Anglers fishing Upper Red Lake this winter will continue to have a four-walleye bag limit, with only one walleye allowed longer than 17 inches, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday.
The same regulation has been in place since the May 2017 fishing opener. From December 2017 through November 2018, anglers harvested about 235,000 pounds of walleyes – a record high for annual harvest since walleye fishing resumed on the lake in 2006.
Red Lake’s walleye harvest is managed under a joint harvest plan. The Red Lakes Fisheries Technical Committee revised the plan in 2015. The revised harvest plan recommends an aggressive approach when walleye spawning stock is in surplus, as it currently is. An Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee reviews walleye harvest totals and regulation options and provides recommendations for regulations for the state waters of Upper Red Lake.
Eventually, there may be a need to make adjustments to size or bag limits if spawning stock declines and needs more protection, but for now the opportunity to harvest some fish over 17 inches is popular with anglers, and it meets harvest plan objectives by spreading harvest over a wide range of sizes and removing some of the surplus spawning stock, the DNR said in a news release.
More information on Red Lake fishing regulations is available at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.