Anglers who catch and release northern pike can earn state-record status through an expansion of a Minnesota DNR 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, the DNR said in a news release. Anglers send one photo of the fish displayed alongside a measuring stick, ruler or tape, along with one photo of the angler with the fish.
According to the release, diehard anglers and DNR Fisheries staff pushed for the records categories, added in 2016 to recognize people who catch trophy fish while also supporting the catch-and-release ethic. 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.
Detailed guidelines for participating in both the catch-and-release and certified weight categories may be found at mndnr.gov/recordfish. Fishing regulations and season dates may be found at mndnr.gov/fishmn.
Anglers who catch large fish also have the option of participating in the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame’s Master Angler program, which recognizes 60 fish species. For information on that program, click here.