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Northern Pike

One upside of the abundant plant growth in Norway Lake is the excellent habitat it provides for fishes – in all respects, Norway is a highly productive lake.  While this is true, DNR fish surveys suggest that the size structure of some fish species could be improved.  In other words, there are many more smaller Northern Pike (less than 24″) and fewer large Northern’s (24″ and larger) than is desirable.

Northerns commonly feed on yellow perch, suckers, minnows and other northern pike, but also eat some sunfish and bass as well as leeches, frogs and crayfish.  The abundance of smaller northerns in Norway Lake may lead to tremendous competition for food, stunting the growth of many pike while depleting the number of largemouth bass.

What we can do to improve the fishery?

It may seem wise to keep bigger fish and let the smaller fish live to fight another day, but to shift the size structure in the fish population means rethinking our catch and release practices.  Keeping Northern Pike that are smaller than 24″ and releasing those 24″ and larger is the first step in producing more large Pike.  Reducing the number of smaller pike leaves more food for the survivors and less competition for largemouth bass as well.