Below are excerpts from The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) mini-summary from the 2017 sampling completed. The full 2017 report will be completed throughout the winter. This was released October 10, 2017. To see the full PDF report click, 2017 Leech Lake Mini Summary Final.pdf
Young-of-Year Walleye Growth and Abundance
July Seining: The average length (2.7 in) was below the long-term average of 3.3 inches and the number sampled per acre (74) was above the long-term average of 70.
August Trawling: The average length (4.4 in) was below the long-term average of 5.3 inches and the number sampled per hour (773), a historical high, was above the long-term average of 182.
September Electrofishing: The average length (5.8 in) was below the long-term average of 6.0 inches. Walleye recruitment is generally higher when mean September length exceeds 6.0 inches. The number sampled per hour (132) was similar to the long-term average of 103.
Year class strength index values are determined from gill net catch of ages 1-3 and predicted for age-0 from gill net and trawl catch data (
Figure 1). Incomplete values for 2015 (1.23) and 2016 (1.63) cohorts exceed the management plan objective threshold (0.66) as does the 2017 predicted year class (2.06).
Adult Gamefish Abundance Walleye gill net catch rate of 10.1 fish/net is up from the previous year and just above the management objectives (
Figure 2). Lengths of Walleye sampled ranged from 6 to 27 inches, and demonstrated a balanced size distribution with a strong 2016 year class in the lake. Seventy-eight percent of the sampled Walleye were outside of the 20-26” Protected Slot Limit and available for harvest (Figure 3).
The winter 2016-17 and summer 2017 creel surveys were postponed due to budget issues.
Winter: 2015-16 fishing pressure was slightly lower than the 2014-15 winter season (647,802 angler hours) at 568,340 angler-hours due to ice conditions. Harvest of primary species was similarly reduced.
Summer: 2016 fishing pressure was approximately 700,000 angler-hours and is similar to the two previous creel surveys (2011, 2014).
The next anticipated creel survey is scheduled for the summer of 2020 and winter of 2020-2021.
Please refer questions or comments to: Carl Pedersen, Large Lake Specialist, Walker Area Fisheries, [email protected] (218) 547-1683 Doug Schultz, Area Supervisor, Walker Area Fisheries, [email protected] (218) 547-1683