In hopes of improving northern pike fishing, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants to expand the dialogue with anglers and darkhouse spearers about the northern pike problem in Minnesota.
So what’s the problem? Well, there isn’t just one problem – or one solution – because pike populations differ in various regions of the state.
- In the northeast, pike are present in relatively low numbers and at relatively large sizes. They reproduce naturally. Although they grow slowly, they can grow quite large because relatively few anglers scatter limited fishing pressure across a large number of lakes.
- In southern Minnesota, pike are less abundant and don’t reproduce as well as in the north. Southern Minnesota has high fishing pressure and a high harvest rate relative to the number of pike; however, these fish grow fast.
- The north-central area is plagued by too many small pike. There is moderate to high fishing pressure and high harvest of large and medium size pike. Pike grow slowly here, and an over-abundance of small pike is the result.
One concept the DNR will discuss entails creating three pike fishing zones that could solve unique challenges with pike in northeast, north-central and southern Minnesota. In hopes of engaging anglers and spearers about the zone concept, the DNR has developed a Web page at www.mndnr.gov/pike that includes a video outlining the concept, frequently asked questions, a comment form and a space where people can sign up to receive information via email.