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Yooperguy

pike org.

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I was wondering if there was a pike group in this state that one could join that cared about the future of pike? Not just how many one could eat.

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After the last few years, I hate to say it but I'm not sure "cared about the future of pike" is a good description for the DNR right now.

There used to be an organization called Pikemasters, but it has kind of died out, although I think there may be some chapters out West still.

In Minnesota, your best bet is the Minnesota Muskie and Pike Alliance. It started out as kind of a clearing house for Muskies Inc chapters to work on fisheries management and habitat issues related to muskies at the state level, but later on expanded to working on improving the pike fishery as well - mainly because nobody else was advocating for them in any organized way.

Hopefully Jack Penny will chime in here - he's way more plugged in to the pike scene than I ever will be. He may have some thoughts.

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It is sad that it is the way it is but unfortunately the pike has taken a wayyyyyyyyyyyyy back seat to the Minnesota walleye and the Muskie, oh and the small mouth bass and the troutalong with about everyother freshwater game fish grin

I grew up fishing the green gators of the Sandcreek that fed the Minnesota river and I still love fishing for them I also know that there are many waters in which to fish them. I do not harvest pike by hook and line unless the unfortunate occurrence of death due to a swallowed hook.

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From what I understand, the Minnesota DNR are not doing pike or pike fishermen any giant favors. Rob is right, these days the Minnesota Muskie & Pike Alliance is the top organization involved with the protection of northern pike and should be supported by all muskie and pike anglers. To my knowledge, the men working with the MMPA are some of the very best legislative warriors of their kind in the country.

Pikemasters was started in Michigan in the 90's by Joe Bednar. It was an all volunteer organization putting out information and getting involved in issues concerning pike. I wrote for them for several years. Joe worked for a defence contractor and when 911 went down, he became so involved in that work he could no longer run Pikemasters and it quietly died out. There is another organization called Pikemasters in Montana but they were never part of the original. Mr. Bednar is still involved in issues concerning northern pike in his home state.

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Hard for the DNR to do much about quality pike management when special interest groups comprising 1% of the angling population get crooks like Hackbarth to slip legislation into budget bills reducing slot limits and other pike protections put in place, even though these regs are based on science and overall favored by the general fishing population.

It's a shame full freezers for 1 out of 100 anglers take priority over a quality fishery for everyone but that's how it'll be until enough people are aware of how this stuff usually goes down.

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Hard for the DNR to do much about quality pike management when special interest groups comprising 1% of the angling population get crooks like Hackbarth to slip legislation into budget bills reducing slot limits and other pike protections put in place, even though these regs are based on science and overall favored by the general fishing population.

It's a shame full freezers for 1 out of 100 anglers take priority over a quality fishery for everyone but that's how it'll be until enough people are aware of how this stuff usually goes down.

where is my like button

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Where's the animosity for DNR come from? The most recent pike fisheries management changes have come about legislatively. I'd put northern pike in the same category as white-tailed deer. Everybody thinks the DNR is doing it wrong until they step back and look at how many different views and user groups there are with skin in the game. There's no one way to go about, no one way to preserve "the future of pike." Opinions are like anuses, everybody's got one. Let's hear how you'd do it better...

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Where's the animosity for DNR come from? The most recent pike fisheries management changes have come about legislatively. I'd put northern pike in the same category as white-tailed deer. Everybody thinks the DNR is doing it wrong until they step back and look at how many different views and user groups there are with skin in the game. There's no one way to go about, no one way to preserve "the future of pike." Opinions are like anuses, everybody's got one. Let's hear how you'd do it better...

AMEN...Dachise

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I would give full control of the reg to the DNR and not allow legislators to try to use them to their political advantage. That's the only thing I've got against the current system.

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Hiya -

I should have made my point more clearly...my fault, and my apologies.

Within the fisheries section I think for the most part there is a lot of desire to do right by pike management. Guys like Rod Pierce, Jim Lilienthal and Denny Schupp before they retired, etc.

Where I get discouraged, quite frankly, is with the DNR leadership, and it starts at the top with the Commissioner. It often seems like the DNR has turned into the department of waterfowl under his administration.

During the last legislative session when the cap on special/experimental regs was being debated, what I heard from area and regional fisheries staff was vastly different than what I heard given as testimony by the DNR's representation at the legislature. The DNR's objection to arbitrary legislative constraints on their ability to make management decisions based on sound biology and the defense of their own management policies and plans was...calling it milquetoast would be generous. You could sum it up as "tell us what you find acceptable, and we'll tell you what our position is." Some of us in the room who have spent years working with the DNR and the legislature on fisheries issues were stunned at the utter unwillingness to even articulate a management position, much less defend one in the face of a blatant legislative effort to undercut the DNR's ability to manage the state's resources, even if in a very narrowly defined scope.

When Governor Dayton vetoed the initial Omnibus Game and Fish Bill, some of the issues regarding fisheries management were specifically cited in the the Governor's veto letter. After the legislative special session where the G&F bill was reworked, the fisheries items cited by the Governor as justification for his veto came through unscathed. When I asked the Commissioner, in person, why he recommended Dayton sign the revised bill despite not satisfying his requests in the veto letter, his response was "Well, there were a lot of good things in there for waterfowl."

At that point I pretty much lost all faith in the commissioner's office and their willingness to support their field staff. I haven't seen a thing since to change my opinion.

Again - I typed a response in a hurry, and painted with too broad a brush. But, although this is certainly from the outside looking in, there seems to be a divide between what you hear talking to guys in the field, and what comes out of the commissioner's office in St Paul. I know there are many anglers who've worked for years alongside the DNR to support the fisheries division, and quite a few of them are ready to throw in the towel.

