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Continued: Anderson: Walleyes are at Mille Lacs, but where are anglers?

  • Article by: DENNIS ANDERSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 21, 2013 - 12:29 AM

Meanwhile, the harvest of Mille Lacs smallmouth bass has been minimal so far this summer. Creel surveys show only 553 smallies have been taken from the lake, with another 32,000 caught and released.

The DNR had been criticized by bass anglers for increasing the Mille Lacs smallie limit to six, with a protected slot of 17-20 inches (one allowed over 20) from its previous limit of one over 21 inches, in an attempt to steer pressure away from the lake’s walleyes. The DNR’s intent, in part, is to attract anglers to the lake, given the expected drop-off among some anglers following the walleye limit reduction from four to two.

Mille Lacs has developed into a trophy smallmouth bass fishery, with few peers in the state or nationally, and some bass anglers worried the DNR was sacrificing that fishery to boost Mille Lacs area businesses.

So far the smallmouth population doesn’t appear to be threatened, Bruesewitz said.

 

Dennis Anderson • danderson@startribune.com

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