DNR seeks citizen input on Lake of the Woods, Rainy River regulation changes

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will seek public input this fall on two proposed regulation changes on Lake of the Woods and Rainy River that would take effect on March 1, 2019. Public comments will be solicited at an open house held from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lake of the Woods School Monday, Oct. 8.
The current winter regulation on Lake of the Woods allows anglers to keep eight walleye and sauger, with no more than four walleye. There is a protected slot limit requiring anglers to immediately release any walleye between 19.5 and 28 inches, with only one fish over 28 inches allowed in possession.
The proposed winter regulations would match the current summer regulations on Lake of the Woods, reducing the aggregate walleye and sauger limit to six, with no more than four walleye. The protected slot limited would remain in effect.
“Expanding winter pressure has resulted in sauger harvest exceeding management objectives with 80 percent of the sauger harvest coming in the winter season,” said Phil Talmage, DNR Baudette area fisheries supervisor.  
The current Rainy River spring season regulation allows anglers to keep two walleye or sauger, and requires the immediate release of walleye 19.5 inches in length or greater.
The proposed regulation change is a catch and release season that would take effect March 1 - April 14 on the Rainy River and Fourmile Bay. Increasing pressure and harvest focused on pre-spawn male Walleye have impacted the spawning population in the Rainy River.
This regulation would maintain the spring sport fishery while protecting the long-term sustainability of the Rainy River spawning population and reduce the overall harvest of walleye from the Lake of the Woods-Rainy River system.
“Walleye and sauger populations on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River are doing well, but  increasing fishing pressure has resulted in increased harvest and stress on the fishery,”  said Talmage. “These regulations are intended to be a proactive approach to ensure the high quality fishery that anglers have come to expect from the border water region.”
Following the meeting, comments will be accepted through Oct. 18. Those not attending the meeting can provide comments by calling the Baudette area fisheries office at 218-634-2522 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Metro anglers can also provide comments in person to Al Stevens at the DNR Office in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road, on Sept. 26.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR