Pend Oreille River northern pike are Washington’s big boom fishey. But fish managers say they’re headed for a bust if something isn’t done.
Fishing for pike into the 20-pound range in Box Canyon Reservoir has become a sensation since the non-native fishery exploded a few years ago, luring anglers from hundreds of miles. They fish year round; some come for tournaments.
However, biologists from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Kalispel Tribe say that left unchecked, the rapidly expanding northern pike could severely impact other fish and ultimately eat themselves out of house and home.
Researchers will use set nets in various areas of the Pend Oreille River in late April through May to determine the abundance of northern pike and other fish species in Box Canyon Reservoir.
Meanwhile, the research has told anglers the fishing is good in the sloughs where the spring water first warms, but also around weeds and structure in the main river.
Don’t wait another year. Fishing can’t get much better than it is now, they say.
Pike meeting: Biologists will discuss plans for pike, April 20, 6 p.m., at Center Place, 2426 N. Discovery Pl., in Spokane Valley.