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Department of Fish and Game

September 5, 2003


Contacts:
Steve Martarano, DFG Public Affairs, (916) 654-5866
Fran Roudebush, Chair, Lake Davis Steering Committee
(530) 832-4174

Three-Year Northern Pike Report Released; Lake Davis Coalition Meeting Scheduled Sept. 8

More than 31,000 northern pike later, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and Lake Davis Steering Committee have released the results of three years of implementing the Year 2000 Managing Northern Pike at Lake Davis plan.

An assessment of the first three years of that plan, along with possible future alternatives for removing pike from Lake Davis, will be discussed at the Lake Davis Coalition public meeting scheduled for Monday, Sept. 8, in Portola at the Portola Station Baptist Church, 171 South Gulling, beginning at 7 pm.

"Now that we've gone through all of the recommendations outlined in the Y2K Plan, we're at a key juncture in our work at Lake Davis," said DFG Director Robert C. Hight. "This meeting will help the Steering Committee determine where we all will go from here."

The Y2K Plan, released in February 2000, featured 13 recommendations for the removal of pike from Lake Davis using a variety of manual and mechanical methods, and is currently in its fourth year of implementation. Since May 1999, DFG biologists have taken more than 31,000 pike from the lake. The summary report concludes that implementation of the plan may have slowed the growth of the pike population in Lake Davis, but other factors such as rapid growth rates of individual females (pike release about 10,000 eggs per pound of fish) may serve to cancel out the effects of removing pike from Lake Davis by mechanical means.

The summary also addresses questions such as if the impact to the trout fishery at Lake Davis is increasing, and if there is now a greater risk of pike escaping Lake Davis.

The full three-year summary, along with the original Y2K plan, can be found at the DFG's northern pike web site at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/northernpike/index.html.

In addition to discussing the three-year summary at the Coalition meeting, biologists in the Portola DFG office have also prepared several possible alternatives for the future to combat pike in the lake. Those alternatives up for discussion include:

* Do no more work at the lake and leave it as a pike lake.
* Drain the lake completely dry.
* Drain the lake to a minimum pool and then eliminate pike either through various methods including chemical treatment, electrofishing, or altering water quality.
* Lower water levels to facilitate either a chemical treatment, electrofishing, altering water quality, etc. to eliminate the pike.
* Continue to implement the current plan.

"We will also gladly accept any other ideas presented to us," Hight said.

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