New pike regs in FMZ 10 aim to create trophy fishery

Anglers in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 10 should be aware of a change in pike regulations that came into effect this year.

FMZ 10 covers a wide area of north-central Ontario, from north of Sault Ste. Marie, north almost to Wawa along the shore of Lake Superior, and east past Sudbury. It also includes Manitoulin Island.

The change will allow anglers with a sport fishing licence to keep one northern pike between 61 and 86 cm, and none greater than 86 cm. Those with a conservation licence can keep no fish larger than 61 cm. The limit is still six fish.

Pike growth

Northern pike are the third most sought after species in FMZ 10. The changes are the result of the draft fisheries management plan developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), in conjunction with the FMZ 10 fisheries advisory council. The goal is to increase the number of large pike.

“Limiting the harvest of large fish aims to protect large northern pike while still providing opportunities for anglers to harvest fish,” Melissa Candelaria, press secretary for Ministry of Natural
Resources (MNRF) Minister Graydon Smith, said. “This regulation encourages the harvest of small northern pike but limits the harvest of larger northern pike, particularly those that are of trophy size greater than 86 cm. Similar regulations are in place in many FMZs across the province.”

She further explained the change is to address a concern that the pike fishery in FMZ 10 is mostly composed of smaller-sized fish.

“This smaller size is a result of the habitat and selective harvesting of larger fish by anglers over the years,” Candelaria said.

FMZ10 map

Lake Nipissing regs

A similar regulation has been in place on Lake Nipissing since 2022.

“The Fisheries Management Plan aims to balance the ecological and socioeconomic objectives of the region,” Candelaria explained.

“Specifically, these changes aim to increase the number of large fish and reduce angling mortality of large northern pike. This will improve the angling experience, creating a fishery that will attract tourists
and make FMZ 10 a destination for clients that come from United States and elsewhere.”