Is this recently caught Fish a Blue Pike We want to know
News Flash September 1st 2000: Delays in Finding the DNA markers of an true Blue Pike have slowed down the Blue Pike Hunt. Unfourtunatley until we know what a Blue Pike is/was genetically we can’t declare a winner. But keep storing those suspect fish. We will have a winner sooner or later.
Dieter Busch head Biologist on the Blue Pike Project writes:
I stopped and visited the lab and the department head August 31, 2000 to talk about blue pike DNA research and other work with other species.. No recent progress has been made on blue pike research because the person who had worked for me on this project with the lab has left the government for private work. The lab is in the process of hiring a new researcher – this will take another month or so. The lab had worked on 3 museum fish and the results were not clear. Therefore, this sample size will be increased to about 50 fish. But all this will wait until the new person is on board. Therefore, I do not expect any meaningful results until the end of this year.
I do not like the amount of time this has taken but I can not do anything about it.
Director, Interstate Fisheries Management Program
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
Press Release: The Native Fish Conservancy (NFC) May 25 2000
The NFC has received 15 plus suspect Blue Pike queries in the last 60 days as a result of our reward and increased publicity. We were recently an integral part of an In Fisherman Blue Pike article in their Walleye section of the January 2000 issue. We are working with US Fish and Wildlife Service on this issue and will turn over all suspect fish to them for DNA analysis.
To recap the NFC is offering a $500 reward to ANYONE who can produce a recently caught Blue Pike or hybrid. To win send a close up picture of the head of the suspect fish along with your collecting data to NFC Blue Pike Hunt 8436 Meadow Lane Leawood Kansas 66206.
To win you must have Fish or Fish parts to DNA analyze so freeze a whole pike if you can or at least the skin and fins. We will contact you for the fish/skin if your suspect looks promising.
Check out the NFC’s website’s Blue Pike page at www.nativefish.org for the latest Blue Pike news.
September 10 1999 – A suspect Blue Pike skin from Ontario Canada has been turned over to the US Fish and Wild Life Service For Analysis. The Fisherman Involved learned about the Blue Pike here on this website. Contacted the NFC and away we went. DNA analysis is ongoing. We have a video of the capture and expect to have still up in a short time.Details to follow.
October 11 1999 – The NFC has set up a $500 minimum reward for the first fishermen to provide a recently caught , live frozen Blue Pike or Hybrid. Take a picture of your suspect fish along with it’s capture location and date and mail the picture to NFC Blue Pike Hunt 8436 Meadow Lane Leawood Kansas 66206. If it looks like you have a winner we will contact you within thirty days to arrange shipping of the frozen fish. After conformation by proffessionals the winner will recieve their rewards. If you’d like to contribute to the Blue Pike Hunt reward fund Please contact the NFC President at 352-337-9676 or firstname.lastname@example.org we are looking for sponsors to make this effort even more effective.
Whats a Blue Pike ?
The blue pike (really a walleye but that’s it’s common name) was an endemic fish of the Great Lakes region in the United States and Canada. It was once commonly found in the waters of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River. It preferred cool, clear waters, living in deep water in summer, and switching to nearshore waters as they cooled and became less murky in the winter.
The blue pike was pursued intensely by commercial and sport fishers, who together landed a billion pounds of the fish between 1885 and 1962. At times, the blue pike made up more than 50 percent of the commercial catch in Lake Erie.
At the same time the fishing industry was growing in the Great Lakes, the number of Euroamerican settlers in the region was increasing as well. With the increasing human population came increased habitat degradation. The settlers drained marshes and wetlands, built dams in tributary rivers, and caused large increases in the amount of pollution and sediment that entered the lakes.
All of these actions contributed to the deterioration of the cool, clear habitat needed by the blue pike. During the 1900s, several non-native species of fish were introduced to the Great Lakes, including the sea lamprey, alewife, and rainbow smelt. These contributed to the decline of the blue pike through predation and competition.
The population crashed in 1958, but the species lingered on until it became extinct in 1970. In the same general time period, three other species of fish endemic to the Great Lakes also disappeared. These were the deepwater cisco (C. johannae) in the 1950’s, native to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan; the blackfin cisco (Coregonus nigripinnis) in the 1960s, native to all of the Lakes except Erie; and the longjaw cisco (C. alpenae) in the 1970’s, native to Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan.
Each of these species succumbed to the cumulative effects of overexploitation by fishers, pollution, siltation and other forms of habitat degradation due to development, and predation and competition from non-native species.
Still today , there remains conflicting stories about its demise. Fishermen report catching Blue Colored Pike in lakes in Canada and Minnesota. Rumours have for years abounded about the Blue Pike translocated by private individuals and goverment stocking programs outside their Great Lakes homes and still carrying on. Could it be true?
Suspect Pike Specimens have been turned into the USFWS for genetic research. The Jury is still out. They DNA tests have begun. If the Blue Pike is out there we want to know!
So we put together this page to inform the public and collect information in a central location. We have a Blue Pike recovery Plan avaliable to view or download and a Bulletin Board where you can drop us a note and tell us of your experiences with the Blue Pike, its recovery or anything Blue Pike related that you’d like.If you’d like to further educational and conservation projects like this one Join Us here at the NFC.
If you have what you believe to be a Blue Pike put it in the Freezer and email the USWS via email@example.com as soon as you can. If you have any Blue Pike photos/artwork please send them to us firstname.lastname@example.org so we can post them in an upcoming Blue Pike gallery . The USFWS, the NFC and most of the fishing world would love to see the Blue Pike back in the Great Lakes.