ST. PAUL, Minnesota — The Minnesota Court of Appeals hears oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit filed by a group of Mille Lacs Lake resort owners and anglers upset with how the Department of Natural Resources manages the big lake's walleye population.
The DNR issued tight restrictions last spring that were meant to help revive the walleye population in Mille Lacs, which has been on the decline in recent years. The size and nighttime fishing restrictions sharply reduced the numbers of walleyes that anglers could keep.
Save Mills Lacs Sportsfishing is using a novel legal argument. It says the restrictions are invalid because neither the formal rule nor the administrative record apply or even mention a 1998 amendment to the Minnesota constitution that says the state's hunting and fishing heritage shall be preserved.