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If you catch a Northern Pike in Utah Lake, kill it if it isn’t tagged

Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

SALT LAKE CITY — As part of a five-year study launched last year, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is still asking anglers to report and release any tagged Northern pike caught in Utah Lake. Also, because the invasive fish were placed in Utah Lake illegally, fishers must kill any of them they catch that don’t have a tag — a thin, red piece of plastic attached to the fish.

Northern pike: invasive species at Utah Lake

In February of last year, DWR biologists began tagging the fish in Utah Lake, Provo River and Hobble Creek.

“We are asking anglers to release pike that have these tags because the transmitters that are in the fish enable us to track their movements. Tracking their movements will help us develop a monitoring and control program in the future,” said Keith Lawrence, DWR Central Region native aquatics biologist.

With the implanted transmitters, biologists can track tagged Northern pike using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

Why it matters

The Northern pike species was first discovered in Utah Lake in 2010 after being illegally introduced.

DWR biologists are concerned about the effect pike will have on other fish species in the lake, especially June suckers.

Native to upper the Midwest and parts of Alaska, northern pike are highly voracious predators.

Anglers may catch more of the invasive fish this time of year in Utah Lake, as pike spawn when ice melts.

The DWR asks: If you catch a tagged Northern pike in Utah Lake or one of its tributaries, please do the following:

    • Call DWR biologist Dale Fonken at 503-730-9424.
    • Report the date and exact location where you caught the fish.
    • Report the tag number.
    • Release the fish unharmed.