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Third pike discovered at Davis

BRUCE AJARI

At a Town Hall meeting in Portola last Thursday, the Department of Fish and Game announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the planting northern pike in Lake Davis.

Ryan Broddrick, chief deputy director for the Department of Fish and Game, along with City of Portola and Plumas County officials, made the announcement for DFG director Robert C. Hight.

The DFG has confirmed that a third pike of about 19 inches has been caught. The last one was taken on May 22 by DFG biologists. They are continuing to electro-shock the lake to determine if there is a self-sustainable population of pike, according to Hight.

When appropriate information is available, DFG, along with the City of Portola and Plumas County officials, will review all future options together.

Although it is still not known for certain if the pike were replanted after the 1997 treatment, DFG is making every effort to determine where the pike came from. It seems highly unlikely that the pike being caught now could have survived the chemical treatment. “If the northern pike were in fact planted at Lake Davis, offering this reward should send a message that we are serious about our concerns regarding the possibility of someone unlawfully replanting the lake,” Hight said.

Personally, unless you add at least another zero to the $25,000, I doubt that you will see anyone rushing to claim this reward.

Recent legislation authored by former Assemblyman Bernie Richter enhances the penalty for unlawful planting of fish. If someone unlawfully planted the fish, they could face penalties of up to $50,000 in fines, a minimum jail sentence of six months with a maximum of one year, and a loss of all DFG licenses and permits.

An additional more serious penalty could occur.

Because northern pike is considered to be an aquatic nuisance species in California, those who illegally plant pike will be liable to pay for damages caused to property, commercial and sport fisheries and public communities which depend upon these fisheries.

Violators will also be responsible for all public and private response, treatment and recovery efforts. As we have seen from our previous experience in the Portola region in 1997, these costs can be in the millions.

There is no question that the person or people introducing these fish into area lakes must be caught in order for this problem to disappear. Unfortunately, until they are caught they are holding the entire sportfishing state as hostages.

Anyone who grew up in California as a trout fisherman should be outraged. I am sure that all agree there needs to be some closure on this problem.

Many an angler interviewed at the lake have expressed their feelings openly. One angler suggested hanging the individual(s) from the nearest tree.

Other more outrageous suggestions were also heard. The comments represent strong sentiment regarding this illegal introduction of northern pike.

Anyone with information that will assist the DFG in determining if the fish were illegally planted is being asked to call the DFG’s 24-hour hotline, 1-888-DFG-CaITIP. All calls to the hotline will remain anonymous.

Just one more reminder, if you catch a northern pike, the DFG asks all anglers to follow these guidelines. First, anglers are asked to kill the fish by cutting through the gills or removing the head. Next, DFG asks that the fish be delivered to any DFG personnel at Lake Davis, or to the Portola DFG office as soon as possible.

Forgetting pike for the moment, the Father’s Day fishing derby at Lake Davis promises to be a fun one with many prizes offered from cash to merchandise donated by local merchants. Entry forms are available from local merchants or at Portola City Hall, Monday through Friday. Top cash prize is $20,000 for a trout with the appropriate tag.

If you happen to catch a northern pike during the derby, be sure and follow the guidelines above and get the fish to the DFG as soon as possible. Finally, please do not forget the CalTIP number, 1-888-DFG-CalTIP.

FISHING REPORT

Boca – (38,216 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Most anglers fishing from shore near the inlet are having some success. The area near the dam is also fishing well. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerba it. Boaters are having some success. Most were using a combination offlashers and a nightcrawler or minnow imitating lure. Kokanee fishing has been good. Flyfishermen near the inlet are having fair to good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers, and emergers.

Donner – (Boat Ramp appears to be nearing completion.)

Fishing has been fair to good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west-end and near the launch ramp have had some success. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait.

Trollers using minnow imitating lures have had fair to good success.

Lake Tahoe – (Elevation 6228.66) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish typically are in the five to seven pound range. A guide is highly recommended fyou are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is improving. Remember tributaries to Tahoe are closed to all fishing until July 1 and closes again on September 30. No fishing is also allowed within 300 ft. of these tributaries.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed) Fishing is fair, but improving. Most use nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, Damselfly imitations or the A.P. Streamers that imitate small fish, and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quiqley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams, and Gr~fith ‘~s~ Gnat are good choices.

Lots of midge activity on calm days and in the evening. Try ant patterns on windy days. Midge pupa patterns are working, but the fishing can be tough.

Little Truckee River – Fishing has been fair. This should improve with recent plants along Highway 89. Fishing has been fair to good near the inlet area of the Little Truckee into Boca reservoir. Flyfishermen fishing this stretch between Stampede and Boca concentrate on nymphs and streamers, but there has been some fair dry fly action at times.

Prosser – (24,257 ac. ft.) Fishing has been fishing fair to good.

Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait.

Flyfishermen near the inlets have taken a few fish mostly on

nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (220,070 ac.ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are still catching fish. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerba it. Topliners have fair to good success for kokanee salmon. Most used a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.

Truckee River – The release has been reduced to 598 cubic feet per second from the dam at Tahoe City. The bulk of the run-off appears to be over. The river appears to be in better shape to fish. The river has slowed down a bit to 1040 cubic feet per second in the Truckee area. Fishing has been fair but improving. Try nymphs and streamers near the edges and near obstructions when conditions permit.

Other Waters – Davis and Frenchman lakes fished fair to good this past week. Reports indicate that fishing has been very good.


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