Lake Of The Woods Mn Walleye Slot Limit

. The 17-26' protected slot limit for walleye on the following Itasca County lakes has changed to a 20-24' protected slot with only one over 24' allowed: Moose, Split Hand, Swan, and Trout lakes. Note: This information is available in an alternative format upon request. E-mail the DNR Information Center at email protected or call at (651) 296-6157 or (888) MINNDNR. This fishing regulations document contains a synopsis of the state fishing laws and regulations. There is a combined with Walleye limit on Sauger for Lake of the Woods and Rainy River. You may not have more than 6 and you reduce this number per Walleye you have in possession. Therefore you may have 4 Walleyes and 2 Sauger, or you may have 6 Sauger and no Walleye. The total number is 6 and you may not have more than 4 Walleye.

By SAM COOK, Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - 'Slot limit' used to be a dirty word. Ortwo words.

Nobody was keen on the idea of putting back walleyes thatotherwise might have wound up in a frying pan.

Deer River fishing guide Jeff Sundin remembers speaking up for aslot limit that was proposed for Lake Winnibigoshish in the late1990s.

'I was a believer in the first place,' Sundin said. 'Istumped for it. I lost some friends over it initially. Some havecome back around. Some haven't.'

Slot limits on northern Minnesota's main walleye lakes have comeof age now. The more restrictive limits require anglers toimmediately release walleyes in a specific size range, perhaps 17to 26 inches or 17 to 28 inches.

The first walleye slot limit was established on Rainy Lake in1994. Mille Lacs went to a slot in 1999. Big Winnie's slot tookeffect in 2000. Leech Lake's was implemented in 2005.

When used in conjunction with other management tools, slotlimits have proven effective in increasing anglers' catch rates andincreasing the number of larger walleyes in a population.

'It gave us a more quality fishery and initially it preservedmore spawning fish,' said Barry Woods, a guide on Rainy Lake,about that lake's slot limit.

It's almost hard to remember that in the mid-1990s, when theslot was established on Rainy, catch-and-release fishing forwalleyes was still a new concept. Now anglers are accustomed tomeasuring the fish they catch and throwing some back. Resorts haveadapted to the change and now draw fishing clients who are lessconcerned about taking home a pile of frozen fillets.

'There's been an evolution,' said Tim Goeman, Department ofNatural Resources regional fisheries supervisor at Grand Rapids.'It's almost a prestigious thing to have a walleye slot limit onyour lake.'

Al Maas has been guiding anglers, mostly on Leech Lake, for 41years now.

'We have an 18- to 26-inch slot, and you're allowed one over26,' Maas said. 'With a four-fish limit. People are perfectlyhappy with that.'

The regular statewide walleye limit is six fish, but four-fishlimits are in place along with the slots on Leech, Rainy and MilleLacs.

'If we look back, over the years I've guided, it used to bethat if you didn't limit out, you had a bad day,' Maas said.'Those days are gone.'

Anglers still hope to catch enough walleyes for a shore lunch ora meal, but almost nobody is taking pictures of big stringers offish anymore.

Still, one segment of anglers remains bitter about slot limits,Sundin said.

'Most of the guys who were opposed to them are still opposed tothem, even though they can be shown evidence that it has beenbetter for their lakes than they think,' he said.

But young anglers, especially, embrace slots, Sundin said.

Lake Of The Woods Mn Walleye Slot Limited Edition

'It doesn't represent anything that has been taken away fromthem,' he said.

The slot limit on Lake Winnibigoshish came up for review lastfall. Although DNR officials offered to relax the Winnie slot to 18to 26 inches from the current 17 to 26 inches, public testimonyfavored leaving the slot at 17 to 26 inches.

'I never dreamed people would want that,' Goeman said, 'butfor the last 10-year period, fishing has been better than ever onWinnie, and people can catch fish to eat.'

Creel surveys show anglers are still keeping as many walleyesper hour as they did before the slot limit, said Chris Kavanaugh,DNR area fisheries supervisor at Grand Rapids. But they're catchinga lot more walleyes.

Sundin agrees.

'We're keeping the same number of fish we used to keep, but thecatch rate has improved,' he said. 'It isn't that we're keepingsmaller fish. It's that we're not keeping that odd big one.'

Why not more?


Kavanaugh said he gets a good number of calls from people whowould like to see slot limits placed on their lakes. But theregulation isn't right for every lake, DNR officials say.


It isn't right on lakes where stocking is used to support thewalleye population, such as Pokegama Lake near Grand Rapids.

'The best return to the angler is when those fish reach acatchable and keepable size, and people are keeping them,' Goemansaid.

When slot limits are established, they are made as experimentalregulations and reviewed after 10 years. Sometimes, the regulationsneed tweaking.

Rainy Lake's slot was expanded after several years to protectmore fish because biologists had thought too many fish were leavingthe system.

The slot on Mille Lacs lake is watched closely each summer, andit sometimes is relaxed, if overall harvest is low, to allowanglers to keep more fish.

Red Lake Mn Walleye Fishing

Maas says lots of Leech Lake anglers would like to see LeechLake's slot limit replaced by a four-walleye limit with just oneover 20 inches, similar to the statewide regulation that allows sixwalleyes with one over 20.

