Minnesota DNR officials are holding a series of public meetings Feb. 17 to seek comments and answer questions about the elimination of special northern pike regulations on 15 state lakes.
Among the lakes is Campbell Lake northwest of Bemidji. The special regulation on Campbell was the release of all northern pike between 24 and 36 inches. The Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries staff will host its meeting 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the DNR Area Fisheries headquarters at 2114 Bemidji Ave.
Lake Louise also will have its special northern pike regultion dropped and the meeting to address that issue will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Walker Area DNR Fisheries headquarters at 7316 State Highway 371 NW in Walker.
The DNR dropped 15 lakes with northern pike special regulations on Nov. 1, 2011. This action was necessitated by a change in state law that restricted the DNR to no more than 100 northern pike special or experimental regulation lakes. The 15 lakes that were dropped were lakes where fisheries biologists felt the regulation was least likely to achieve its management goal, or smaller lakes connected to larger lakes that also had a special northern pike regulation. Emergency rule was used to drop special regulations on these lakes. In order to drop these regulations permanently, the DNR is required to solicit additional public comment.
Those unable to attend an open house may submit written comments or comments by phone to the appropriate area office. All comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17. Public comments will also be accepted during an open house Feb. 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the DNR Central Office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul.
For more information about the Campbell Lake regulation contact the Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries office at 308-2330. For more information on the Lake Louis regulation, contact the Walker Area DNR Fisheries office at 218-547-1683.