New Northern Pike Fishing Regulations Coming in Spring 2018

Regulations go into effect March 1, 2018 for Minnesotans fishing on inland waters


MINNESOTA – Anglers and spearers going after northern pike this winter can prepare for new regulations that will be in effect for the spring fishing opener on Minnesota’s inland waters.

The new regulations on inland waters will be in effect starting March 1, however northern pike fishing is not allowed until fishing opener on May 12.

“Pike regulations remain the same this winter, with major changes coming this spring,” said Chris Kavanaugh, northeast region fisheries manager. “As anglers continue fishing for pike, we encourage them to get used to measuring their catches and even consider keeping some of the smaller ones in the north-central part of the state.”

Spearing season will remain open until Feb. 25, 2018, and current statewide regulations have a daily and possession limit of three northern pike is still in effect, along with the special and experimental regulations listed for specific waters in the 2017 Minnesota Fishing Regulations.

New fishing regulations will set up three distinct zones to address the different characteristics of pike populations in the state.

  • North-Central Zone
    • The issue seen in this zone is an overpopulation of small pike.
    • Anglers will be able to keep 10 northern pike in this zone, but not more than two pike longer than 26 inches, and all from 22 to 26 inches must be released.
    • Spearing will follow the same rules except one pike may be between 22 and 26 inches and one longer than 26 inches.
  • Northeast Zone
    • Regulations will maintain harvest opportunity and protect large fish.
    • 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 will be able to take two pike but only one may be longer than 26 inches.
  • Southern Zone
    • Regulations will increase pike abundance and improve the size of fish harvested
    • Anglers will be able to keep two fish with a minimum size of 24 inches.
    • Spearers will follow the same rules.

For more information and details on the northern pike harvest visit

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