DNR seeks comments on northern pike regulations for Sissabagamah and Long lakes in Aitkin County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will be hosting open houses this fall to gather input on the future of northern pike regulations on Sissabagamah Lake and Long Lake.

The first open house will be on Sept. 27 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Rd, St. Paul.

The second open house will be on Oct. 6 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Aitkin DNR Office, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S., Aitkin.

These open houses are intended to provide background information, answer questions, and take public input on the future of experimental and special regulations on these waters, which may be modified, extended or dropped.

Experimental regulations for northern pike on Long Lake currently require that all pike from 24-36 inches must be immediately released. Possession limit is three, with only one over 36 inches. This regulation was implemented in 2003 to improve the size structure of the northern pike population in Long Lake.

Special regulations on Sissabagamah Lake require that all pike from 20-30 inches must be immediately released. Possession limit is three, with only one over 30 inches. This regulation was implemented as an experimental regulation in 1991 to improve angling for large northern pike on Sissabagamah Lake.  In 2007, it was reviewed and retained as a special regulation.

“A statewide initiative was proposed last year that would manage northern pike with a three zone approach, with northeast, north-central and southern zones,” said Aitkin area fisheries supervisor Rick Bruesewitz. “If that happens, the north-central zone approach that would be implemented here is expected to produce similar or better results, so the experimental and special regulations for these lakes may no longer be needed.”

Comments on these regulations can also be mailed to Rick Bruesewitz, area fisheries supervisor, DNR Aitkin area fisheries, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S., Aitkin, MN  56431, or sent by email to aitkin.fisheries@state.mn.us.  Comments will be accepted through Oct. 31.