DNR, Mille Lacs bands raise walleye harvestby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Anglers on Mille Lacs Lake may be able to keep a few more walleye than last year.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Ojibwe bands have agreed on the so-called safe harvest for the popular lake.
They've decided the total catch can go about 25 percent higher than last year.
The state's allocation of walleye is 414,500 pounds; tribal members can keep about one-quarter that amount.
This will be the 10th year since a court ruling affirmed tribal rights to harvest up to half the fish. DNR Fisheries Manager Ron Payer says anglers are still getting used to the system.
"If the fishing is good, things work pretty well up on Mille Lacs," Payer said. "If the fishing is slow, it has impact on businesses up there and there's concern over that particularly in these economic times."
Payer says the DNR will set bag limits for walleye later this month, after meetings with local resort owners.