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DNR reminds anglers of new walleye limits on Cedar Lake

Going fishing on Cedar Lake in Polk and St Croix counties on Saturday's inland fishing opener?

Be prepared for new bag and size limits that were approved by both local anglers and the Natural Resources Board.

A new rule creates a 14- to 18-inch protected slot limit for walleye and decreases the daily bag limit from five fish to three.

Only one of the three fish in the bag can exceed 18 inches in length.

Marty Engel, senior fisheries biologist of the state Department of Natural Resources, said Cedar Lake walleye 14 to 18 inches long must be released immediately.

Cedar Lake is a shallow, 1,107-acre drainage lake. Small walleye are numerous but adult fish larger than 15 inches, the standard size limit, are less common.

Though growth rates are average or better and reproduction strong, anglers complained of few legal fish and overly-abundant small walleye.

The slot limit will increase catch rates while protecting brood stock and increasing the number of trophy-sized walleye.

A bag limit of three is important, Engel said, to avoid catastrophic over-fishing.

Slot size limits have become popular in Canada and Minnesota.

Preliminary results in Vilas County and elsewhere in Wisconsin have been encouraging.