Washington managers are preparing for when northern pike, a voracious invasive predator, make it below the Grand Coulee Dam.
The species was moved from a Level 1 invasive species to a Level 3 at a September Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.
The move sets the stage for declaring an invasive species emergency if the pike get below the Grand Coulee Dam, commissioner Kim Thorburn said. An emergency declaration would provide the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife with more money to aggressively target northern pike.
Pike eat salmon and have decimated some salmon fisheries in Alaska and elsewhere. In November 2018, fish managers found a pike roughly 10 miles from Grand Coulee Dam.
“Those things are vacuum cleaners,” Thorburn said. “They really, really like salmonids.”
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