Mille Lacs Lake is closed for targeting catch and release walleyes from July 1-31
PERM believes this is in violation of state and federal discrimination laws since it only applies to NON-TRIBAL members. Tribal members may continue to harvest 10 walleyes per angler per day with no size limit.
That’s discrimination, plain and simple!
And it’s totally unwarranted. As Joe Fellegy points out in a recent article, Wrong Mille Lacs-Red Lake Comparisons (Excerpt from Rocking the Boat By Joe Fellegy, Outdoor News, June 19, 2020). “There is nothing in the Mille Lacs biosphere justifying extremist regs prohibiting state-licensed anglers from keeping any walleyes.”
Joe Fellegy is again unraveling the Mille Lacs is “another Red Lake” misconception. He confirms the difference by quoting Tom Heinrich, the DNR’s Mille Lacs area fisheries supervisor. Heinrich said, “The situations in Red Lake and Mille Lacs have virtually nothing in common.”
There is nothing in Mille Lacs’ biosphere that justifies the DNR’s punishing, politics-driven, Mille Lacs walleye regs, according to Fellegy. For that, you can “thank the state-tribal co-management quota system.”
Douglas Meyenburg, President PERM
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Wrong Mille Lacs-Red Lake comparisons
Excerpt from Rocking the Boat By Joe Fellegy
Outdoor News, June 19, 2020
Thanks to the super-strict, political walleye regs on Mille Lacs–where this year state-licensed anglers can keep no walleyes, and where they cannot “target” walleyes in July–unknowing anglers and other citizens wrongly believe that Mille Lacs is “another Red Lake.”
They’re alluding to the 1990s and 2000s collapse of walleyes in the Upper and Lower Red Lake complex. Red Lake did require stocking to bring back the walleyes.
Unlike Red Lake walleyes, which were in biological collapse, Mille Lacs walleyes are not in crash mode. Mille Lacs continues to be a classic natural walleye factory and does not need stocking. Tom Heinrich, the DNR’s Mille Lacs area fisheries supervisor, was previously stationed at Lake of the Woods.
He is very familiar with big-lake fisheries science and assessment work. Here is his take:
“The situations in Red Lake and Mille Lacs have virtually nothing in common. The walleye population in Red Lake was depressed due to overharvest, and there were simply too few adult female walleyes available to produce a speedy recovery to desired population levels.
“The situation on Mille Lacs is not one of inadequate spawning abundance. Ten million marked fry were stocked in Mille Lacs annually from 2016 through 2018. Because they were marked, we were able to estimate the number of walleye fry naturally produced in the lake. Due to various abundances of adult walleyes through that time period, the number of naturally produced fry ranged from about 7,000 per littoral acre to over 18,000 fry per littoral acre.
“For perspective, from 1999 through 2005, Red Lake had just under 600 fry per littoral acre–stocked and naturally produced.”
In other words, Mille Lacs is not “another Red Lake” in need of stocking to restore a lost walleye population. Also, there is nothing in the Mille Lacs biosphere justifying extremist regs prohibiting state-licensed anglers from keeping any walleyes. Thank the state-tribal co-management quota system for the never-ending Mille Lacs PR debacle or crap storm.