DNR makes changes to rebuild walleye population, mend Mille Lacs relations

Walleye fishing on.Lake Mille Lacs
Walleye fishing on.Lake Mille Lacs
File | Matthew Hintz for MPR News

Updated 5:30 p.m. | Posted 4:34 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offered what it called some concrete steps Thursday to boost the number of walleye in Lake Mille Lacs.

Commissioner Tom Landwehr said the DNR will start a pilot program to stock walleye in the lake next year. He also proposed putting more staff in the area and establishing a fish hatchery on Mille Lacs that will include a new field office.

"Mille Lacs is important enough to the state that it should have its own office," he said.

Landwehr acknowledged the DNR had lost credibility with people near Mille Lacs. He said he hopes the new efforts will help.

"By engaging more fully with people, providing information, having a facility right there in the community and also by including them in some of the technical discussions that are going on ... I'm hoping that will help rebuild those relationships," he said.

The DNR shut down walleye fishing on Mille Lacs Aug. 3 after anglers exceeded their quota.

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