye 20-to 26-inches in length. The bag limit would remain at four fish, with one of those walleye allowed to be longer than 26 inches. If DNR population surveys determine that female walleye density is negatively affected by the reduced slot limit, the DNR could revert  to the 18-to 26-inch slot limit.

“The ability to revert back to a more protective slot limit gives us flexibility,” said Harlan Fierstine, the DNR’s Walker area fisheries supervisor. “It allows anglers to keep larger fish while providing a useful management tool that allows us to protect younger year classes of walleye. if necessary, to meet population objectives established by Leech Lake’s citizen input committee.”

Those unable to attend the meeting in Walker  may submit written comments until Oct. 25 via e-mail to harlan.fierstine@state.mn.us or via postal mail to DNR Area Fisheries, 07316 State 371 NW, Walker, MN 56484. Telephone comments can be made by calling the Walker area fisheries office at (218) 547-1683.

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