FISHING -- Sounds like bucket biologists are back at work in Western Montana.
The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating whether a fisherman’s report that he caught two pike in Lake Mary Ronan last month indicates a serious problem.
Fisheries biologists plan to use nets to catch fish in the lake and determine if the suspected illegal introduction has resulted in the establishment of a pike population. Regional fisheries manager Mark Deleray says they’re trying to confirm whether any reproduction has occurred.
FWP says northern pike are predatory and could impact the kokanee salmon and trout fishery. Kokanee in Lake Mary Ronan serve as the egg source for stocking lakes across the state.
The investigation follows recent Fish and Wildlife Commission policy changes that require the FWP to formulate a plan to deal with illegally introduced fish.