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Radnine

What is the matter with pike anyway?

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Hi All,

I have read many reports here and elsewhere that talk of the harvesting of Pike as a means of population control. But I have not ever found out what is really wrong with having Pike in a lake.

I understand that they eat lots and I gather that they spawn more often(?), are those the reasons for removing them? Also it seems that Pike in Toronto get released and Pike in the Kawarthas get removed (and Pike in Rice Lake causes people to scream like a school girl).

Please educate me.

Jim

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they are not natural to the lake

they are an invasive species and are only getting into these lakes because of the canal system man made

 

almost all the time when an non native species enter an eco system screw it up and that is what the pike did 25 years ago in canal lake and they are working their way along the system and we should do what we can to slow down their movements

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I'm just a dumb ol' Alabama redneck, but I know Pike in the Kawarthas compete with Mucksie for for food and habitat... and since Kawartha Mucksie are very attractive to the common angler (because they breed like rats there), Pike are considered invasive!

 

Efforts are being made to keep Pike out of Rice lake (stupid), but it's a losing battle... GO PIKE!!!

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i believe they spawn in the same areas as musky, but earlier in the year. the pike fry eat the musky fry and are real bad for the musky population. forgive me if im wrong

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I believe it has to do with the fact that pike are not naturally found in a lot of kawartha lakes, instead musky are the dominant fish. The addition of pike into some of these waters is a threat to the musky populations. I've been told that pike spawn before musky and the YOY pike eat YOY musky, though I don't know if this is fact or not.

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I guess simply put pike are an invasive species to the Kawartha's but it was inevitable they were going to get in there sooner or later.Having said that,my perpective is that I'm going to the Kawartha's to fish untainted waters for a Musky.It's like a poor man's dream fly in.Pike I can catch at home but Musky are off limits in cooch and simcoe now to fish for and Balsam is 40 minutes away.

I haven't caught one there yet but I would keep it to help slow the spread.I'm not against pike cause they are a lot easier to catch than musky and they put up a darn good fight but keep them out of the Kawartha's.

Kerry

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they are not natural to the lake

they are an invasive species and are only getting into these lakes because of the canal system man made

 

almost all the time when an non native species enter an eco system screw it up and that is what the pike did 25 years ago in canal lake and they are working their way along the system and we should do what we can to slow down their movements

 

I don't reckon coexistence is in you vocabulary eh?

 

The only invasive species to Ontario (in my book) are Lampreys (good for nothing and they really do hurt the native and stocked fish) and the Zebra mussel... Zebra mussel isn't all that bad, it just costs large corporations some money... but does create jobs, and cleans up the lake while folks a squawking aboot it.

 

 

Gobies... are bait!!! the Smallies and Wallice are getting fat on eating the Gobies. They're just another member of the food chain!

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as others have said, they're not native to the kawarthas lakes and threaten what is a pretty unique/amazing muskellunge fishery.

 

Its a losing battle though....having anglers keep the pike they catch isn't going to fix things.

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Well it cant hurt to keep the Pike! We brought 2 home from Balsam the other day- very tasty. The MNR may be taking steps as well to reduce Pike numbers in the Kawarthas. I cant believe how slow the spread has been really- how long has the trent system been open- many, many years. I think if there is a concerted effort made to reduce Pike numbers it will help.

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Gobies... are bait!!! the Smallies and Wallice are getting fat on eating the Gobies. They're just another member of the food chain!

 

 

Agreed but ...mussels eat the contaminants in the lakes ...gobys eat the contaminated mussels .......wallys pike salmon trout(s) eat the poisoned gobys for nice easy snacks ...and we ....well we get to see our clean predator fish become not so healthy table fare

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If the pike are non native to the Kawarthas, how did the musky get there?

 

About the time that all freshwater species started to inhabit all of N.America, the only thing keeping them away from some regions were mountains and glaciers. The last glaciers were those on the highest mountains. Since the highest mountain in Ontario is under 1000 feet in elevation, there have been no obstacles to prevent fish from migrating anywhere they wanted. The only obstacles other than mountains would be the waterways between bodies of water and the fact that pike do not spawn in fast flowing streams....they spawn in warm shallow water in the spring and their eggs cling to vegetation. If it wasn't for the spring flooding, the pike would have very poor spawning conditions.

 

Pike and musky have been co-habiting together for thousands of years. The only difference is the fact that musky prefer warmer water than pike. There are no musky in northern waters even though the Hudson Bay watershed covers a huge portion of Canada all the way to the Great Lakes.

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I understood for many years that there were no pike in the Kawarthas because the water runs through limestone...if so, maybe evelution has had an effect on the pike...???

 

Pike are good eating if you know how to clean them properly...I don't... :blush:

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It is true that in many areas Pike and Muskie have learned to co-exist, however it is also a scientific fact that the Kawartha strain of Muskie is unique to that system only.

We at Muskies Canada are hoping to save this strain. It may be, that the only thing we are going to do through our efforts is slow the process of Northern Pike entering the system. If that is the case then we may at least give the Muskie a chance to evolve and adapt to the presence of another large predator.

 

Tom McCutcheon

Muskies Canada

Kawartha Chapter.

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Fish from one watershed are not the same as the fish in another watershed. They have had a good 10,000 years to evolve and there have been evolutionary changes over time. The brook trout in the small lakes in my area are not the same as the brook trout I caught north of Kingston. The brook trout in my area are in colder water, most have never eaten a chub because the lakes do not have any other fish species so they either canibalize when they get the chance and eat insects. The shorter growing season makes them on the overall average smaller and thinner. Over time, the smaller size and slimmer body has even changed the structure of their skeletons so that the skeletons are finer and more fragile.

