Hot bite on Mille Lacs doesn't spell trouble ... yet

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2012 - 12:12 AM

The walleye bite on Lake Mille Lacs, the state's No. 1 walleye lake, has been hot this spring.

Hopefully, not too hot.

"It's very, very good fishing -- way better than normal,'' said Terry McQuoid of McQuoid's Inn on Mille Lacs. "Lots of guys are catching 40 to 75 a day.''

Based on Department of Natural Resources creel surveys, the catch rates in May were the best they've been since 2007 and were among the highest in the past 25 years.

But the harvest hasn't been so hot that DNR officials are concerned they'll have to tighten fishing restrictions in midseason to reduce harvest.

So far, anglers this year have harvested about 100,000 pounds of walleyes, including 60,000 pounds last month. The state's quota this year is 357,000 pounds under an agreement with Chippewa bands, which have been allocated 142,500 pounds.

"We're OK for now,'' said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR area fisheries supervisor. "We will be keeping a close watch on the harvest and hooking mortality as the season progresses.''

Hooking mortality is included in the state's walleye allocation, and higher water temperatures boost the DNR's mortality estimates. Whether the DNR will be forced to tighten walleye regulations depends on whether high catch rates, high fishing pressure and high temperatures continue in June. Normally, fishing pressure and harvest drops substantially after June.

Anglers tallied 317,000 hours on the lake in May, about 100,000 hours more than last May, when poor weather deterred fishing.

The DNR expanded the protected slot limit at the start of the season because of concerns anglers could exceed the state's quota. Walleyes 17 to 28 inches must be released this season; the protected slot had been 18 to 28 inches the past few years. The regulation change this spring has helped keep the harvest down, Bruesewitz said.

The DNR's catch rates, which includes harvested and released fish, underscores the superb fishing anglers are finding this spring. The May catch rate was 0.46 fish per hour -- one of only five periods anglers have exceeded 0.40 fish per hour since 1985.

Doug Smith • dsmith@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 3 1st Half 14:51
Rice 11
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 68 2nd Half 1:16
Cleveland State 53
High Point 51 2nd Half 7:33
VA Commonwealth 60
Towson 36 2nd Half 11:57
Wake Forest 52
Presbyterian 20 2nd Half
Charlotte 24
Chicago State 26 1st Half 3:11
Bradley 28
Northwestern Coll 17 1st Half 3:02
Drake 44
Vanderbilt 12:00 PM
Marquette
Temple 4:00 PM
Howard
Southern Miss 4:00 PM
Ole Miss
UMBC 4:00 PM
Rider
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
UCLA
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Wofford
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close