Is Mille Lacs Lake Open for Fishing?

Mille Lacs Lake is one of Minnesota’s most popular fishing destinations, and for good reason. Located in central Minnesota, the lake is home to a variety of fish, including walleye, northern pike, muskies, smallmouth bass and panfish. The lake has been open for fishing since the late 1800s and continues to be a popular destination for anglers from around the region.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages Mille Lacs Lake and sets regulations that determine when it is open for fishing. Every year the DNR sets regulations that are intended to ensure that anglers can enjoy quality fishing experiences while also protecting fish populations in the lake. Regulations may include restrictions on what species or sizes of fish can be caught, as well as limits on how many fish can be harvested each day.

In recent years, Mille Lacs Lake has experienced some significant changes in its fish populations due to overfishing and other factors. In 2016, the DNR implemented a strict set of regulations in order to help restore balance to the lake’s ecosystem. These regulations included reducing the number of walleyes that could be caught per day by recreational anglers from six to just two – a measure which had a significant impact on anglers’ ability to catch walleyes.

Since then, however, there have been some improvements in Mille Lacs’ fish populations and the DNR has gradually relaxed its fishing regulations. As of 2021, recreational anglers can again catch up to six walleyes per day – although certain restrictions still apply – and other species such as northern pike are also more abundant than they were several years ago.

So is Mille Lacs Lake Open for Fishing?

Yes! Mille Lacs Lake is open for fishing and remains one of Minnesota’s most popular destinations for anglers looking to catch a variety of species. While there are still some restrictions in place due to efforts to protect the lake’s ecosystem, recreational anglers should have no problem finding success when out on Mille Lacs Lake.


Mille Lacs Lake is open for fishing and offers great opportunities for recreational anglers looking to catch various species such as walleye, northern pike and smallmouth bass. While there are still some restrictions in place due to efforts to protect its ecosystem, Mille Lacs remains one of Minnesota’s top destinations for both novice and experienced fishermen alike.

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Daniel Bennet