Walleye population in Upper Red Lake is in excellent shape

According to some rosy reports from the DNR, last month’s fall survey showed a gill-net catch of 34.5 walleyes per net, which is slightly down from about 40 per net for last year. But the DNR does not think this is a significant difference, as gill net count variation can be a result of “size selectivity” of gill nets, weather patterns during netting, as well as population structure.

Currently, the lake has a protected slot of 17-26 inch walleyes. Interestingly, the population was best represented by netted fish between 15-17 inches. This means that a lot of fish will be growing into the harvestable range by next season. The DNR noted a lot of yearlings showed up in the study. About 84,000 pounds of walleye are expected to be taken by ice fishing this winter, compared 70,000 pounds from last winter season. An increased harvest may also occur because of a new rule that allows walleyes to be cleaned and eaten by anglers while they are still out on the ice.

photo old spinner that caught walleyes in Upper Red Lake

Since July 14th, the maximum number of walleyes that could be kept was increased from two fish to four fish.

If any changes to walleye restrictions will be made, the regulations will probably become more liberal.

Upper Red Lake is a very large lake by Waskish in Beltrami County. The lake covers 119271.63 acres, and claims a maximum depth of only 18 feet. This lake is also known for excellent black crappie and northern pike fishing.

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