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Norm Haukos, DNR area fisheries manager at Ortonville, releases "rescued" northern pike into Long Tom Lake. Submitted photo

'Rescued' pike released into three Big Stone County lakes

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local Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ORTONVILLE -- Three Big Stone County lakes were recently stocked by the Department of Natural Resources with approximately 2,500 'rescued' northern pike weighing from one-half to three pounds.

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The pike were removed from a lake near Aitkin that frequently has winterkills, a condition brought on by low oxygen levels in shallow lakes.

Norm Haukos, DNR fisheries manager at Ortonville, said "rescue netting" is annually conducted at this lake and the fish are then transported to other Minnesota waters more suited for northern pike.

The pike were released into Artichoke, East Toqua and Long Tom lakes.

"Rescuing fish can be fairly labor intensive and it is only done on a case by case basis," Haukos noted. "In this case it's worth it because of the large number and good size of the pike."

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