High angling pressure, catch rates result in closing Mille Lacs walleye fishing

Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Lake will close Friday, Sept. 6, so state anglers do not exceed a safe walleye harvest level.
“We’re glad anglers had the opportunity to harvest walleye in May and fish for walleye through much of the open water season,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries chief for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Because angling pressure and walleye catch rates were high, the coming closure is necessary to stay within established limits.”
High angling pressure and catch rates in July and August when water temperatures were at their warmest increased hooking mortality, resulting in a larger-than-expected walleye kill. Hooking mortality, which is more likely as water temperatures warm, occurs when a fish is caught and returned to the water but dies anyway.
The state of Minnesota and Ojibwe tribal authorities with fishing rights on Mille Lacs agreed on a 2019 safe harvest level of 87,800 pounds for state anglers and 62,200 pounds for tribal fishing.
“Mille Lacs Lake walleye regulations allowed some harvest this year but it’s still important to proceed with caution to ensure continued recovery of the lake’s walleye,” Parsons said. “The restrictive regulations we enacted in previous years protected young walleye, allowing the population to increase to a number not observed since before 2007. Continuing to manage the Mille Lacs walleye fishery for recovery will allow us to provide good angling opportunities in the future.”
Starting Sept. 6 at 12:01 a.m., anglers will not be able to target walleye when fishing on Mille Lacs Lake. Anglers may fish for other species and use live bait.
Walleye regulations for the winter of 2019-2020 on Mille Lacs Lake will be announced in November after data from fall walleye assessments are available. Winter regulations become effective on Sunday, Dec. 1.
Find more information on Mille Lacs Lake at mndnr.gov/millelacslake.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Lake Superior permanent rule hearing scheduled Sept. 4

ASHLAND, WI - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing to gather input on proposed permanent rules affecting Lake Superior commercial fishing regulations.
The hearing is Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, 29270 County Highway G in Ashland.
This permanent rule follows an emergency rule that became effective in March 2019. Both rules implement the 2018-2028 Lake Superior Fishing Agreement by updating the total allowable commercial harvest for lake trout. It also revises the requirements for using and marking nets and other gear, modifies certain areas in which commercial fishing is allowed, and makes minor revisions to harvest reporting requirements and the timeframe for returning unused trout tags. The rule will not modify hook and line fishing regulations.
"By carrying out the Lake Superior Fishing Agreement, this rule will help ensure the sustainability of important Lake Superior commercial fisheries--especially lake trout and whitefish--for commercial, tribal and recreational fishers," said Brad Ray, DNR Lake Superior team supervisor.
Those unable to attend the hearing may also submit written comments on the rule and its impacts through Sept. 9, to Meredith Penthorn, DNR Bureau of Fisheries Management FH/4, PO Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
For more information on the rule, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "proposed permanent rules." To learn more about Lake Superior fisheries management, search keywords "Lake Superior fisheries management."

