FISHING – More than 5,200 northern pike have been gillnetted out of the Pend Oreille River downstream from Newport this spring. But anglers may still hook fish from the 10-15 percent of the former pike population remaining in Box Canyon Reservoir, says Jason Connor, Kalispel Tribe biologist.
“We are still grinding away at the netting,” he said Thursday, describing the project with the state to curtail numbers of the non-native predators.
“Catch has been down, but consistent. We are now catching far more juvenile fish aged 1-2.
“We haven’t seen a lot of anglers out on the water lately. The river is still really high – elevation 2,040 feet, which is 9 feet above base flows. Water is still relatively cold.”
Bass angling should be affected little by the pike netting, he said. Meantime, pike can still be caught in the riverside sloughs.
“As the water warms and elevation drops in June, anglers should target the weed beds in the main channel in the central part of the reservoir.
“If I were headed out, I would fish Boundary Reservoir launching at Metaline Park and heading upstream. The side channels and backwaters between there and around Selkirk School surely have fish in them.”
Pike fishing derbies with fun events and prizes are planned for June 29-July 1 and Aug. 3-5. Info: kalispeltribe.com/northern-pike.