Illegal Northern Pike heading to CL: Fair game for fishermen

By Contributor
June 15th, 2015

Northern Pike, an illegally introduced species from Montana, are making their way to Christina Lake.

Northern Pike numbers in Lake Roosevelt were significant last year, and have been reported past Kettle Falls, into the main stem of the Kettle River heading towards Canada.

These non-native predators are already found in the Columbia River and have been eating Rainbow Trout, Redside Shiner, Longnose Sucker, Mountain Whitefish, Kokanee and the red-status listed endangered Speckled Dace, which are all found in Christina Lake. Fish up to 38cm long were found in the stomachs of the Northern Pike.

Christina Lake also contains other fish species that could be at risk of predation. Northern Pike can also reproduce up to 20,000 offspring in one year, according to one estimate, indicating their ability to compete with the local fish population.

Northern Pike are also known to carry diseases and parasites. These impacts along with many more could be seriously detrimental to fish species and the lake habitat.

Northern Pike have sharp teeth, and can weigh up to 55 pounds so anglers should be careful when fishing for these voracious predators. We encourage the public to be on the lookout for Northern Pike, and to inform the Christina Lake Stewardship Society of any sightings and formally report to our local Conservation Officer Service by phoning the Report All Poachers and Polluters (1-877-952-RAPP).

The daily quota for Northern Pike in the Columbia River is currently set at unlimited. When Northern Pike are filleted and baked they can be quite delicious, which is further motivation for removing these invasive creatures from our waterways. 

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