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Anglers need to report, release tagged northern pike caught in Utah Lake — and kill the rest

Provo — As a part of an ongoing research launched two years in the past, the Utah Division of Wildlife Sources remains to be asking anglers to report and launch any tagged northern pike they catch in Utah Lake. And, as a result of the invasive fish had been positioned in Utah Lake illegally, anglers should kill any northern pike they catch that do not have a tag.

Northern pike, with its jaw open, lying on an ice-covered lake

DWR biologists began tagging a number of the northern pike in Utah Lake and its tributaries in February 2020 as a part of a research to study extra concerning the seasonal places and actions of juvenile and grownup pike in Utah Lake, the Provo River, Hobble Creek and the Spanish Fork River. The research is predicted to run for not less than 5 years (till 2025).

Since northern pike sometimes spawn when the ice begins to soften, anglers might catch extra of the invasive fish at Utah Lake this time of 12 months.

The tagged northern pike have skinny, crimson items of plastic hooked up to them. Tagged fish have been implanted with transmitters so biologists can observe them utilizing GPS expertise. Surgical scars must be seen on their underside within the unlikely occasion that the exterior tag is dislodged.

“We’re asking anglers to launch pike which have these tags as a result of the transmitters which are within the fish allow us to trace their actions,” DWR Central Area Native Aquatics Biologist Keith Lawrence mentioned. “Monitoring their actions will assist us develop a monitoring and management program for northern pike sooner or later, which can assist threatened June suckers.”

If you happen to catch a tagged northern pike in Utah Lake or one in all its tributaries, you need to do the next:

  • Name DWR native fish biologist Dale Fonken at 503-730-9424

  • Report the date and precise location the place you caught the fish

  • Report the tag quantity

  • Launch the fish unhurt

As prior to now, in the event you catch a pike that does not have a tag, it’s essential to take away the fish from the water and kill it.

“In that case, we at all times like to listen to exactly the place and when these fish had been caught. The dimensions of the fish is at all times good data as nicely,” Lawrence mentioned. “If a tagged pike inadvertently dies, we might nonetheless prefer to get well the fish in case the transmitter could be reused, so we ask people to tell us if that occurs. We might like to have the fish or tag delivered to our workplace in Springville, however we’ll gladly make preparations to select it up from the angler.”

Northern pike had been first detected by the DWR in Utah Lake in 2011. As a result of pike are predatory and reproduce quickly, biologists are apprehensive concerning the impact they’ll have on a number of the different fish species within the lake. June suckers are of specific concern attributable to their precarious standing, however pike have the potential to affect sportfish within the lake comparable to walleye, white bass and yellow perch.

June suckers, that are discovered solely in Utah Lake, had been downlisted from endangered to threatened in December 2020, an enormous accomplishment and main milestone of their restoration. Their continued restoration and eventual delisting from the Endangered Species Act may very well be jeopardized if the variety of pike within the lake expands to unrestricted ranges.

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I’ve written professionally about know-how for my complete grownup skilled life – over 20 years. I like to determine how sophisticated know-how works and clarify it in a method anybody can perceive.