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Special regs on Campbell Lake to be eliminated

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outdoors Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Legislation passed earlier this year directed Minnesota DNR officials to reduce the number of lakes governed by special northern pike regulations.

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Prior to the directive DNR officials had the authority to designate 120 of the state's lakes as waters with special pike regulations and 115 lakes were part of the current package.

The new directive, however, limited the special pike waters to 100 lakes so state officials had to eliminate 15 lakes from the list beginning Nov. 1.

Among the 15 lakes is Campbell Lake south of Puposky.

"We were asked to prioritize, from best to worst, the northern pike lakes in our area in terms of how the special regulations were working," said Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries assistant supervisor Andy Thompson.

"In our area, the special regulation on Campbell Lake seemed to be working the least."

Other Beltrami County lakes that will retain the northern pike 24 to 36-inch release special regulation are Beltrami, Deer, Fox, Medicine, Movil, North Twin, Three Island, Big Turtle, Little Turtle and Turtle River.

Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries officials implemented the special regulation on Campbell and the other area lakes in the spring of 2003 and studies have shown that at least 10 years are required for the success of a special regulation to surface.

The goal was to alter the size structure of the pike population, reducing the number of small pike and increasing the number of larger and more desirable fish.

"It's been 8.5 years since we've implemented the special northern pike regulations on the area lakes and this year we were in the process of evaluating the success of the special regulations," Thompson said. "But this year we received a request to prioritize.

"The good thing is we had current data on the special regulation lakes but the bad thing is we didn't have much time (to process the data). Of the lakes we (analyzed) it looked as if Campbell was one which didn't show much improvement (in the pike size structure)," Thompson added.

Campbell also was a candidate for elimination because of its location.

"It is isolated and not directly connected to any other lake," Thompson said.

Because of its isolation and the apparent limited success in altering the northern pike size structure, Campbell ranked among the lower priority area lakes to retain the special regulation. The rankings by the area DNR officials were sent to the Northwest DNR Region officials who relayed the list to their superiors in St. Paul.

And, when the 15 lakes were determined, Campbell was among them.

These changes are being done temporarily through a rulemaking process to get them in effect by Nov. 1, as the law requires. DNR officials will post the lakes this fall and hold local informational meetings in January before making the changes permanent.

"We want to receive the public's input and viewpoint as to whether or not the change on Campbell Lake should be permanent," Thompson said.

For more information on Campbell Lake or the change, contact the Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries officials at 308-2339.

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Legislation passed earlier this year directed Minnesota DNR officials to reduce the number of lakes governed by special northern pike regulations.

Prior to the directive DNR officials had the authority to designate 120 of the state's lakes as waters with special pike regulations and 115 lakes were part of the current package.

The new directive, however, limited the special pike waters to 100 lakes so state officials had to eliminate 15 lakes from the list beginning Nov. 1.

Among the 15 lakes is Campbell Lake south of Puposky.

"We were asked to prioritize, from best to worst, the northern pike lakes in our area in terms of how the special regulations were working," said Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries assistant supervisor Andy Thompson.

"In our area, the special regulation on Campbell Lake seemed to be working the least."

Other Beltrami County lakes that will retain the northern pike 24 to 36-inch release special regulation are Beltrami, Deer, Fox, Medicine, Movil, North Twin, Three Island, Big Turtle, Little Turtle and Turtle River.

Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries officials implemented the special regulation on Campbell and the other area lakes in the spring of 2003 and studies have shown that at least 10 years are required for the success of a special regulation to surface.

The goal was to alter the size structure of the pike population, reducing the number of small pike and increasing the number of larger and more desirable fish.

"It's been 8.5 years since we've implemented the special northern pike regulations on the area lakes and this year we were in the process of evaluating the success of the special regulations," Thompson said. "But this year we received a request to prioritize.

"The good thing is we had current data on the special regulation lakes but the bad thing is we didn't have much time (to process the data). Of the lakes we (analyzed) it looked as if Campbell was one which didn't show much improvement (in the pike size structure)," Thompson added.

Campbell also was a candidate for elimination because of its location.

"It is isolated and not directly connected to any other lake," Thompson said.

Because of its isolation and the apparent limited success in altering the northern pike size structure, Campbell ranked among the lower priority area lakes to retain the special regulation. The rankings by the area DNR officials were sent to the Northwest DNR Region officials who relayed the list to their superiors in St. Paul.

And, when the 15 lakes were determined, Campbell was among them.

These changes are being done temporarily through a rulemaking process to get them in effect by Nov. 1, as the law requires. DNR officials will post the lakes this fall and hold local informational meetings in January before making the changes permanent.

"We want to receive the public's input and viewpoint as to whether or not the change on Campbell Lake should be permanent," Thompson said.

For more information on Campbell Lake or the change, contact the Bemidji Area DNR Fisheries officials at 308-2339.

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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