Jan 22 -- Leech Lake is open for ice fishing!
The 2021 fishing outlook on Leech Lake should be good. Walleye numbers were within management goals in the 2020 September survey with promising numbers of walleye that should be available for harvest for the opener.
Walleye in the fall sample ranged in length from 6 to 27 inches, and again included a number of younger year classes large enough to harvest in the next year or two. The walleye regulation of 4 fish total with only 1 over 20.0 inches al- lowed in possession implemented in 2019 is showing early signs of being beneficial to walleye as well as the yellow perch population. We will continue to follow these trends with adjustments being made based on management plan objectives and action items.
New as of March 1, 2021 was the implementation of new sunfish and black crappie daily limits on LeechLake. The previous limits of 20 sunfish and 10 crappie have been reduced to 5 sunfish and 5 crappie in an effort toprotect the size quality of pan fish in the lake.
Northern pike catch rates were fairly consistent and within management objectives with 4.4 fish/net in the fall sample. Catch rates have historically ranged from 4 to 6 fish per net and the lower management goal is at least 4.2 fish/net. New northern pike zone regulations were put in place in 2018, and should benefit the northern pike popula- tion on Leech Lake.
Yellow perch numbers in the 2020 fall survey were just below management objectives but there were reports of anglers finding some larger fish during the winter season. Perch sampled ranged from 5 to 13 inches with 17 per- cent of fish over 8.0 inches.
A continued focus on Leech Lake is the impacts that zebra mussels will have in the future. Immature zebramussel larvae, called veligers, were found in 2016. Adults have continued to be reported in various western bays inthe summer of 2020. There are currently no known methods to control or reduce numbers of zebra mussels once theyare found in natural systems. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) like zebra mussels are moved from infested to non-infested waters by anglers, boaters, and lake shore owners and can adversely impact lakes and fish populations. To avoid spreading AIS, lake users are required to remove all aquatic plants or animals from their watercraft and drain allwater from their boat before leaving the access. Additional information on all of these topics can be found on the DNR website or by contacting the Walker Area Fisheries office.
2020 Survey work – Leech Lake
Articles & News on Fishing on Leech Lake
- Seasonal Angling Pressure: Creel surveys conducted in 2019 and the winter of 2019-20 showed angling pressure was with- in historical averages. Additionally, a nighttime summer component was added to the 2019 summer creel survey to estimate the amount of angling that occurs in the first few hours after dark.
If you have questions, comments or requests please contact:
Carl Pedersen, Large Lake Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org) or
Doug Schultz, Area Fisheries Manager (email@example.com)