Walleye numbers in Mille Lacs dip to lowest in 40 years - KMSP-TV

Walleye numbers in Mille Lacs dip to lowest in 40 years

Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The walleye population in Mille Lacs Lake has fallen to its lowest levels in 40 years, and the lake's larger walleyes may be having trouble finding food.

Officials aren't sure what's happening to Minnesota's most popular walleye fishery. But Department of Natural Resources fisheries research manager Don Pereira told the Star Tribune they're concerned.

Causes could be include:

  • Harvest regulations governing sport anglers and Chippewa netters
  • The explosion of zebra mussels in the lake
  • Improved water clarity
  • A potential lack of prey fish, such as perch and tullibees.

Pereira says it's too early to say if the DNR might tighten regulations on the lake in east-central Minnesota.

Business owners warn further restrictions could undercut tourism.

DNR representatives and tribal fisheries researchers will discuss the lake next week.

 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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