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Walleye Regulation Change Proposed For Lake Vermilion

(March 15, 2005) In an effort to maintain high-quality walleye fishing at Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources is proposing a new regulation to protect the walleye population by reducing harvest starting in 2006.

Surveys of anglers in 2002 and 2003 documented the highest walleye harvest ever observed on Lake Vermilion, well above a sustainable level, says Joe Geis, DNR Area Fisheries Supervisor in Tower. The proposed regulation would keep walleye harvest at or below the long-term goal for the lake.

The Lake Vermilion walleye population is in good condition now, says Geis. But continued harvest at the 2002 and 2003 level will have negative consequences. Acting now to reduce harvest will ensure good fishing for the future.

Two potential regulations are being offered for consideration:

A 17 to 26-inch protected slot with one fish allowed over 26 inches.

A 17-26 inch protected slot with one fish allowed over 26 inches, and a 4-fish daily and possession bag limit.

Geis says adding the four-fish bag limit offers the best chance to keep harvest at a safe level and maintain fishing quality. A four-fish bag limit would also be consistent with regulations recently adopted on other large walleye lakes in Minnesota.

There will be a formal public input process in September of 2005, including public input meetings and a time period for submitting written or verbal comments.

Signs will also be posted at public accesses and resorts this spring informing anglers a regulation change is under consideration. If adopted, the new regulation would go into effect on May 13, 2006. Any questions about the proposed regulation change can be directed to the Area Fisheries office at Tower MN.

Joe Geis, Area Fisheries Supervisor 650 Hwy. 169 Tower, MN 55790 Phone: 218-753-2580 ext. 222 e-mail: joe.geis@dnr.state.mn.us

Duane Williams, Large Lake Specialist 650 Hwy. 169 Tower, MN 55790 Phone: 218-753-2580 ext. 224 e-mail: duane.williams@dnr.state.mn.us

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