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Northern pike added to state's catch-and-release record program

Northern pike added to catch-and-release record program

Anglers who catch and release northern pike can earn state records through an expansion of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources record fish program that previously included only lake sturgeon, muskellunge and flathead catfish in the catch-and-release category.

This category of the DNR's record fish program lets anglers submit photos and documentation of potential record fish they catch and release. Anglers send one photo of the fish displayed alongside a measuring stick, ruler or tape, and one photo of the angler with the fish.

Diehard anglers and DNR Fisheries staff pushed for the record category, added in 2016, to recognize people who catch trophy fish while also supporting the catch-and-release ethic already shared by many anglers. The option remains to participate in the traditional category of records based on certified weight of fish caught and kept.

To be eligible for any state record, anglers must obtain a valid license and the fish must be caught in season. Anglers may fish for a species only when a season is open, even when catch-and-release angling.

Guidelines for participating in the catch-and-release and certified weight categories can be found at Fishing regulations and season dates can be found at

Anglers who catch large fish also have the option of participating in the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame's Master Angler program. Read more at

Despite snow, spring turkey season begins

In 1978, Minnesota held its first turkey hunt in modern history. During that season, 420 hunters drew permits. Since then, interest in pursuing these big game birds has expanded along with their population and range. Last spring, some 50,000 turkey permits were issued, and hunters registered nearly 12,000 birds.

Minnesota's excellent turkey hunting is a management success story. Due to habitat loss and unregulated hunting, the state's last native turkey was spotted in 1880. After several reintroduction attempts dating back to the 1920s, successful trap and transplant efforts began in 1971. Historically, wild turkeys were found primarily in the forested river valleys of southeastern Minnesota, but favorable habitat has allowed for the expansion of the wild turkey's range to include most of the state.

The season runs from April 18 to May 31 and is divided into six hunt periods: A through F. Visit for more information.