Two northern pike found at Davis Lake in May | SierraSun.com
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Two northern pike found at Davis Lake in May

Bruce Ajari

Earlier in the year I reported about the successful return of Davis Lake as a premier trout lake, but shocking news occurred this past week with the discovery of two northern pike.

This comes on the heels of the chemical treatment of the lake in October 1997 for these same fish.

The first pike was reported caught by a fisherman near the Mosquito Cove area on May 22. Mosquito Cove is located at the north end of the lake. The lake is very shallow here and you would expect to see pike there in the spring.

Upon confirming that the fish was a pike, the Department of Fish and Game biologists began electro-shocking the shallows in the Mosquito Cove area. On Thursday, May 24, a second pike was discovered. Both fish appeared to be good size.

Because of the Memorial Day weekend, the department has temporarily halted electro-shocking the lake. Department personnel had an increased presence during the weekend to monitor any additional pike catches.

Electro-shocking should begin after the holiday, according to a DFG spokesman. This is being done to determine the extent of the pike problem.

The department is very concerned about the latest findings of pike. Right now it is uncertain if these fish survived the chemical treatment or whether the party or parties responsible for the first introduction have reintroduced them again.

The most recent pike discovered will be examined to determine its age, sex and reproductive viability, and to see if there are any clues that could indicate that the fish may have been illegally introduced into the lake.

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 toll-free hotline at (888) DFG-CALTIP. All CalTIP calls will remain anonymous.

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 $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.

In this writer’s opinion, it is difficult to believe that any of the pike in the lake prior to the chemical treatment could have survived. Though not impossible, it sure appears that someone has reintroduced these fish into the lake.

The person or persons responsible have been termed eco-terrorists with little regard for any views but their own.

Their reckless act has caused the taxpayers of this state millions of dollars and will cost millions more if a second treatment becomes necessary. As I said after the first treatment, it is apparent that these people will not stop introducing these predatory fish into this lake or any lake that they choose.

They must be stopped.

Please use the CalTIP number if you have any idea who is committing this illegal planting of northern pike.

The DFG also asks all anglers to follow these guidelines if they catch a northern pike. 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.

The discovery of the northern pike has overshadowed the outstanding fishing that has been occurring here during the spring. Some anglers have reported catching over 60 to 70 fish in a day while using artificial lures and practicing catch and release. The fish have grown in size as well. The average size is reportedly 15 inches with five and six pound fish common. Some fish in the double-digit range have been reported.

The City of Portola announced that it will conduct its second free fishing derby over Father’s Day weekend, June 19-20.

It will feature 52 rainbow trout tagged with cash prizes including a $20,000 fish, a $5,000 fish, and 50 – $100 fish. Numerous other trout will be tagged for merchandise and gifts donated by local merchants. There will also be a daily contest for the longest fish, worth $25 to $100.

Last year, more than 2,000 anglers participated in the first derby. The lake continues to receive stocking by the DFG, with thousands more catchable size trout scheduled just prior to the derby.

You may register Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Portola City Hall, 35 Third Ave., or contact them by mail for a preregistration form at City Hall, P.O. Box 1225 Portola, CA 96122.

You may also visit their website at http://www.psln.com/derby/main2.html to obtain the entry forms and details available.

During the derby, anglers may resister at official derby outpost located at the lake starting at 5 a.m. on Saturday.

If you are going to participate, I wish you the best of luck. Let’s all hope that the discovery of northern pike in this lake does not cause us to lose this great fishery again.

Fishing report

Boca – (35,306 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 Powerbait.

Boaters are having some success. Most were using a combination of flashers 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 is closed for repairs, scheduled through June 15) 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 6228.41) Fishing has been good for mackinaw. Most fish typically are in the five to seven pound range. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is slow overall.

-Remember, tributaries to Tahoe are closed to all fishing until July 1 and close again on Sept. 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 Grffith’s Gnat are good choices.

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

Little Truckee River – 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 – (20,235 ac.ft.) Fishing has been 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 – (218,513 ac. ft.) Stampede is fair to good. Most shore anglers are taking fish, some very nice. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. 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 was raised last Tuesday to 713 cubic feet per second from the dam at Tahoe City. With the warmer daytime temperatures and corresponding snowmelt this translates into over 1420 cubic feet per second in the Truckee area.

Fishing has been fair when the water conditions permit. This is very dependent on the weather and the amount of snowmelt. The past week the section below Bear Creek has been unfishable due to the run-off 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.

The pike discovery at Davis has everyone very concerned.


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