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Another topic I brought up at the DOW meeting was pike at Spinney, not only does the DOW want you to harvest all pike caught there they want you to harvest all pike from 11-mile as well.
The reasons they gave was pike can eat a trout 1/2 its size, the trout they stock at Spinney are 12-15 inches and they stock when pike metabolism is low so pike are less likely to eat them. By time pike are back to normal these trout should have grown to 15-18 inches making the pike that can eat them 30-36 inches. There are pike in there that big just not as many that is why trout are doing ok there. Since there isnt any ice fishing at Spinney these trout make it threw the winter. However at 11-mile its different the ice fisherman nail these trout left and right so it makes no sense to stock that large of trout there. They have to stock smaller ones, the DOW estimates that the pike eat 400$ worth of trout each (I think they said a month not forsure on that).
I think selective harvesting of these pike are the way to go, I dont think the DOW would support this but harvesting say 15-30" only would give trout of 8-15" a break. Knowing that you wont catch every pike between that size in the lake there should still be lunkers coming up and the die hard catch and release people will still put them back. I'm not a big fish eater so I usually release all my fish unless I'm camping or with someone who wants to keep them but I'm guessing the larger fish wont taste as good anyways.

What are your views on this?
 

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ePic,

Pike fishing, for me, is by far, preferable to trout fishing. They are fun to catch and the recommendation that we harvest them sits right by me. I get to eat a great fish. If doing so benefits trout fishermen, so much the better.

C & R, can be used to the detriment of the fine trout fishing, in my opinion if it returns Pike to the Res. . I believe it is in our best interest to harvest them when asked, and return them when asked to do that.
 

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Since we are in a predominately trout state I have no problem keeping all the Pike we catch. "AS LONG" as the people that are keeping them are consuming them or giving them to people that will consume them. I hate it when I hear people say, "just throw it on the bank we don't need that in here". Even if it's a sucker fish I don't agree with that.

I for one think pike are the 2nd best tasting fish to walleye. And one of the funnest to catch.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
THe only problem I have is 11-mile is one of the best pike fisheries in the state, I can catch trout in any lake, stream, pond, river on almost any day of the year. I also support Spinney as a great fishery and feel to harvest them is fine. But since the DOW isnt going to stock pike in 11-mile anymore it will be sad to see that great of a pike fishery go.
 

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Are there any other lakes in Colorado that have lifted the regs on Pike? If so what was the long term effect? I wonder what percentage of people go up there actually target Pike, and if that % is big enough to have a big impact. I for one go up there but at most will keep only 1 or 2. I'm with you ePic in that I hope there won't be 50 guys a day with stringers of pike like we see in the "old school" pics.
 

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I spend a third of every season fishing for Pike. Most of that is at Spinney and 11-Mile. Spinney Pike have been basically starved out. Big pike now eat small Pike because there is nothing else for them to eat? The suckers are almost none existent, and the Dow is now stocking 15" trout, so only the biggest Pike are making their living eating trout. If you care about Spinney, just police yourself! Keep Pike under 30" to eat and release anything bigger.

As far as 11-MIle goes, the big Pike there are very smart and are rarely going to fall for something like a spinnerbait or a Daredevil! Half the people who fish for Pike there catch nothing anyway? I really don't think you can hurt 11-Mile as long as you release fish over 30". And it is not like you are going to fill the boat with them anyway! Pike and trout coexist there and have for 40 years now, so whats the problem?
 

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I think the concern is what could happen if/when the DOW takes the limits off of pike at 11 mile. For pike fans I think it could be a valid concern. I admit that I only go for them a couple times a year for a change of pace. I don't know what the impact will be like.
 

