|One of the many many small pike I caught last year|
The DNR’s proposal would eliminate the statewide northern bag limit of three fish, with one over 30 inches, and replace it with regulations that would differ depending on three new northern pike management zones: south, north-central and northeast. The biggest changes would occur in the north-central region — roughly north of Hwy. 55 and west of Hwy. 53 — where most of the lakes with an overabundance of small northerns are located.
There, the northern bag limit would be 10 fish under 22 inches, with two over 26 inches allowed in the 10-fish bag. All northerns 22 to 26 inches would have to be releasedI am all for it making the 10 fish limit, but think the protected slot should go from 23 to 28 inches and be only one 1 fish allowed above that.
Platte/Sullivan had liberalized limits with some kind of protected slot for northern pike when we first bought a cabin on these lakes . I believe the change started working slowly, but then they switched back to normal state regulations about 10 years ago and the lakes are now reverting back to a hammer handle factories. I firmly believe we need to protect the bigger pike and cull out more of the smaller one's on many of the north-central lakes.
What I believe the 10 fish limit does is essentially turn small pike into panfish for the meat hunters. It's true that some people will refuse to keep pike in the 22 and under range, but I think having the 10 fish limit for those who will keep them can more than make up for those who won't keep them.
Full Star-Trib Article on the proposed changes
MN DNR's PDF on the issue.