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New northern pike regulations coming for 2018 fishing opener

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. PineandLakes.com Illustration1 / 2
The three new pike zones. Lakes with special or experimental regulations will remain in place until the special regulation has been evaluated and a decision made through a public process to continue the special regulation, modify it or convert to the zone regulation. The new zone regulations will not apply to border waters with neighboring states or provinces. MnDNR graphic2 / 2

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.

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.

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.

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.

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