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR

Teigen wins Bassmaster Central Open in La Crosse

The Mississippi River delivered two surprises to Devin Teigen, who won the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open with a three-day total weight of 43 pounds, 3 ounces.
The most significant delivery was the opportunity for the Nelson, WI, angler to hold a first-place trophy in the first B.A.S.S. event he ever fished.
“It feels like a dream; can somebody pinch me?” Teigen said. “I never saw this coming.”
Enroute to claiming the victory, Teigen had to reckon with changing river conditions that required a new game plan. After several weeks of high water, the Mississippi lost about 3 1/2 feet since the weekend prior to the tournament. This repositioned fish and shook up several of the patterns that had been working in the higher conditions.
“A week and a half ago, I felt pretty good with smallmouth stuff until I saw the forecast for the river dropping,” he said. “The first day, I was going to run it and see what happened and I literally caught five smallmouth before 7:30. Luckily, four were good ones.”
Day 2, the river proved less generous and, with no fish in his livewell at 11 o’clock, Teigen shifted gears to a largemouth pattern - throwing frogs into shallow vegetation. Quickly securing three keepers in Pool 7, he returned to Pool 8 and finished his limit.
“I ran that pattern today and caught 15 keepers,” Teigen said. “They were all good quality fish. I only weighed one fish because the first four that I flipped into the boat, I thought they were all over 3 pounds.”
Teigen caught his winning fish on a Spro Bronzeye frog. He threw frogs with white, yellow and darker bellies, with the lighter baits producing most of his bites. Teigen fished a 7-6 heavy rod with braided line.
Teigen placed ninth on Day 1 with 13-15 and held that same spot a day later by adding 12-7. Adding 16-13 — the tournament’s heaviest bag — on Day 3 sealed the deal. Admittedly, a big loss earlier in the day had Teigen concerned he may have seen his opportunity wither.
“I started the day with three frog rods on my deck and after two hours, I had one left,” he said. “I messed up the reel on one and with the second one, I threw into a little pocket in the duck weed, the fish boiled on it one time and I could see it was a good one, so I threw back in there.
“He smoked the frog and when I gave it to him, my rod blew up in three places. It broke right at the reel seat, so I had no way to fight the fish. I tried pulling it in with my hand and it came off.”
Fortunately, Teigen amassed enough weight to secure the victory and a $39,600 prize by an 11-ounce margin.
Mike Brueggen of La Crosse finished second with 42-8. He placed 15th on Day 1 with a limit of 13-9 and rose to fourth the next day by adding 14-15. Capping his performance with 14 pounds pushed him up two more spots.
After leading for two days, Wes Logan of Springville, AL, finished third with 42-4. Fernando Lobato of Sparta, WI, won the co-angler division with 20-8. His daily weights of 7-1, 6-11 and 6-12 earned him a $19,800 first prize.
“I think the key was that I practiced for this tournament by watching where I saw the pros practicing,” Lobato said. “I would go fish right behind them and try to figure out how to get bites behind them.
“I found a couple of baits that would get those extra bites. I fished a Zoom Speed Craw on the back of a 1/4-ounce swim jig and on a Carolina rig. I think that smaller profile was key."


First-time winners take trout, walleye stamp contests

First-time winners took top honors at two habitat stamp contests that determined the artwork for the 2020 versions of the Minnesota trout and salmon stamp, and the walleye stamp.
Minneapolis artist Melissa Mickelson won the trout and salmon stamp (pictured) contest with a painting of a rainbow trout eating a minnow. Mickelson is not only a first-time winner, but becomes the first female to win the contest since 1990 and only the second in the history of the stamp.
Judges on Aug. 1, selected Mickelson’s painting from among 12 submissions. Tie runners-up were Stephen Hamrick of Lakeville and John Barnard of Moose Lake.
In the walleye stamp contest that happened the same day, Mapleton artist Josh Evan won for the first time with a painting of walleye about to bite on a hook baited with a minnow.
Judges selected the painting from among nine submissions. The runner-up in this year’s contest was none other than Mickelson, who won this year’s trout and salmon stamp contest.
Purchasing a walleye stamp is voluntary, and the DNR uses revenue from walleye stamp sales to purchase walleye for stocking in Minnesota’s lakes. Customers can buy walleye stamps any time, even if they already have a license.
The trout and salmon stamp validation is sold for $10 along with fishing licenses and is required for Minnesota residents age 18 to 64 and non-residents older than age 18 and under age 65 to fish designated trout streams, trout lakes and Lake Superior and when in possession of trout or salmon. For an extra 75 cents, purchasers can receive the validation as well as the pictorial stamp in the mail. It also is sold as a collectible.
Revenue from trout and salmon stamp sales is dedicated to trout and salmon management and habitat work. Visit mndnr.gov/stamps for more information about habitat stamps and contest guidelines.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Logan keeps lead in Bassmaster Central Open in La Crosse

Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., backed up his Day 1 leading weight of 16 pounds, 10 ounces with a Day 2 catch of 15-3 to maintain the top spot at the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on the Mississippi River with a two-day total of 31-13.
“I had the chance to have a really big bag today, but I had some missed opportunities,” Logan said after losing a bass he estimated at 5 pounds Friday. “I’m still not getting many bites. I only caught eight or nine fish today.”
Weighing a mixed bag of smallmouth and largemouth, Logan said the key to his success has been targeting areas of strong current, where fish are staking out feeding spots near water-deflecting structures. He caught his fish from three different spots within an area about 2 to 3 miles long, but could not locate the optimal scenario elsewhere.
Kyle Dorsett of Odenville, Ala., is in second place with 29-3. His daily weights of 14-9 and 14-10 were the event’s most consistent.
John Engler of Vinton, Iowa, is in third place with 28-12. After weighing 12-12 on Day 1, he turned in a significantly stronger Day 2 performance with a 16-pound limit - the day’s biggest bag.
La Crosse's Mike Brueggen is fourth with 28-08, while Jeff Ritter of Prairie Du Chien is sixth with 27-00.
Kenta Kimura of Livingston, Texas, is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 5-8.
John Goebel of Lumberton, Texas, leads the co-angler division with 14-0. Adding 6-6 to his 7-10 from Day 1, he described a slow, grind that yielded only three bites.
Thaddaeus Vettrus of Chippewa Falls, Wis., holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 4-4.
Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. CT at Veterans Freedom Park. The Top 12 remaining anglers will weigh in back at the park at 2 p.m.




Public invited to comment on special fishing regulations

During a series of 17 public meetings, anglers and others can give their opinions about proposed 2020 changes to special fishing regulations for 30 Minnesota lakes.
These proposed changes are coming from 13 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area fisheries offices. These regulations are designed to help meet fisheries objectives for particular lakes and would be different from the regulations that apply statewide or to major zones of the state.
“Lots of folks don’t realize how important it is for us to have Minnesotans’ perspectives integrated into our fish management goals,” said Jon Hansen, DNR fisheries programs consultant. “Public input and engagement are central to helping us work with Minnesotans to effectively manage fisheries.”
For example, public input could lead to a specific fish population objective, such as increasing pike sizes, Hansen explained. The DNR can propose regulations to achieve that objective, and anglers and others can share their thoughts about the proposal. Fisheries staff spend much of their time collecting data on fish populations, which tells whether a management objective is being met. Then, the DNR responds to these data by proposing to change a regulation or keep it the same.
The list of proposed regulation changes is long this year because of a review of existing special northern pike regulations that are different from the zone regulations.
During the process of implementing the northern pike management zones in 2018, the DNR committed to re-evaluating all of the existing special pike regulations on 84 lakes to see where the special regulations were producing the desired results and which lakes might perform as well under the new zone regulations. Based on the review, 10 lakes are being proposed to revert to the zone regulation and five are proposed to be modified to a different special regulation.
In most streams and rivers, statewide regulations, such as bag limits, do an adequate job in providing quality fishing opportunities. However, some fish populations are unique or experience angling pressure that warrants special regulations. Special or experimental regulations are found in their own section of the 2019 Minnesota Fishing Regulations handbook (pages 38 to 54).
Notification of the proposed changes to special fishing regulations have been posted at the accesses to each lake for most of the open water fishing season.
Anyone who cannot attend a local meeting can call or write to local fisheries offices to comment about the proposed regulations. Phone numbers and email addresses for local fisheries offices can be found online at mndnr.gov/areas/fisheries, or on page 87 of the fishing regulations handbook. The offices will accept written or verbal comments up to 10 days following the scheduled local meeting.
An open house about all of the regulation proposals will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul, 500 Lafayette Road. No formal presentations will be made at the open house but comments on any proposal across the state will be accepted. Additionally, written comments on any proposal can be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until Nov. 12.  
Meeting details:
Aitkin County (Aitkin area fisheries): New special walleye regulations on Minnewawa and Horseshoe lakes, 4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, Aitkin DNR area office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S., Aitkin.
Becker County (Detroit Lakes area fisheries): Removing special northern pike regulations on Eunice and Maud lakes, 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, Lake Eunice Town Hall, 12708 Townhall Road, Audobon.
Beltrami County (Bemidji area fisheries): Northern pike regulation change on Upper Red Lake, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, North Beltrami Community Center, Gould Avenue SE and Main Street., Kelliher; removing special northern pike regulation on Big Lake, 6:30 p.m., Ten Lake Township Hall, 2142 Mission Road NE, Cass Lake.
Cass County (Walker area fisheries): Removing special northern pike regulations on Ada and Ten Mile lakes, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, at The Hub, 213 1st St. S., Hackensack.
Clearwater County (Bemidji area fisheries): Removing special northern pike and muskellunge regulations on Elk Lake, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, Itasca State Park Visitor Center, 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids.
Cook County (Grand Marais area fisheries): Removing special northern pike regulations on Little Cascade and Loon lakes, 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, Cook County Community Center, 317 W. 5th St., Grand Marais.
Crow Wing County (Brainerd area fisheries): Northern pike regulation change on Mitchell Lake, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, DNR area office, 1601 Minnesota Drive, Brainerd.
Hubbard County (Park Rapids area fisheries): Northern pike regulation change on 8th, 9th and 10th Crow Wing lakes, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, Community Meeting Room at Northwoods Bank, 1200 E. First St., Park Rapids.
Itasca County (Grand Rapids area fisheries): Two meetings – walleye regulation changes on Moose, Deer, Battle, Pickerel, Split Hand and Swan lakes, and a smallmouth bass regulation change on Turtle Lake, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 9, Big Fork City Hall, 200 Main Ave., Big Fork; 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, 402 SE 11th St., Grand Rapids.
Kandiyohi County (Spicer area fisheries): Largemouth bass regulation change on Long Lake, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25, Roseville Township Hall, 15768 232nd Ave. NE., Hawick; walleye regulation change on Green Lake, 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, Dethlefs Community Center, 317 Hillcrest Ave., Spicer.
Ramsey County (East Metro area fisheries): Largemouth bass regulation change on Turtle Lake, 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30, Shoreview Community Center, 4580 Victoria St. N., Shoreview.
St. Louis County (Duluth area fisheries): Northern pike regulation change on Prairie Lake, 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, Floodwood Fair Building, 107 W. 7th Ave., Floodwood.
St. Louis County (International Falls area fisheries): Removing special northern pike regulations on Elephant Lake, 7 p.m., Sept. 24, Camp Five Town Hall, County Road 180, Fire Number 6560, Orr.
Todd County (Little Falls area fisheries): Black crappie regulation change on Mound Lake, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, Shadys Golden Eagle, 13218 County Road 103, Burtrum.
Washington County (East Metro area fisheries): Largemouth bass regulation change on Olson and Demontreville lakes and removing special northern pike regulation on Big Carnelian Lake, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2, Stillwater Public Library, Margaret Rivers B Room, 224 3rd St. N., Stillwater.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR

