The results of recent fall test netting on Leech Lake conducted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) found strong walleye populations, while other species showed mixed results.
According to DNR biologists, anglers who visit Leech Lake should continue to expect quality fishing. Lake-wide, walleye counts in DNR test nets averaged 8.9 walleye per net lift, which was above the long-term average of 7.7 walleye per net lift.
“September gill nets showed above-average numbers of all sizes of walleye,” said Doug Schultz, DNR area fisheries supervisor in Walker. “Fishing reports have been excellent all season, and this survey confirms that good walleye fishing is expected to continue through the winter and into next year.”
Schultz added that the strong 2010 year class reached harvestable sizes this summer, which “had a lot to do with angling success.” Additionally, 36 percent of walleye sampled were within the current slot limit and have provided anglers the opportunity to catch larger fish.
Other game fish species targeted with test nets include yellow perch and northern pike. Yellow perch abundance declined for the sixth consecutive year, while northern pike abundance continues to remain stable.
The primary species of nongame fish assessed with the test nets is cisco. Fall test netting indicated cisco continue to be present at moderate levels of abundance.
source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources