The DNR has named a 17-member advisory committee to study and make recommendations on ways to improve walleye fishing on Mille Lacs.
The walleye season on the lake was shut down early this summer; DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said this week that a decision will be made soon on whether ice fishing of walleyes will be allowed on the lake this winter.
Anglers, business owners and tourism officials are on the advisory committee. There are also tribal and academic representatives, and elected county officials.
The DNR said it expects the committee to “contribute to the broader understanding of biological, social and economic aspects of the Mille Lacs fishery and develop recommendations to advise the DNR on potential approaches and regulations to solve identified issues.”
Landwehr said: “Group members will represent diverse perspectives and interests and provide us with valuable understanding and advice about Mille Lacs Lake.”
The advisory committee members are:
- Angling representatives: Mark Utne, Isle; Cheryl Larson, Wahkon; Tony Roach, Willow River; Tom Neustrom, Grand Rapids; Steven Besser, Litchfield; and Peter Perovich, Ramsey.
- Business representatives: Tina Chapman, Chapman’s Mille Lacs Resort & Guide Service, local liaison to Explore Minnesota Tourism, Isle; Eddy Lyback, Lyback’s Ice Fishing and Lyback’s Marine, Wahkon; Steve Kulifaj, The Red Door Resort, Aitkin; Steven Johnson, Johnson’s Portside, East Township; William Eno, Twin Pines Resort and launch service, Garrison; and Dean Hanson, Agate Bay Resort and launch service, Isle.
- Local officials:Mille Lacs County Commissioner David Oslin, Aitkin County Commissioner Laurie Westerlund, and Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Koering.
- Mille Lacs Band representative: Jamie Edwards, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
- Academic representative: Dr. Paul Venturelli, Fisheries Program, University of Minnesota.