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Where's the animosity for DNR come from?

I'd put northern pike in the same category as white-tailed deer.

Everybody thinks the DNR is doing it wrong until they step back and look at how many different views and user groups there are with skin in the game. There's no one way to go about, no one way to preserve "the future of pike." Opinions are like anuses, everybody's got one.

+1

There is room out there for all of us on Minnesotas Public Resources.

.

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I'm old enough that a short pole works. In 2003 experimental slots were put on Lower Mission Lake, and I think they are hurting the lake. Also the experimental slots were only going to be on a few lakes, and they ended up on over 100. In my opinion they are still on too many lakes. Prove that the slots are good for all these lakes, other than getting larger fish, that eat more of the smaller fish. I didn't filet one fish out of Lower Mission last year. First year since 1964, that I haven't cleaned any from this lake. Where did they go?

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I personally like the DNR. Minnesota does have strict regulations, but it might be for the better of the enviroment. If you feel the DNR is not doing enough why not help them by volunteering?

@spike

I also wonder about slot limits; in theory they limit the harvest to pike that suposedly have a low survival rate anyway. A bigger northern does not nessesarily eat more fish, they just eat bigger fish. I'm sure the slot does not work on every lake, but I don't beleive it hurts any. Its nearly impossible to hurt the little 1-3 lb population, but only few guys can kill the entire 10+lb population on a smaller lake. I cant remember where but I remember seeing something that estimated pike population on a 500-1000 acre lake. Under 5 pounds was over 10,000, where over that was like 500.

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Spike76 - no shortage of pike in that lake. DNR stats indicate over 15 northern pike per gillnet - that is CRAZY high with an avg size of 2.36lbs. There were fish caught bigger than 30 inches, and some numbers in the 25-29in range. Not sure what you consider a keeper, but it shouldn't be a problem to catch pike in that lake. The real problem is there are still 1. overall way too many, over 15/net is too high. 2. those that are in there are overcompeting for available food sources, will maintain below avg growth rates, affect forage availability for all other fish species and create a neverending cascade of hammerhandle syndrome.

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I think its good to have some hammer handle lakes. Some people just like catching lots of northern's for fun or food. I rarely fish them, but they are a blast with friends. Set out some tip ups, and you rarely have to wait 30 minutes for a flag.

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Agreed, but with so many pike lakes in this state you mean to tell me we can't manage any of them for big pike? How are you supposed to get any one to try pike fishing or stay pike fishing if all you can get is 24 inch pike? We all want to get kids started in fishing, what better fish to get kids excited about fishing than the pike. The get big (if you let them get old enough) they bite regularly and fight great. I do believe that some how there has to be room for people that want to eat pike and those that want quality. Granted it might not be on the same lake. Granted we will have to hear Merk say he is being left out, but I also have the same right to that public resource. These small pike are hurting our lakes, get too many in a lake and they eat most of the perch then the walleye that get stocked. Once the perch numbers go down the size of the walleye go down and then the bluegills numbers go threw the roof resulting in stunted blue gill. Does anyone wish this would happen to you favorite lake?

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Less Harvest; Less Harvest...

More Restrictions; More Restrictions...

All the northern pike are gone...

Ohhh My.. What should we do?

Quote:

According to numbers verified by Dirk Peterson MN, MnDNR fisheries chief, 4.6 Millon pounds of northern pike are harvested in Minnesota each year. When we divide that number by the 1.2 Million fishing licences sold in Minnesota we come up with a total harvest of 3.8 lbs of northern pike per angler per year.

This number includes total harvest of northern pike from ALL methods.

To put this number in context, the annual harvest of panfish in Minnesota is 9.7 million pounds. That is an average harvest of just over 8 lbs of panfish per angler per year.

8 lbs of panfish vs 3.8 lbs of northern pike... overharvest??? you decide.

I certainly dont want to see the northern pike go the way of the muskie where we now have a closed winter catch and release season in Minnesota.

The number of experimental lakes are capped for ten years; they did not go away...

They are still there (with the same anglercentric anti darkhouse spearing rules) and all Minnesotans can enjoy these lakes as they see fit.

That sounds like a good compromise to me...

Sorry Spike that it had to land on your lake and sorry yooperguy that you can not now use these slot limit rules to replace the outright darkhouse spearing bans.

Small changes to slot limit lake rules to account for darkhouse spearing on these lakes could have prevented the caps... but that is what happens when proper compromises cant be agreed upon by groups of grown men... when groups cant come together and work together things get dictated to them...

But; it is happening for fish... it is happening for deer... the trophy crowd vs the responsible selective harvest crowd. It is sad really... but the MnDNR does their best with what they have. Not a very likeable job at times I guess.

The one thing I would like to see changed in the MnDNR is they should use more unbiased science to make their decisions (less internal political science, more real science; and for sure less "good ole' boy science") .... I see some of that changing now, and it is refreshing to see; that is for sure.

.

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Thanks for the kind words about the MMPA guys, we work very hard and love our fishery. Stop by the Muskie Expo and Join.

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Thanks for the kind words about the MMPA guys, we work very hard and love our fishery. Stop by the Muskie Expo and Join.

Thank you I definitely will!

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Merk it has nothing to do with overharvest, its the selecting of the biggest pike harvest. If guys would keep the smaller ones and release the bigger ones properly we wouldn't be in this mess. You really need to read what people write and not get the words all jumbled up becouse you think the world is trying to take away your fish dinner.

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