Northern pike

Anglers and others interested in fisheries management are welcome to attend a public meeting hosted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fisheries staff to discuss a proposed northern pike regulation change for Elephant Lake in Koochiching County.

The meeting will be conducted at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Camp 5 Town Hall, County Road 180, Fire No. 6560, Orr.

An additional open-house regarding special regulation proposals throughout the state will be held Sept. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the DNR Headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.

A special regulation for northern pike was implemented on Elephant Lake in 2003 as part of a statewide effort to improve the quality of northern pike fishing in Minnesota. A 40-inch minimum size limit has required anglers to release all northern pike less than 40 inches long. Although the size of northern pike has improved under the special regulation, the response on Elephant Lake has not been as good as expected.

The state’s northeast zone regulation — possession limit two, with a 30- to 40-inch protected slot — would provide additional harvest opportunities for medium-sized northern pike less than 30 inches, while protecting larger fish.

“The proposal to drop the special regulation on Elephant Lake helps simplify the regulations for anglers by bringing it in line with the northeast zone, but still allows harvest of small and medium pike, while protecting the slow-growing larger pike,” said DNR Fisheries Supervisor Kevin Peterson. “We would like input from anglers who use the lake and want to hear how this change would impact their fishing experience.”

The Orr and St. Paul meetings are intended to share information and provide an opportunity to ask questions before written comments are submitted. Questions and comments can be made at any time during the comment period. The statewide public comment period began in May and will end on Nov. 12.

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