Column: Kalispel Tribe takes aim at an invasive species

"Northern pike are being gillnetted by the thousands on the Pend Oreille. State and tribal fish managers are trying to control illegally introduced pike numbers and curb their downstream spread into Columbia River salmon and steelhead habitats.

Jason Connor, the Kalispel Tribe’s biologist coordinating pike research on the river since 2005, said he’s aware the pike boom attracted new interest in the river, boosting the local economy.

About 4,000 angler hours were devoted to fishing the Pend Oreille River in the 1990s, he said. After pike numbers started mushrooming in 2006, the angler hours spiked to more than 70,000 in 2010, according to tribal surveys.

But the pike already are showing signs of overpopulating and stunting, he said, and risks to native fisheries are serious. "

Get the Story:
Rich Landers: Northern pike gillnetting remains divisive issue (The Spokesman Review 4/19)

Related Stories:
Column: Kalispel Tribe removes invasive fish from rivers (4/13)
Outdoors: Kalispel Tribe seeks to address invasive species (3/29)

Join the Conversation