Mille Lacs walleye quota raised after poor year

St. Paul, Minnesota (AP) 2-09

The safe-harvest quotas for Lake Mille Lacs have been raised for the 2009 fishing season after a slow bite last season.

The overall walleye harvest has been set at 541,000 pounds. That’s 111,000 pounds more than the 430,000 pounds allowed last season, when sport anglers took only 76,000 pounds. Officials attribute the slow bite to an unusual abundance of bait fish in the lake.

The allocation for sport anglers this year will be 414,500 pounds, up 107,000 pounds from the 307,500 pounds allowed last year.

Eight Ojiibwe bands that signed an 1837 treaty can take 126,500 pounds of walleye this season, up 4,000 pounds from 122,500 pounds last year.

Fisheries officials will determine after the ice fishing season whether to change the current walleye limits for the lake.