Dayton Scraps Mille Lacs Meeting After Protest
ISLE, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has canceled a meeting with business owners near Mille Lacs Lake after he was greeted by protesters who oppose how the state manages the lake's struggling walleye population.
The Star Tribune reports Dayton was with a small group fishing for bass as an alternative to walleyes on Mille Lacs Saturday when about 75 protesters in boats encircled him to protest a temporary ban on walleye fishing.
Dayton's spokesman Sam Fettig said the governor was expecting the protest but decided not to go ahead with the meeting because the protesters were shouting, surrounded the boat and made it difficult to fish. The protest changed the atmosphere and Dayton elected to reschedule the meeting to a later day, Fettig said.
Walleye fishing — even catch and release — is prohibited on the big lake for the next three weeks. The DNR is trying to protect the lake's walleyes from hooking mortality, the problem of fish dying after they're released.
Dayton said he respects the protesters' frustration, but he defended the ban as a way of preserving the walleye population.