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NW Fishletter #392, April 1, 2019

[16] Idaho, Tribe Launch Plan To Reduce Northern Pike

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe and Idaho Department of Fish and Game plan to use gillnets in four lakes to remove northern pike from the southern end of Lake Coeur d'Alene and boost survival of cutthroat trout.

Fish managers plan to net the voracious predator fish in Lake Coeur d'Alene's tributary lakes--Benewah, Chatcolet, Round and Hidden Lakes--targeting places where the pike congregate to spawn, according to a news release from Idaho Fish and Game.

Northern pike are a non-native fish species that prey on other fish, including salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin that are listed under the Endangered Species Act. The Colville and Spokane tribes also remove northern pike from Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam, in an attempt to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the Columbia River.

In Lake Coeur d'Alene, fishery managers have been testing methods to suppress northern pike in Windy Bay since 2015, and found the fish can be reduced to low densities in a localized area to reduce impacts on other species, the news release said.

Managers are planning to minimize bycatch of other species--including largemouth bass, a popular fishery in the lake. Biologists plan to use gillnets this spring until May 24, and suspend fishing between Memorial Day and Oct. 1 to minimize conflict with recreational fishermen.

In 2017, the Tribe conducted a survey of Lake Coeur d'Alene fishermen, which showed strong support for suppressing northern pike in Windy Bay. Idaho Fish and Game also held a public meeting on March 26 to explain their efforts. -K.C. Mehaffey

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NW Fishletter is produced by NewsData LLC.
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief: Mark Ohrenschall, Editor: K.C. Mehaffey
Phone: (206) 285-4848 Fax: (206) 281-8035

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