The walleye bag limit on Upper Red Lake will be cut from four to three fish under new regulations announced Monday by the Department of Natural Resources.
The reduction was prompted by four consecutive years of heavy winter fishing pressure on the far-northern lake. On average in that span, the DNR has estimated 1.6 million hours of fishing pressure per season. Each winter, state-licensed anglers have taken home about 130,000 pounds of walleyes, the DNR said.
The new three-walleye possession limit for Upper Red allows only one of the fish to be longer than 17 inches. The change goes into effect Nov. 1. DNR’s Andy Thompson, area fisheries supervisor in Bemidji, said anglers will need a reliable measuring device because many walleyes caught this winter will measure just above or just below the 17-inch size restriction.
DNR co-manages the walleye harvest on Red Lake in cooperation with Red Lake Nation. The 2021 open-water regulations won’t be set until winter fishing concludes.