Anglers are having all the fun, at least the ones who have been participating in the Northern Pike Reward program. As of September, anglers have been paid $3,000 for pike heads they turned in. There are no size restrictions on northern pike, but participants must be 17 years or older to receive the reward.
The Colville Tribes’ Fish and Wildlife Department would like to remind anglers that the Northern Pike Reward program is paying participants $10 for every pike head turned in at a designated drop off location. Those locations are: Noisy Waters Gas Station, Kettle Falls boat launch, Hunters boat launch, Fort Spokane boat launch, and the Inchelium Fish and Wildlife office.
Three new pike drop-off stations will be added along Lake Roosevelt waters in 2020 due to funding from the Upper Columbia United Tribes.
Northern pike are a significant threat to native fish populations in Lake Roosevelt and the co-managers (Colville Tribes, Spokane Tribe of Indians and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) continue to do their part in combating this predatory fish.
“We will be conducting a reservoir gill net survey from October 28 to November 8 with the co-managers,” said Holly McLellan, fisheries biologist for CTFW. “We will be setting 350 nets during this two week period as this will assist us with determining distribution and abundance of northern pike.”
CTFW staff removed approximately 800 northern pike so far this year. Anglers have removed 300. The co-managers have removed a total of 13,000 pike since 2015.
Northern pike can be found in streams, lakes and reservoirs. They are an ambush predator and attack prey with remarkable speed. They eat frogs, birds, trout, steelhead, and salmon. These fish can grow pretty large and a female pike can hold as many as 10,000 eggs. The largest pike pulled out of Lake Roosevelt was 28 pounds and 47 inches in length.
For more information on the Northern Pike Reward program and a detailed map of where the pike are, go to https://www.cct-fnw.com/news/.