Experimental walleye fishing regulations on lakes Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, Crane and Little Vermilion are being extended for another six years.
The regulation, which requires anglers to release all walleyes from 17 to 28 inches, was put in place in 2007 and reviewed in 2012. Normally, a special regulation remains in effect for 10 years, but in this case a shortened timeframe for review was agreed upon when the regulation began.
"The walleye fishery has responded well to the current regulation," said Kevin Peterson, Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor in International Falls, in a statement. "Walleye numbers have stabilized or increased on all the lakes, and so has the abundance of fish over 17 inches.
"Extending the current regulation will allow these benefits to continue and provide additional time for us to evaluate its long-term effectiveness."
The DNR held a public input meeting last September 2012. And there was " public support for staying the course," Peterson said. Another regulation review will be done in six years.
Safe hunting season
Minnesota tallied one hunting- related fatality and 19 injuries in 2012.
"While one injury or one fatality is too many, having a year with so few incidents is tremendous," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR enforcement education program coordinator. Hammer said the safe hunting year is a culmination of Minnesota's volunteer-driven hunter education program. Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979, needs a firearms certificate to hunt game with a firearm.
"We had 4,300 dedicated volunteers offer 1,300 classes to 23,000 students last year," Hammer said.