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Willmar to host northern pike meeting

WILLMAR -- Willmar is host to the last in a series of statewide informational meetings on a proposal to change regulations for northern pike. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting the meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Kandi...

WILLMAR - Willmar is host to the last in a series of statewide informational meetings on a proposal to change regulations for northern pike.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is hosting the meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Service building multi-purpose room), 2200 23rd St. N.E., Suite 1020, in Willmar.
The zone proposal would address pike management objectives that differ depending on region as follows:
North-central: This area has a problem with too many small pike.
There is moderate to high fishing pressure and high harvest of large and medium size pike.
High reproduction leads to an overabundance of small pike, which then grow slower because of their high densities.
The proposal is intended to increase abundance of medium and large pike and decrease the number of small pike.
The proposal will provide more opportunity to harvest small pike, as well as allowing more harvest of small surplus pike and improving the opportunity to harvest some preferred size pike.
Northeast: Pike are present in relatively low numbers here 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. The proposal would maintain harvest opportunity here while protecting large pike.
South: Pike are less abundant here and donโ€™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 very fast. The proposal would increase pike abundance here and improve the size of harvested pike.
The Green Lake Fisheries Council would like to see Green Lake exempt from the zone regulation.
The southern zone includes Green Lake and all waters south of Highway 55. The council is concerned that protecting all northern pike under 24 inches would only increase predation by northern pike on walleye fingerlings that are stocked in Green Lake and others.
The council is also concerned that the regulation treats all lakes the same based on geography, while there are significant differences among the lakes in any given region.
The council would prefer to see northern pike management focused on the conditions of individual lakes.
More information on the northern pike proposal can be found at mndnr.gov/pike.

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