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Mille Lacs walleye fishing catch-and-release, closed July

Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release only this summer, with no walleye fishing at all in July. Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs will be catch-and-release only this summer, with no walleye fishing at all in July. |  Photo: KSTP-TV Photo, file

Updated: March 18, 2020 11:52 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota wildlife officials say walleye fishing will be catch-and-release only again this summer on Mille Lacs Lake. State officials said Tuesday the big lake will be closed altogether to walleye fishing in July.

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the restrictions are needed in part because of a record ice fishing season on Mille Lacs this winter.

DNR officials say Mille Lacs experienced the “highest fishing pressure there in 30 years” as poor ice conditions on other lakes boosted traffic on Mille Lacs.

Anglers harvested almost 30,000 pounds of walleye on Mille Lacs, leaving only 57,000 pounds available.

“We know any summer walleye closure is disappointing, but anglers have told us they prefer a planned temporary closure in July to an unplanned one later in the season,” DNR fisheries section manager Brad Parsons said in a news release. “The addition of the live bait ban allows for the shortest closure to ensure we remain within the set allocation and support the long-term interest of the walleye fishery."

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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