Woods has some concerns that Rainy Lake may have too many largerwalleyes in its population now. He hopes the DNR will be flexibleenough to revise the slot limit if necessary.

The DNR's Goeman says that's one thing that biologists try to beaware of with a slot limit.

'There's some potential for stockpiling older, bigger fish,'Goeman said. 'That can suppress recruitment of young fish comingin.'

Imposing a slot limit on a lake is one thing. Getting anglers toabide by them is another thing.

Most anglers will play by the rules - once they know them.

'It takes a couple of years for a slot limit to catch on andpeople to understand it's in place,' the DNR's Goeman said. 'Forabout the first two years after a slot limit is put in place, wehave pretty significant noncompliance, about 20 to 30 percent.'

Even a small amount of noncompliance can be significant, hesaid.

'We've determined that if there's 10 percent noncompliance withany length-based regulation, it's the same as that regulation notbeing there,' Goeman said.


Mn Walleye Slot Limit

Information from: The Duluth News Tribune

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Lake of the Woods, fed by the Rainy River and other tributaries, is a magnificent destination for sportfishermen and nature-lovers alike. At 1,680 square miles in area, the huge lake occupies parts of Minnesota as well as Ontario and Manitoba, Canada.

Despite its expanse, and its many square miles of deep, featureless mud flats, veteran fishing guide and Team Northland Pro Jon Newburgh of Baudette, Minn., says Lake of the Woods is one of the easiest walleye lakes to fish. Jigs, live bait rigs and crawler harnesses cover all the hardware an angler needs.

Vast areas of Lake of the Woods lie within Minnesota, and a general fishing license is all that’s required if you remain within the boundaries. For 2016 the daily bag limit in Minnesota is 6 walleyes and saugers in combination, with no more than 4 being walleyes. There’s also a protected slot limit of 19½ to 28 inches, though one walleye within the legal bag may measure more than 28 inches. If you intend to fish Canadian waters, you’ll need an Ontario and/or Manitoba fishing license, as well as your Passport and a Remote Area Border Crossing permit. You must follow reporting procedures, and observe all provincial fishing regulations regarding bag limits and tackle restrictions.

1. According to Newburgh, who guides out of Wheelers Point Resort & Lodge, Lighthouse Gap, between Sable Island and Pine Island in Fourmile Bay is a productive—and popular—spot for walleyes from late May through early June. Fish the gap as well as the sandbar that extends into the lake. He recommends vertical jigging a Fire-Ball® Jig or Swivel-Head Jig tipped with a frozen shiner or white Impulse® Paddle Minnow in 13 to 19 feet of water. The gap gets a lot of boat traffic, as well as numbers of anglers; it’s best to anchor and jig below the boat rather than drifting or trolling,” he says, “and stay on the Pine Island side as the borderline runs down the middle of the gap.” Current strength varies with the flow from an upstream dam on the Rainy River, so necessary jig weights range from 3/8 to 1 ounce. In the lake’s tannic-stained water, Gold is a go-to jig color, but Bubblegum is hot as well. “I’ve done very well with the Bublegum Fire-Ball® Jig and white Impulse® Paddle Minnow,” he says.

Walleye Limits Minnesota

2. Later in June many walleyes have moved over lake’s the vast mudflats. Anglers must search for fish on sonar or by making long drifts with a live bait rig, Baitfish Spinner Rig or Baitfish Spinner Harness behind a ¾-ounce Roach Walker Sinker or Rock-Runner® Bottom Bouncer, according to Newburgh. Spice the hooks with Impulse® Nightcrawlers, Rig’n Leeches, live bait or frozen shiners. In addition, the guide suggests fishing the structure-rich reefs and shoals near Knight Island. “Anchor off edges of rockpiles and humps and vertical jig ¼- to 3/8-ounce RZ Jigs using the baits already mentioned,” he says.

3. Through July and August look for walleyes and on the flats as well, especially in the great expanse between Garden Island to the north and Long Point on the south shoreline, as well as the zone out from Pine Island. “They are big areas,” says Newburg, “but you’ll find walleyes there in the summer.” If you choose to bypass the Pine Island Flats, the guide suggests starting your search closer to Long Point as the bottom falls faster, and drift or troll the baits, ‘crawler harnesses and spinner rigs already mentioned behind a 1-ounce bottom bouncer. “Gold is a standard color, and when I’m fishing ‘crawlers, I like some gold in the blade—Gold Perch or Gold Shiner. With leeches, bright blade colors work better. Dace Pink is a great option,” he says.

4. Walleyes start moving back toward Rainy River in September and October. Among the early-fall hotspots is the area off Zippel Bay. Newburgh recommends vertical jigging or drifting Fire-Ball® Jig, RZ Jig or Swivel-Head Jigs, starting at the 20-foot contour, and moving shallower or deeper until you connect with fish. A white or emerald shiner Impulse® Paddle Minnow is a good bait option, as are frozen or live shiners. Lighthouse Gap is another good spot this time of year as shiners are beginning to move upriver now, and walleyes stage there to intercept them.

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