Lake Davis pike to be buried in Reno area | SierraSun.com
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Lake Davis pike to be buried in Reno area

RENO, Nev. (AP) ” A lot of the northern pike currently swimming in a popular Sierra lake are headed for a final resting place in Nevada.

Pike killed during the California Department of Fish and Game’s eradication project will be trucked to the Lockwood landfill 10 miles east of Reno, double-bagged and buried, according to Tracie Douglas of Washoe County Environmental Health Services. She expects up to hundreds of thousands of dead fish.

“The landfill will be ready for them,” Douglas said. “They will put them in the ground and cover them up immediately.”



Pike were discovered in Lake Davis in 1994. The invasive predator has taken over what was a major trout fishery at the lake, biologists said. Officials fear that the pike could escape the lake and become established in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.

California officials attempted to eradicate pike from the lake with the poison called rotenone in 1997. That controversial attempt either failed or someone later planted more pike, which were found flourishing in the lake in 1999.



The latest effort, costing up to $16 million, began Sept. 10 when teams of state workers began applying liquid rotenone to streams around the lake.

“It’s everything from little pools of water to the major streams, but there’s pike in all of them,” Steve Martanaro, fish and game spokesman, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Relatively few pike have been killed, and most that bob to the surface are being snatched up at night by raccoons, coyotes and other critters, Martanaro said. About 100 pike had been picked up as of Friday.

But when poisoning of the lake starts Sept. 25, the death toll will be much higher. Ivan Paulson, a senior state biologist based in nearby Portola, said hundreds of thousands of pike might be swimming in the lake’s waters. The poisoning also will kill surviving trout and some other types of fish.

Workers will gather dead fish and load them into garbage trucks to be hauled to the Lockwood landfill, Martanaro said.

Bill Carr, district manager for Waste Management Inc., said the loads of dead fish won’t pose any particular challenge at the landfill, which regularly receives food products for disposal.

Douglas agreed.

“They’re used to that kind of weird stuff,” she said.

___

Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com


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