The 2017 Minnesota fishing season opened with a sensationally warm weekend that drew large crowds to celebrate. It unfolded for the next couple of weeks under mostly rainy conditions statewide.
But more than weather extremes, anglers will remember the year for the planned midsummer, three-week shutdown of walleye fishing on Mille Lacs.
The interruption irked residents and business operators in the area to the point where a sizable contingent protested the state’s management of the lake by organizing a flotilla of boats to surround Gov. Mark Dayton on the lake while he tried to promote Mille Lacs as a bass destination.
In other fishing news, a group assigned by the DNR to evaluate walleye regulations floated the idea of a statewide bag limit reduction from six fish to four. The DNR also championed a major change in northern pike regulations to dramatically raise the bag limit in the middle swath of the state to reduce unhealthy overpopulations of small, hammer-handle northerns.
With the bulk of the open-water season now in the books, today’s coverage concludes our weekly photo page. Next week we’ll return to our regular format for Wednesday outdoors in the Star Tribune.