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Let me tell you now, the CDOW is filling people with a load of BS. Pike rarely, if ever try to eat fish 1/2 their body length. Do you know what usually happens when they try to do this? They die. I studied this in college and a lot of this anti pike stuff is based almost purely on myth, and the hardcore groups like TU pushing their removal.
Pike have coexisted fine in 11 mile with trout for years. Pike have become the scapegoat for the DOW's poor management. They did harm spinney but that was purely because they became far too numerous. Also that coincided with a shortage of trout for stocking. So it wasn't all pike that caused Spinney to decline.
They have not harmed a single trout fishery in this state besides spinney. I am a pike man and I think that the anti pike attitudes in this state are sick. The DOW just uses them to cover their own rear ends.
I support keeping only a few pike under 30" to keep. I really think that the bag limit should be 10 pike in trout fisheries, with either a slot limit or only one fish over 30" allowed.
What really ticks me off is that the bag limits were lifted in non trout fisheries too. They still try to manage these places for trout, when pike are what they are suited for. They got the blame for no more trout fishing at Crawford, when in reality it was because no more trout were being stocked. They blatantly lied to the public. The introduction of pike to crawford helped the fishery become a wonderfully productive place by weeding out all the small perch. Now 12" jumbos are common, and the crappie are numerous and often weigh more than a pound. Thank you Mr. Bucket Biologist.
The preferred forage size for pike under 30" is 3 - 7". In reality, pike generally do not eat things greater than 1/3 their body length. That is what I was taught in college and my experiences show this to be true.
What the DOW is trying to do to pike in this state is unforgiveable. Whatever pike taken out of spinney should be placed into west slope lakes where trout are not meant to be.
Spinney will have ice fishing soon anyway. Within a few years. I am tired of this wonderful fish being blamed and taking the fall for years of lackluster management. They have no science to back any of this up. All they have is tainted, biased rhetoric based largely on fiction and legend.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ice there is a difference between book smart and real life smart when it comes to fish. First off Pike may generally eat fish 1/3 its body but they can eat fish upto 1/2 their body length. Pike prefer 1 big meal instead of tagging a bunch of littler fish and usually will just hang out after they ate going "why did I eat so much" for a week or more while they digest.
I agree with you improper management of this fish can give it a bad rep, but improper management of any fish can do that. Atleast there are fish in our waters that we can catch and enjoy ourselves, you forget without the DOW we wouldnt even have that.
 

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so thats why when dow shocked spinney 2 years ago there were 24 -27 inch bows and browns that had teeth marks in them explain that i for one will harvest any pike up to 25 inches bigger than that can go right back
 

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I think pike harvest is a good thing, and in lakes with TROPHY fishing of other species extreme pike harvest is the right thing to do. However, anti pike biasness by DOW has caused a few great pike fisheries on the west slope fail. A classic example is Harvey Gap reservoir. It had trophy fishing for nothing before pike were put in there, had small rainbows, small panfish, and decent bass. Then pike were put in. The pike grew big, and with enough anglers and a SMALL limit to keep their numbers in check, the pike flourished. The fishery was amazing for pike, panfish, and bass. The pike did damage the stocker trout fishery, but it was just a stocker trout fishery. The trout can't grow big at harvey, the water is too warm and the trout really shouldn't even be stocked in there. DOW, like always, decided to kill pike in favor of a 10" mushy stocker trout. They lifted the bag limit on pike, just so a 10-12" put and take stocker trout fishery could come back. There used to be trophy pike, and a good number of them. Now what would you prefer, 10-12" mushy stocker trout or a 30" northern pike? Pretty much everyone would prefer the pike. Story short, since DOW changed the limits and regs in harvey gap, the pike fishing there is a small image of what it used to be. They aren't even very common in there anymore. :'( Now that is what I call mismanagement. This is why I think the blanket limit on pike (no limit at all), pretty much across the state is terrible. Like I said, if the fishery say has TROPHY trout that belong there, yeah harvest the pike. but if it can't support a decent fishery of anything else, pike can oftentimes be the perfect fish for such a place, like they were for harvey gap in its boom years of the early-mid 1990's.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
TroutFishingBear I totally agree with you, some lakes still have their own regualtions on Pike:
Barr Lake - Adams County
Only 1 northern pike greater than 34 inches can be taken per day.
Cheeseman Reservoir- Douglas & Jefferson Counties
Only 1 northern pike greater than 34 inches can be taken per day.
Crawford Reservoir - Delta County
Only 1 northern pike longer than 34 inches can be taken per day.
RIO BLANCO LAKE SWA - Rio Blanco County
Only 1 northern pike greater than 34 inches can be taken a day.
Williams Fork Reservoir - Grand County
All northern pike 26-34 inches must be returned to the water immediately.

IMO if Williams Fork slot was a little larger on the lower end and they had a bag limit then it would be a good standard. But I think that reservoir is going to be the dominate pike fishery in the state.
 

