Current Minnesota northern pike regulations will remain in effect this winter, but major changes will become effective with the May 12 fishing opener next spring. The changes will include three northern pike zones with different limits and length regulations for each zone.
- In the northeast zone, anglers will be able to keep two pike and must release all from 30 to 40 inches, with only one over 40 inches allowed in possession. Spearers also will be able to take two pike but only one may be longer than 26 inches.
- In the north-central zone, which will cover much of the state, the issue is overpopulation of small pike. Anglers in this zone will be able to keep 10 northern pike but not more than two pike longer than 26 inches, and all from 22 to 26 inches must be released. Spearers in the zone may take one pike between 22 and 26 inches and one longer than 26 inches; or two over 26 inches and none between 22 and 26 inches and up to eight more under 22 inches; or nine under 22 inches and one over 26 inches; or 10 under 22 inches.
- In the southern zone, the goal is to increase pike abundance and improve the size of fish harvested. Anglers and spearers will be able to keep two fish with a minimum size of 24 inches.
Spearing season opened Nov. 15, and pike fishing remains open until Feb. 25. Current statewide regulations including the daily and possession limit of three northern pike is still in effect. So, too, are special and experimental regulations listed for specific waters in the 2017 Minnesota Fishing Regulations. For more information on the new zone regulations look here.