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Thread: alexander lake drainage pike control proposal

  1. #1
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default alexander lake drainage pike control proposal

    This put forth, as near as I can tell, by the Anchorage AC.
    Although the goal is laudable, if the kings truly are "on the brink of extinction" then I highly doubt electro-shock fishing is a very bright idea. I am surprised that explosives didn't make the list
    sadly, as ensconced as pike are in the Alexander system I doubt they will ever be controlled or eradicated.



    March 24, 2010

    Denby Lloyd, Commissioner
    Alaska Department of Fish and Game
    P.O. Box 25526
    Juneau, Alaska 99802-5526

    RE: Alexander Creek/Lake

    Dear Commissioner Lloyd:

    We ask that you issue an emergency order for the Alexander Lake Drainage, effective immediately through at least June 1, to allow the public the use of expanded methods for pike to include Gill Nets, Pond Nets, Electro-fishing, Bow-fishing and Spear-fishing; and eliminate all bag and size limits for pike.

    The Alexander Creek System has historically produced tens of thousands of Chinook salmon annually that were harvested in Alaska’s commercial, subsistence, and sport fisheries. Alexander Creek King Salmon are literally on the brink of extinction. Escapement over a 26 year period from 1979-2005 ranged from 6,200-1,500 Kings with a mean of 3300. From 2006-present has ranged from 880-150, with a mean of about 400 even with complete closures of sport fishing and reduced northern district set netting.

    Many fisheries in Upper Cook Inlet have shown signs of weakness in recent years. The Alexander has crashed more than others due to a thriving population of invasive northern pike. Without immediate action to drastically reduce pike in this system we will lose an entire generation of King Salmon and possibly face a complete extinction of Kings in this stream.

    There are numerous individual volunteers and fisheries groups in South Central Alaska willing and able to actively participate in this worthwhile project.

    Thank you,

    Xxxx AC

    CC:
    David Bedford
    Charles Swanton
    John Hilsinger
    Jeff Regnart
    Jim Hasbrouck
    Last edited by Daveinthebush; 04-01-2010 at 07:18.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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    Thumbs up Yes!!

    I'll vote for "electro-fishing",...... but only if the user is in the water at the time

    Thanks for putting this up Dave.

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    Default

    I like the slot limit, I think its the best tool for controlling pike populations in the region because big pike eat little pike, which is good, also big pike are more fun to catch, resulting in more angler interest, and lastly if we are gonna have pike, we might as well manage them for the maximum gain. Regulations that make a bunch of 10 inch long pike are simply not helpful. I think short of changing the hydrology of alexander creek the kings are done.

    (BTW Electro fishing does not usually kill fish)
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  4. #4

    Default kill all the pike?

    I think all the methods describe can reduce the population of pike but if you want to get rid of them completely you have to do it with chemicals. But, I wonder if you chemically kill the watershed how long it would take for pike to find their way back?

    AKPM, I agree with you on the management. After reading "Invasion Biology" by Mark Davis he basically states that you need to "learn to love them." He says there is no such thing as a healthy ecosystem or a sick ecosystem. When people say "healthy ecosystem" what they are referring to is an ecosystem the way they want it to be. Now don't get me wrong I'm all in favor of preventing invasive species but once they are in the system you have to manage for them. Great examples of managing what was once considered "invasive" are german brown trout and ring neck pheasants.

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    I love the idea...but maybe not the public use of electrofishing, though. Even if they rotenone'd the heck out of that system (I'm not suggesting they do), the pike can't be eradicated completely. With the right measures, we might be able to hold them in some kind of check. The board needs to seriously consider what can help under an invasive species or (forgive me) predator control plan.

    How well will it work? We'll never know until we try...

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    Default Waste of time.

    All that is going to happen, is alot of the big pike are going to get killed, leaving thousands of small pike to begin spawning since the genetics will soon get shot out of that lake, and it will be full of little pike.

    Those little pike are the problem. They eat alot of the fry, the bigger fish don't bother those little fry.

