“There’s been some confusion because an extended ice angling season for pike continues through Sunday, March 29, on Mille Lacs,” said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR Aitkin area fisheries supervisor. “Just like the rest of the state, dark house spearing season ends Feb. 22 on Mille Lacs.”
Mille Lacs anglers and spearers can keep 10 northern pike with one of those 10 fish longer than 30 inches.
Liberalized northern pike regulations were enacted on Mille Lacs to provide additional opportunities to harvest fish and take advantage of the current surplus of pike shorter than 30 inches. Northern pike spearing was opened this winter for the first time since the winter of 1982-83.
The new, liberalized regulations are experimental and enacted for only one year at a time. The DNR will evaluate the impacts of the northern pike regulations at the end of the ice fishing season. If there appear to be conservation concerns, necessary adjustments will be made.
For complete regulations, follow the Mille Lacs regulations link at www.mndnr.gov/regulations/fishing.