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Minnesota Fishing Reports






New Nothern Pike Regulations
LSF Member
Joined:
01/03/2005
From Coon Rapids, MN
Posts: 52
DNR News Release

For Immediate Release:
March 5, 2018



________________________________________
Questions? The DNR Information Center now answers your calls from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday and offers interpreter services. Call 888-646-6367 or email info.dnr@state.mn.us.
New northern pike fishing regulations coming for fishing opener
New regulations for catching and keeping northern pike will be the most significant change anglers will see when they open up the 2018 Minnesota Fishing Regulations Booklet being distributed throughout the state.
“Anyone who wants to keep pike in Minnesota’s inland waters needs to take a close look at these regulations and be prepared to measure the pike they want to keep starting on the Saturday, May 12, fishing opener,” said Al Stevens, fisheries program consultant with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The new fishing regulations have three distinct zones to address the different characteristics of pike populations in Minnesota. While not designed to manage for trophy pike, the new regulations are meant to restore pike populations for better harvest opportunities across the state for sizes that make good table fare, up to around 28 inches or so.
“It’s almost go-time and we’re happy to be at this point after years of discussion on these issues with pike,” Stevens said. “This has been a long-running topic of conversation and is becoming reality in the 2018 fishing season.”
The move toward new regulations was a response to anglers’ concerns about the over-abundance of hammer-handle pike in much of central to north-central Minnesota; the low numbers of pike present in southern waters; and a desire to protect large pike in the northeastern part of the state.
The new pike harvest regulations apply to inland waters of the state.
• North-central: Limit of 10 northern pike, but not more than two pike longer than 26 inches; all from 22 to 26 inches must be released.
• Northeast: Two pike; anglers must release all from 30 to 40 inches, with only one over 40 inches allowed in possession.
• South: Two fish; minimum size 24 inches.
Darkhouse spearing regulations for pike change slightly and those regulations are listed in the spearing section of the regulations booklet.
Meanwhile, the new pike regulations do not affect border waters fishing regulations and special regulations that cover individual lakes, rivers and streams.
For more information on the new zone regulations visit mndnr.gov/pike or contact a local area fisheries office. Contact information can be found in the fishing regulations booklet, available online at mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.
###

Looks to me like we need some big harvest of small fish so we can have trophies to catch in the future.


Posted on: 3/5 10:32:27
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
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Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3485
Way to go DNR, years of effort into setting regulations that will do nothing but hurt the population in the North central. Two over 26" is the ruling with a 22"-26" protected slot? Say goodbye to the big females as they will be targeted heavily. A guy can now legally bring home 2 over 40" if they so choose. Are the odds of you pulling 2 over 40" slim? Perhaps, but those mid to upper 30" fish are dynamite spawning fish and they will take a beating.

Ride with the 30" - 40" protected slot with one over 40" statewide. Bump the limit up to 5-6 fish in the North central and keep it a 2 fish in the rest of the state if you must. I can't help but see some problems down the pipeline with this ruling. If the goal is to get rid of the small pike allowing increased harvest of the big pike is backwards thinking. Big pike eat little pike. The DNR just might want to try to keep them in the system.

Posted on: 3/5 11:39:43
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
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Joined:
08/08/2015
Posts: 164
Quote:

highbeeze24 wrote:
Way to go DNR, years of effort into setting regulations that will do nothing but hurt the population in the North central. Two over 26" is the ruling with a 22"-26" protected slot? Say goodbye to the big females as they will be targeted heavily. A guy can now legally bring home 2 over 40" if they so choose. Are the odds of you pulling 2 over 40" slim? Perhaps, but those mid to upper 30" fish are dynamite spawning fish and they will take a beating.

Ride with the 30" - 40" protected slot with one over 40" statewide. Bump the limit up to 5-6 fish in the North central and keep it a 2 fish in the rest of the state if you must. I can't help but see some problems down the pipeline with this ruling. If the goal is to get rid of the small pike allowing increased harvest of the big pike is backwards thinking. Big pike eat little pike. The DNR just might want to try to keep them in the system.


I'm sorry but you're completely wrong. The new regs will not hurt pike in the north central zone. You could keep two pike over 26" with one over 30" under the old regs. The new regs continue this with the exception of no 1 over 30". Fact of the matter is people aren't catching more than one 30" pike in a trip. I'm sure you'll come up with some story where you did, but the overall numbers don't lie. People aren't catching many 30" fish. The purpose of the new regs is not to produce more trophy sized fish. The majority of anglers do not want that. The purpose is to allow more harvest of fish less than 22" and hopefully produce more 24"-28" fish which is what people want.

