Plan to fish Upper Red this winter?

If so, expect tighter walleye harvest restrictions.

Starting Dec. 1, anglers can  keep three walleyes, with a possession limit also of three. And the protected slot will be 17-26 inches.  One walleye may be longer than 26 inches.

Until Dec. 1, the limit is four, with a protected slot of 20-26 inches.

“More restrictive walleye regulations are not an indication of any biological problems with the walleye population on Upper Red Lake,” said Gary Barnard, Bemidji area fisheries supervisor. “The current walleye fishery is in excellent shape, but the great fishing has attracted considerably more angling pressure, which resulted in walleye harvest exceeding the safe harvest range for the first time since walleye angling reopened in 2006.”

Harvest reduction was discussed at an Upper Red Lake Citizen Advisory Committee meeting in late September.

“Previous advisory meetings were easier when we were relaxing regulations, but everyone on the committee understands the importance of protecting this fishery and adhering to our joint harvest plan,” said advisory committee member Joe Corcoran.

The regulation package had full support from the committee as the best way to balance harvest reduction with business and angler interests, Corcoran added.