Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leech Lake fishing forecast for 2012

L e e c h L a k e
Above-average year classes of walleye produced during 2005-2008 quickly led to marked
improvements in walleye fishing. Many of these fish are approaching the 18 to 26” protected slot
limit and, although anglers will not be able to harvest these fish, they will continue to provide
excellent catch-and-release opportunities. The possession limit on Leech Lake is 4 walleye with
one longer than 26.0” allowed in possession; all walleye between 18.0-26.0 inches long must be
immediately returned to the water.
Creel survey statistics collected during 2008-2010 documented excellent walleye fishing. Walleye
ranging in length from 5 to 30 inches were reported during the 2010 survey; about 47% of
walleye caught were 18 inches or longer. At the beginning of the 2011 season, walleye produced
during 2006 will be approximately 15-19” long, 2007 fish will be 13-17” long, and 2008 fish will
be 11-14” long. Another good fishing season is expected and a creel survey is again scheduled
during 2011.
Quality fishing opportunities for species other than walleye abound. Leech Lake supports
excellent northern pike and muskellunge populations; nearly one third of pike caught by anglers
during 2010 were 24” or larger and muskellunge nearing 50” were also reported. Recent
improvements in the yellow perch population have led increased perch harvest, with fish up to
13 inches long fairly common in angler’s bags. Exceptional sunfish, black crappie, and largemouth
bass fishing consisting of quality-sized fish can be found in most major portions of the lake, with
the bite for these species typically best during May and June

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