Posted on: 3/5 14:55:12
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
Staff Team
Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3485
Taking more big pike out of the system is not a step in the right direction. The lakes that hold trophy pike (mille lacs, low, Leeche, Red, etc...) don't have a problem with an infestation of small pike because the big pike help keep the system in check.. You say people want more 24"-28" pike? Well they can't harvest the 24"-26" fish so that's not doing any favors either. Keep it at a 10 fish limit but only one over 26". Taking more big pike out is not the answer regardless of what you may believe.

Posted on: 3/5 16:33:51
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
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Joined:
12/04/2008
From Detroit Lakes
Posts: 1603
Actually more correctly under the old regs you could keep three 29" fish if you wanted, or two 29" and one over 30". Realistically in some lakes, yeah maybe these regs will adversely affect the pike distribution, but in the vast majority of north central lakes it just won't. They are so laden with "hammerhandles" that fish eat each other out of house and home. There aren't many lakes where an abundance of small pike is leading to trophy fish. Yes bigger pike eat smaller ones, but most of the big ones don't exist anymore, so the hammerhandles take over and get stunted. My biggest issue with this law is no matter how many 21" fish you allow someone to take, it could be 50, it won't make a difference because nobody wants them. I can't fathom why the DNR thinks people will be out there clamoring for limits of dink pike. I personally like pike for eating, but most people I know don't want to mess with the slime, or with the y-bones, which are way more difficult to clean free in small fish as opposed to a 26+. Best thing for the small ones is pickling and though I know a fair amount of people that pickle northerns, I don't see that having an impact. Maybe the DNR shouldn't be blamed either, they had to come up with a plan (albeit probably a poor one) in response to the legislature telling them they were out of control with some kind of different special reg on every lake in the state just about.

Posted on: 3/5 17:37:28
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
Staff Team
Joined:
07/01/2011
From Annandale
Posts: 3485
Very good point and one I had thought of. A very select few would be willing to keep that many small pike. Now, for the sake of debate, if a growing number of anglers were willing to keep the full limit of small pike will we run into another issue where population's begin to get depleted? Would this then be considered a temporary fix but not necessarily the solution? I'm not sure there is ever a perfect answer to these issues but I like to hear of possible solutions. Perhaps this can be beneficial to a good portion of northern waters. On the other hand it could very well damage some waters. I personally can't agree with removing more of the adult pike and would certainly support a 30"-40" immediate release state wide. It does wonders on many bodies of waters that impose those regs or regs of a similar fashion.

Posted on: 3/5 18:48:27
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
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Joined:
12/01/2014
From West Fargo, ND
Posts: 191
My favorite pike lakes all have a 24-36" protected slot and it's a noticeable difference compared to those that don't in the Detroit Lakes/Ottertail area in my opinion. I would've like to have seen a 1 over limit as well, but at least they're trying something to get the small ones out. There's never a simple answer to any of this stuff, no matter how badly we'd all like to think there is. I'll be frying up plenty of 18" pike this summer!

Posted on: 3/5 19:49:23
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
LSF Member
Joined:
01/07/2010
From cold spring mn
Posts: 548
yea i dont see many people taking 10 little snot rockets, however i would as i love pickled pike.

on a side note..10 small 22 inch and smaller pike makes a measly 3 qts of pickled fish!!!!!

i fall in the 10 fish zone, some lakes this new reg would help, most lakes i fish not so much!!!!! just my

Posted on: 3/7 10:55:40
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Re: New Nothern Pike Regulations
LSF Member
Joined:
01/30/2012
From Fargo
Posts: 15
Just a side note. Lakes with special regulations will override the new regulations. So Red Lakes' protected slot of 26-44 with 1 over 44 will be in effect .Mille Lacs The possession limit for northern pike is five, with only one greater than or equal to 30". Two northern pike less than 30" must be in immediate possession (taken the same day from Mille Lacs) before harvesting one greater than or equal to 30"I would think a protected slot will be coming for Leech too.I'm going to have to work on my filleting skills but my youngest was excited for "more" opportunities to clean pike

Posted on: 3/11 8:51:30
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