MN DNR question of the week: Hammer-handle northerns

MN DNR, Northland Outdoors
The north-central area is plagued by too many small pike (under 22 inches). There is moderate to high fishing pressure with high harvest of large and medium size pike. Pike grow slowly here, and a lot of small hammer-handles is the result. BrainerdDispatch.com graphic

Q: It seems like there are a lot of small hammer-handle pike where I fish. Is this true across Minnesota?

A: DNR sampling and angler catch reports show that northern pike populations differ greatly in various regions of the state. In the northeast, pike are present in relatively low numbers and relatively large sizes. They grow slowly there but can reach trophy sizes due to limited fishing pressure across a large number of lakes.

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