Annual northern pike suppression efforts start this week

Roosevelt Lake - Electric City, WA

Two fish technicians hold northern pike removed from Lake Roosevelt.

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Annual northern pike suppression efforts in Long Lake (Lake Spokane), the Pend Oreille River, and Lake Roosevelt start this week. This work takes place between March and June each year when northern pike are searching for spawning habitat. WDFW will begin at Lake Spokane, primarily in the upper half of the reservoir between the McLellan Conservation Area and Nine Mile Recreation Area. Efforts will shift to Lake Roosevelt in April as water temperatures warm.
WDFW partners with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Spokane Tribe of Indians on Lake Roosevelt and with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians on the Pend Oreille River to net and remove these fish. This activity is highly visible and members of the public often have questions about why this work is important. Northern pike are an apex predator with prolific spawning potential and a voracious appetite for fish, especially trout and salmon. When introduced outside of their native range, they can cause large-scale changes to fish communities, in some cases leading to elimination of entire species. This work is aimed at reducing impacts to resident fish populations and limiting the spread downstream into the anadromous zone of the Columbia River, which would put at risk the billions of dollars invested into the recovery of salmon and steelhead populations. More information on northern pike and reports on suppression efforts since 2013 can be found at

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