Dark-house spearing of northern pike will be allowed at Mille Lacs Lake for the first time since the winter of 1982-83, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Anglers and spearers can keep 10 northern pike, of which only one may be longer than 30 inches. Anglers also will be able to fish for northern pike for a longer period of time this winter. The close of the northern pike angling season will be extended from mid-February to the last Sunday in March.
“With the high number of northern pike under 30 inches, we’re providing more opportunity to harvest these surplus fish,” said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR Aitkin area fisheries supervisor.
The lake’s walleye fishing regulations will not change this winter.
Anglers can continue to keep two walleye from 18- to 20-inches, except one out of the two walleye anglers can keep can be longer than 28 inches.
“We’ll continue to protect small and large walleye by extending the existing walleye regulation,” Bruesewitz said.
Although the catch of bass in winter is extremely rare, anglers on Mille Lacs are exempted from the statewide catch-and-release regulation that begins in mid-September. This means anglers may harvest smallmouth bass from the opener until the last Sunday in February. Anglers may keep six fish, only one of which may be longer than 18 inches.
For more information on Mille Lacs Lake, visit www.mndnr.gov/millelacslake.