 

I'm sure that ADN analysis of fish from different regions will prove that fish from one area are different from fish from another area.

 

For example, Lac St-Jean (which is in my region) has landlocked salmon (ouananiche) and smelt. This lake is about 24 miles wide and almost as long. There are 2 distincts groups of ouananiche in this lake and 5 distinct groups of smelt. They have been co-habitating for close to 10,000 years. An association that I co-founded to re-establish the ouananiche populations in Lac-St-Jean by catching ouananiche in the lake and using them to produce fingerlings in a brand new fish hatchery found out a few years later that Hydro Quebec had introduced ouananiche from another area to the waters feeding into Lac St-Jean....and probably affecting the genetic strain of the ouananiche in Lac St-Jean. If you really think about it, fish from every different body of water have different genetics.

 

Here in Quebec, the use of minnows, amphibians, fish parts, etc (even dead) is only allowed in a few bodies of water and the transport of live fish is also strictly limited. Stocking is no longer as easy to do as before. Yes, capturing minnows and using them in the same water system could be allowed but there are always some dummies who would not follow this guideline.

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Pike and musky have been co-habiting together for thousands of years. The only difference is the fact that musky prefer warmer water than pike. There are no musky in northern waters even though the Hudson Bay watershed covers a huge portion of Canada all the way to the Great Lakes.

 

The muskies that co-habitate with pike are deep water spawners. The Kawartha strain of muskie are shallow water spawners. The shallow water spawning muskie spawn in the same area as pike, but spawn later in the year. When the muskie hatch they become dinner for the pike who hatched a few weeks earlier. The Kawartha strain of muskie will most likely been wiped out as pike populate the Kawartha lakes.

 

It is possible that a deep water spawning population of mukies could be established in the Kawarthas. However, the Kawartha lakes tend to be shallow so there may not be suitable spawning area for them in many lakes.

 

As far as why there were no pike there to begin with... I cannot answer that with certainty. However, most of the Kawartha lakes were either created or enlarged by the building of dams for the Trent/Servern waterway. It is possible that the water was not suitable for pike prior to the dams being built.

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The attitude that Pike are somehow a less desireable gamefish existed before this whole pike versus muskie controversy. When I was a kid in the 50's and early 60's we legally speared them like a coarsefish in the spring.

At university in the late 60's early70's, I had friends that were outdoors guys from northwestern Ontario that used to joke about the Americans and Europeans that paid big bucks to go Jack fishing up there, the locals despised pike. The basis of this was that they were a predator of more desireable species like pickeral and speckled trout. There was a lot of misguided efforts to control various predator species earlier in the 1900's.

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The muskies that co-habitate with pike are deep water spawners. The Kawartha strain of muskie are shallow water spawners. The shallow water spawning muskie spawn in the same area as pike, but spawn later in the year. When the muskie hatch they become dinner for the pike who hatched a few weeks earlier. The Kawartha strain of muskie will most likely been wiped out as pike populate the Kawartha lakes.

 

It is possible that a deep water spawning population of mukies could be established in the Kawarthas. However, the Kawartha lakes tend to be shallow so there may not be suitable spawning area for them in many lakes.

 

As far as why there were no pike there to begin with... I cannot answer that with certainty. However, most of the Kawartha lakes were either created or enlarged by the building of dams for the Trent/Servern waterway. It is possible that the water was not suitable for pike prior to the dams being built.

These fish also commonly have a second spawn a few weeks later in the season as well. Another factor that seems to be common of these co-excisting mu7skie species is behavioural. These muskie (most commonly the wisconsin strain - spotted and also Georgian bay strain) run in larger numbers, in a tighter area like a pack. Creating muskie areas and pike areas. I fish G bay and the frech river areas for muskie a few times a year. They have both Pike and Muskie, and these seperated areas are quite evident. You can catch pike on any lure at any time of day on any weedy spot, but you will not catch a muskie when you are catching pike. And when you are on a prime spot and stop catching pike, where is a good chance you are now in a muskie area... these muskie areas are typically more of the main lake big waters areas too.

 

IMO, catching pike vs catching muskie is a huge difference. I am a muskie enthousiest and an absolute diehard, and when a non native species threatens the top game fish of the area, naurally people are going to get upset. Now, these changes are hapening naturally so there really is not much that is going to change or stop the infiltration of Pike into the Kaws. Its a wide open river system that any species can travel. Pike have already whiped out the any and all muskie populations in Lake Simcoe and they are just progressing east from there. The biggest pain with the pike is that there are so many that their typical size stays nothing more than a few pounds.

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Maybe as the Musky get reestablished into Simcoe from the restoration process- they will eventually make their way into the Kawarthas and establish a deep water spawning Ski fishery- assuming deep water spawning sites are available. Might take a few years though..........

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I understood for many years that there were no pike in the Kawarthas because the water runs through limestone...if so, maybe evelution has had an effect on the pike...???

 

Pike are good eating if you know how to clean them properly...I don't... :blush:

 

Pike taste great and are really easy to clean boneless. Check out this link:

 

I have noticed people don't seem to have much use for pike as well and this thread is clearing things up for me...I'm happy to keep the ones I catch!

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Pike are fantastic eating. I've often cooked pike and walleye (in cubes and deep fried in batter) and nobody could tell the difference.

 

I release the large pike but will keep a few pike in the 4 to 6 lb range for eating. I remove the whole fillet and cook the fillet. I don't mind removing the bones when I'm eating the pike. This way, there is no loss of meat.

 

I even cook and eat the heads of the larger sized pike I catch. I cook the head in aluminum paper....adding a bit of salt, pepper, onions and lemon juice.

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