Monday, July 10, 2017

Minn. governor cancels meeting on walleye fishing ban after protesters in boats surround his

Dayton gave a thumbs up after landing a bass at the
start of the season in Mille Lacs. (Official photo)
UPDATE, Aug. 14: Dayton has a closed meeting today with Mille Lacs resort owners.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton canceled a meeting with business owners around a popular fishing lake Saturday "after about 75 protesters in boats encircled him on the lake to protest a temporary ban on walleye fishing" that started Thursday and runs through July 27, Sarah Jarvis reports for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Dayton, a Democrat, was trying to promote bass fishing and "spent about 90 minutes on the water before heading back to land," Jarvis reports. "Passengers on roughly 25 boats displayed balloons and signs reading “REGULATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION = TYRANNY” and “GOV. DAYTON STOP LAKE MILLE LACS POLITICS!

"Dayton said he respects the protesters’ frustration, but he defended the ban as a way of preserving the struggling walleye population," Jarvis writes. "He said he canceled Saturday’s meeting — which was going to include several Lake Mille Lacs-area business owners — because he didn’t want to 'reinforce that kind of destructive behavior.' He said he would meet with them later." Some business owners told Jarvis the walleye ban would cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

Jarvis notes, "For more than 20 years the state has managed the lake with Minnesota and Wisconsin Ojibwe bands that net walleye but have been consistently under their quota." Walleye are more prized than bass.

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