A pro-active approach to killing tenacious pike
The Davis Lake pike situation has been under review by a task force since they were re-discovered after the lake was chemically treated in October 1997. No one is sure whether these pike survived the treatment or were reintroduced into the lake.
We may be close to seeing a plan soon.
An article written by John Howard of the Associated Press indicated that task force plans include a barrier, reducing the pike’s food supply, encouraging pike fishing, allowing drag nets and purse seines, expanding electroshocking of the water, and fitting the dam with screens and an electrical shocker to kill any pike that slip through.
The barrier is a nine-tenths of a mile long net that will be put into place in the Mosquito Slough area of the lake.
This is the area of the lake where the pike seem to be concentrated during the spring since it provides a prime spawning habitat. The barrier is intended to contain the pike so that they will be forced to eat their young during spawning time.
The article went on to say that the plans did not include treating the lake with chemicals, introducing pike specific diseases or draining the lake as current options.
The options that the task force is pursuing are considered to be what they can do immediately.
The measures, including the barrier, are ones hoped to be in place by this spring. As a result, getting the barrier in before the spring is of prime concern to the task force. Once the lake ices over, they will not be able to put the barrier in place. Therefore, there is a sense of urgency to this plan.
I am sure that there will be more to follow on the plans to control and eradicate this fish that poses such a threat to our fisheries. The primary concern has always been that these fish are capable of migrating into the Sacramento River system and could wreak havoc on these fisheries.
Pike are a fish that would be on the top of the food chain in any of our systems. He is an outright predator.
If you have seen one, the term “freshwater barracuda” is very appropriate. They have the same toothy appearance and are about as aggressive.
As I stated in the beginning of this article, the task force is not sure whether these fish survived the treatment or were reintroduced.
That is a key point, because until the person(s) responsible for such selfish deed is caught the chance of any measures succeeding is extremely limited.
According to a former fisheries biologist, these people definitely have some resolve from their efforts in both Frenchman and Davis Lakes. With signs that read “pike live,” placed during the Frenchman eradication, one only can wonder about our fishing future.
Keep your eyes open even when you are fishing our local lakes.
If you see anything suspicious be sure to get as much information as you can and call it in on the 24-hour hotline at 1 -888-DFG-CalTIP.
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