Alabama angler leads Bassmaster Central Open in La Crosse

Wes Logan of Springville, AL, found a falling Mississippi River presenting a very different scenario than he saw in practice. But adjusting to the conditions allowed him to catch a five-bass limit of 16 pounds, 10 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open on Thursday.
“I was just blessed today. I wasn’t on anything, but I’d get a bite and it would be a 3-pounder,” he said.
With the river dropping significantly since the weekend, Logan said he struggled to find consistency. Doing so required him to leverage the flow  without much company.
“I got here on Saturday and started practicing, and I think it’s dropped 3 1/2 feet since Saturday,” he said. “Obviously, it’s the Mississippi River, so you catch them on a frog, but most of those places are dry ground now.
“This really screwed up my plan from practice, so I just went on a whim. I think I figured something out, but I think it’s more that I got into an area without a lot of boat pressure. When the water fell, there are only so many places they’re going to get on and those places are getting pounded.”
Kenta Kimura of Livingston, TX, is in second place with 15-1. He said he started out fishing the same types of banks most of the field is targeting. But his day came together quickly once he figured out a key adjustment.
“About 10 o’clock, I moved a little farther off the bank,” Kimura said. “I think because the water level dropped, the bigger ones moved offshore. I know what I have to do tomorrow.”
Howard Lee of Brooklyn Park, MN, leads the co-angler division with 9-12. He caught all of his fish on the hand-tied swim jigs he makes. Lee used a variety of trailers and fished banks with grass.
“When we got into areas of current, smallies will sit in or near that current,” he said. “Slow, lift, slow was the best retrieve.”
Thaddaeus Vettrus of Chippewa Falls holds the Phoenix Boats Big Bass lead among co-anglers with a 4-4.
Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m., at Veterans Freedom Park. The weigh-in is at the park at 2 p.m.
The event is hosted by Explorelacrosse.com.