Minnesota opens Mille Lacs Lake to pike spearing for first winter in 30 years

Minnesota fishermen who prefer sharp pointy sticks over barbed hooks are about to receive a holiday gift 30 years in the making. For the first time since the winter of 1982-83, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is permitting dark-house spear fishers to target northern pike at Mille Lacs Lake, the DNR announced.

The new regulations allow anglers and spearers to keep ten northern pike, all but one of which must be below 30 inches in length. Anglers will get the additional benefit of being able to catch northern pike until the end of March, rather than mid-February.

Minnesota’s DNR made the decision to reopen Mille Lacs for pike spearing after finding a surplus of pike under 30 inches. Regulations for the lake’s other two popular species, walleye and bass, will remain the same through the winter.

Northern pike. (Credit: Mitte, via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5)

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