Lawmakers Search for Answers in Mille Lacs Walleye Decline

Lawmakers are studying the fallout of the declining walleye population on Mille Lacs Lake.

A group of legislators and state officials studying the issue met for the first time Tuesday, the day after the state closed the lake for walleye fishing.

The closure is sending shockwaves through area resorts and businesses that depend on walleye anglers.

Gov. Mark Dayton has his eyes set on a special session to aid Mille Lacs area businesses through no-interest loans and other financial help.

Not all lawmakers are convinced a special session is necessary yet.

But Tuesday’s meeting focused largely on what’s driving down the lake’s walleye population and whether it needed to be closed.

Sen. David Tomassoni says he’s shocked the Department of Natural Resources closed walleye season before Labor Day. 

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