    I see this as complete failure, and ADF&G is showing how hopelessly pathetic they are, in waiting until now to do something about the pike problem. Mark my words, this little stunt will do very little to bringing back the salmon. The pike will come back, one way or another.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Default looking at this issue

    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    All that is going to happen, is alot of the big pike are going to get killed, leaving thousands of small pike to begin spawning since the genetics will soon get shot out of that lake, and it will be full of little pike.

    Those little pike are the problem. They eat alot of the fry, the bigger fish don't bother those little fry.

    I see this as complete failure, and ADF&G is showing how hopelessly pathetic they are, in waiting until now to do something about the pike problem. Mark my words, this little stunt will do very little to bringing back the salmon. The pike will come back, one way or another.
    I have been looking at this issue for a couple of years. Over a hundred lakes now have pike in SouthCentral Alaska. These are a major reason salmon production is down in some systems and there needs to be a comprehensive approach to the issue. ADF&G is totally remiss in not dealing with this issue. They have invasive species people but then tie their hands with lack of budget and the willingness to be innovative.

    I have looked at other States and how they deal with invasive species and they are miles ahead of Alaska. The attitude we do not care how they do it outside is really hurting the resources of this State. I can tell you that air guns and water guns can be effective in controlling all sizes of pike and yet the State when given this information has a regional sport fish biologist say it would not work and dismissed it. Yet it has worked in other States and he was just ignorant. What can I say?

    Maybe the public will be more effective than I.

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    Tiger Muskie another invasive species, but they are steril and if introduced would eat the little pike. Just tryin to think out of the box.

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    Lightbulb seems to me

    that if the pike are eating all the fish ...then it o' to be good pike fishing.well is it? don't let them go to waste.......
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  10. #10
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    you could pot fish em w/ tanner pots w/ cod fingers in the doors.All the fish come up alive so you could return the species that belonged there. you may have to modify your mesh size on the pots to get the little ones. you could get a grant from the state and fish em thru the ice all winter long like they do king crab in norton sound. I'm gonna shut up and hone up my grant writing skills. I bet the state would even get me a couple new snow machines for the boondoggle
    We need to form a lynch mob to find the flatlander that introduced pike to the susitna system to begin w/

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    Sportfishing pressure at Alexander Creek had increased very dramatically in the past 20-30 years, up until the most recent closure. Pike may impact the resource but so do people. Commercial fishing still impacts it even during the sport closure years. We need to let the Kings have a complete spawning cycle to see if the numbers of fish improve. We aren't there yet.The lower Su streams have been closed before and and salmon population recovered. Pike were in the system then, too. In the past decades what's really changed? More pike? Maybe. Maybe not. More sport fishing pressure? Absolutely. More commercial pressure? Probably in the form of a more effective industry, but that can't be measured in fish counts unless the total number of available fish is known. Sport guys will blame Pike and commercial guys. Commercial guys will blame Pike and sport guys. Pike are the odd man out, and ADFG has their patsy. Blame the Pike. Close the sport season. The path of least resistance. Not necessarily the path of good management.

  12. #12
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    My son and I fly fish Alexander Lake for a week most years. It is very good pike fishing and 100 fish days are the lazy ones... ADF&G caught, weighed, tagged and released a pike in AL just at 10 pounds over the current World record. That is the reason for the "trophy Pike" status of the lake.

    It also explains the "why" of the grandstanding for the lake's special pike rules.

    I believe the pike are going to stunt very soon. There is no more huge energy load being carted up the river by salmon and there is little else to support the incredible overpopulation of pike there. There are NEVER any ducklings there...

    Once the pike stunt the whole place will truly become a joke. No one will fish there and as the bigger fish die they will never be replaced.

    There is another lake on the West side of CI we fished for many years which had pike dropped in it. The reds and silvers have been completely eliminated and the few years of monster pike fishing has disappeared...

    Killing a huge bunch of AL small pike will not be long-lasting or effective. Any pike over about hammer handle size is going to be making its living on small pike.

