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UND, NDSU research bill fails in the House

October open house to address Lake of the Woods, Rainy River regulation proposals

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is proposing to lower the winter aggregate walleye-sauger limit on Lake of the Woods. Anglers currently can keep an aggregate limit of eight walleyes and saugers, of which no more than four can be walleyes. The DNR is proposing to lower the winter limiit to six with no more than four walleyes, same as the summer limit. (Photo/ Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has scheduled an open house for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8 at Lake of the Woods School, 210 Third Ave. NE, Baudette, Minn., to take public input on two proposed regulation changes on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River.

The proposed changes would take effect March 1, 2019.

The DNR on Lake of the Woods is proposing to lower the winter walleye-sauger limit from eight, with no more than four walleyes, to six, with no more than four walleyes, same as the summer limit.

A protected slot requiring anglers to release all walleyes from 19 ½ inches to 28 inches remains in effect.

"Expanding winter pressure has resulted in sauger harvest exceeding management objectives with 80 percent of the sauger harvest coming in the winter season," said Phil Talmage, area fisheries supervisor for the DNR in Baudette.

On the Rainy River, the DNR is proposing a catch-and-release walleye season from March 1 through April 14 on the river and Four-Mile Bay of Lake of the Woods. Increasing pressure and harvest focused on prespawn male walleyes has impacted the spawning population in the river, Talmage said.

"Walleye and sauger populations on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River are doing well, but increasing fishing pressure has resulted in increased harvest and stress on the fishery," Talmage said. "These regulations are intended to be a proactive approach to ensure the high quality fishery that anglers have come to expect from the border water region."

The DNR will accept comments on the proposals through Oct. 18. Those not attending the meeting can provide comments by calling the Baudette area fisheries office at (218) 634-2522 or by emailing baudette.fisheries@state.mn.us. Metro anglers also can provide comments in person to Al Stevens on Sept. 26 at the DNR Office in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road.

-- Minnesota DNR