Northern Pike and their part as an invasive species in British Columbia

by dsprad1 on October 7, 2016 - 1:07pm

In the article ‘Northern Pike causing concern as it moves into B.C. waters’, Mark Hume uncovers the reality of the migration of Northern Pike into the southern parts of British Columbia that are not capable of maintaining such fish. Hume states that “Northern pike – a ravenous, predatory fish that is expected to have devastating impact on native salmon and trout populations” will decrease the population of these other fish species with detrimental effects. Currently, the fish are entering space in the Arrow Lakes that have never been occupied by the species. Although Northern Pike is common in the northern portion of British Columbia, there move south is concerning to many fisherman and fisheries. The Northern Pike, as described by Hume is “a long-term disaster to our native fisheries”, which many fishermen agree with. As outlined by the article, there have been efforts made to track and deter the Northern Pike from going further south. Currently with the use of gillnets, a program with cooperation from the B.C. government and Teck Metals Inc. has “removed about 20 per cent of an estimate 700 northern pike in the area”. This is a major feat as the fish are large, and multiply in numbers very regularly.

Mark Hume’s article allows for a great understanding of how such a species can inadvertently affect an ecosystem with wide spread detrimental effects. The article also helps us, the readers, correlate the information given with topics and themes that we have discussed and learned in our classroom setting with Dr. Robin Roth. We can easily identify that the article falls under the theme of resource management. Within resource management, there are multiple topics that we can discuss, however it is in my opinion that this particular article is influenced by risk. Risk is an optimal choice as it helps us to understand that the northern pike species will have increased negativity toward the ecosystems it is approaching. With other species in the vicinity of where the northern pike is headed, their integrity and population is at risk as the northern pike is vicious and territorial. Although there have been efforts made to try and reduce the number of incoming northern pike to water ways such as the Arrow Lakes, there is still work needed to be completed in order to appropriately mitigate the introduction of northern pike to ecosystems that are already thriving. The state needs to introduce measures that are appropriate to the protection of native species such as the sturgeon and salmon. Not only does the state need to protect the species already inhabiting the area, they also need to expand options and measures to prevent the introduction of such invasive species into the water ways. Through “spreading them and other species, such as yellow perch and possibly pike...” the possibility is immense that “it’s going to hurt the fisheries for [native] species” for the future.

Hume, Mark. (October 2016). Northern Pike causing concern as it moves into B.C. waters. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/northern-pike-causi...

Comments

I enjoyed reading your article. I have to admit I don't know much about pike but I did know that they were becoming an invasive species. The pike population has gotten out of control and the only way to add balance back into the ecosystem is to act now. Here is a link for more info on this invasive species http://wdfw.wa.gov/ais/esox_lucius/