    Several years ago on a hot summer day I walked back to the lake shore and kicked out a mouse from a grass clump. It ran along the open shore line for about 5' before a pike laying with its nose on the beach, jumped out and caught the mouse. It flopped back into the water with the mouse.
    art

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    Susitna AC looked at the letter Wednesday night and had a good discussion about it. Electro fishing has actually been tried in the lake, according to the local biologist, but the water qualities dissipated the shock too quickly, and they couldn't turn any fish. He said about all they would be able to do with it is direct fish toward nets.

    They did a test fishery last year with 2 techs. Netted 9 sloughs of the creek, for 2 weeks, and caught 1400 fish. They were able to mop up the majority of the fish that were in those sloughs. The project cost was about 20 grand. Just that project alone, continuing it and expanding it to the rest of the creek, would go a long way toward allowing the salmon populations to recover. Data that F&G presented was that approximately 500-1000 kings used to spawn in the lake; the rest of the run, with escapements up to about 6500 fish, spawned elsewhere in the system.

    We voted not to support the letter as written, but to draft our own supporting the efforts of Fish and Game to manage the system for controlling the pikes' numbers, and encouraging our legislature to appropriate money for the effort.

    There will also be proposals submitted in next spring's meeting to eliminate the length restrictions and just declare war. Basically, the Alexander system was far too valuable a salmon fishery to just concede it to pike. The condition of the salmon returns in that system will have far reaching impacts, touching valley sport anglers, n.d. setnetters, and possibly subsistence and personal use fisheries in Tyonek.

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    As the only saying goes, you can't stop'em, you can only hope to contain'em! It is a tough road to fight. Seriously, Tiger Muskie's can help.

  15. #15

    Default Tiger musky

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Tiger Muskie another invasive species, but they are steril and if introduced would eat the little pike. Just tryin to think out of the box.
    Tiger musky are only definitely sterile in a tiger muskyXtiger musky cross, there is pretty good evidence a tiger musky can back cross with the parental species and produce viable eggs. Don't go there, doesn't sound like another pike or hybrid is needed - got enough already!!

    ClearCreek

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    Thanks CC, good info. I remember them from when I was a kid and that they were sterile. I agree, it is always a risk to introduce a non-native species, in this case, not worth it. I am just trying to come up with something different, we can't catch enough to make a difference, I don't think F&G can afford to net enough to make a difference, I think it is a very tough road any way you go. No easy answers, somehow we gotta assist mother nature in a long term solution.

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    Default there is a potential solution

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    Thanks CC, good info. I remember them from when I was a kid and that they were sterile. I agree, it is always a risk to introduce a non-native species, in this case, not worth it. I am just trying to come up with something different, we can't catch enough to make a difference, I don't think F&G can afford to net enough to make a difference, I think it is a very tough road any way you go. No easy answers, somehow we gotta assist mother nature in a long term solution.
    As I noted there is a solution or at least a good chance if ADF&G can get its act together. Frankly the local biologist in the valley have no experience with what I was proposing. However, the good news is the local commercial fisheries biologist in Soldotna is gathering together 30k to bring up the PhD from out of state who is working with pressure waves to kill invasive species. Hopefully he will get the money from some of his accounts. Unfortunately this issue is still low on the priority list for ADF&G.

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    Pressure waves = underwater explosion???

    I am guessing any eradication effort would have to be a time when the least amount of salmon (at any stage in life) are in the system, or in a location where they aren't present.
    Would the pressure waves kill them all or just a lot of the pike? It would be interesting to see. Would it be a long term solution or would it have to be repeated every couple years?

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    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    So, I wasn't there for the last UCI meeting, but the Board had discussions about exempting pike in this system from the wanton waste law, didn't they?

    Why didn't they do it?

    Maybe it wouldn't be the silver bullet all by itself, and pike are good eatin'...but why wouldn't you let folks toss them (the hammer handles, especially) up on the ice or in the trees in a place like this, without needing to worry about prosecution?

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    Post time to ..

    walleye, sunnies.and "crap'es" an fish away!!!...and !,I do now why these fish are not here YET......
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

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