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well i see and hear what troutfishingbear and iceintheveins
are saying but you dont realize that money make things happen trout in the state of colorado is big money just like the snow is big money  
you need to show dow that taking the pike is going to hurt the economy up there that the pike are bringing in people to those lakes and area
because if you can prove it and show where business up there need the pike then you have a chance to change minds
and if you can get business owners to realize that they need the pike fishermen and women then you have a real good chance of having people listen to you
but other states have bigger pike and pike fisheries just like we have trout fisheries
so you have a battle on your hands because trout are easyer to grow in little streams and lakes in the mountains then pike
 

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I have way more than book smarts fishingkats. I have plenty of experience fishing for pike and trout. As for teeth marks on big trout I believe it. I catch trout out of the Colorado river that have teeth marks on them from other trout. Trout will readily take baitfish 1/3 their body length too, especially in rivers and lakes with lots of suckers.
The fact is pike often choke on larger fish. I saw a 48" pike at crawford that had a 3 pound rainbow in it's mouth but it was too big for it to swallow and it died. It is primarly LEGEND that they try to often eat fish 1/2 there body length. It does not happen. They will try and that is why the trout have marks. But it happens in the river too.
I agree with large limits in pike lakes that have trophy trout. I do not believe in unlimited harvest. Period.
As far as showing the DOW that it would affect the economy, there is a better way. And that is a ballot measure. Then it goes directly to the voters and you take the power out of the special interest group, aka much of the DOW.
 

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Call me crazy-I know my girlfriend of 11 yrs. does-but I like to catch pike.  I really like to catch pike.  They are a great sportfish IMHO, they can be caught on too many lures to mention here, and I've heard they taste good to boot, although I release all that I catch.  

We seem to be in a "hate the pike" mode here in CO on many bodies of water and I just don't understand.  I grew up back east where guys would fish for trout and throw smallmouth bass up on the bank because they were "junk fish" and encroaching on their trout water.  Beauty is in  the eyes of the beholder!!  Maybe it was a mistake to stock pike in some of these CO waters-remember when they were first introduced we were told they would eat the rough fish like carp and suckers and leave the trout alone.  Didn't work out that way did it?  

So on trophy trout waters like Spinney I think the trout resource is something we need to protect, but on many other waters, especially put and take lakes, I say the pike are here and God bless 'em.  A perfect example of what I am talking about is Martin Lake at Lathrop State Park.  They got largemouth and smallies, some walleye and wipers and stocker trout.  And they have some really big pike in that lake that I am sure are dining on the trout.  Which means you can catch a trophy sized pike there-they've already caught quite a few there this spring.  I'll take a 40" pike anyday over an 11" stocker trout.  Ed
 

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fishingkats said:
well i see and hear what troutfishingbear and iceintheveins
are saying but you dont realize that money make things happen trout in the state of colorado is big money just like the snow is big money  
you need to show dow that taking the pike is going to hurt the economy up there that the pike are bringing in people to those lakes and area
because if you can prove it and show where business up there need the pike then you have a chance to change minds
and if you can get business owners to realize that they need the pike fishermen and women then you have a real good chance of having people listen to you
but other states have bigger pike and pike fisheries just like we have trout fisheries
so you have a battle on your hands because trout are easyer to grow in little streams and lakes in the mountains then pike
I see your logic fishingkats, but I hate to tell ya its wrong :-\. Talk to the guys up in haiden, craig, and that area. The guys that own the baitshops and even the river guides. They all are mad at the pike removals, even the trout flyfishing guides liked the pike being in there. Talking to shop owners they have said their sales have dropped dramatically since the removals.
As for pike not growing big in colorado, that is a statement to laugh at. There are not many states where the state record is over 30 pounds, I believe only 10 states, and colorado is one of them. (30 pounds and change by Dave Vancleave out of williams fork) On the yampa river last year I caught two pike, an 11# and a 14-15 (appx)#. Colorado Pike are much bigger pike on average than in most places in the united states, if you'll look at the facts it is right there. I'm not trying to bash you fishingkats just giving you the straight facts, instead of the DOW's brainwashed information, alright? Like I said, not trying to be a problem, just thought you might like to know the truth.
Ed, I agree 100% with what you said.
 

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Fishingcats,
I have to agree with you on the money issue 100%. look up fishing colorado guides on the net they all talk about trophy trout, thats what brings the fishing tourist here.
I worked in steamboat for sevral summers the pike in the yampa was a hot topic up there the hole time, fights would break out if a guide would see you put a pike back in the river. the orvis decked out dudes want trout not pike. I have a friend who worked on michell phifer's houe in kremmling her husband is an avid trout flyfisher man has a helicopter fly him out to all kinds of rivers and lakes for them. thyats the kind of money dow and the turisim industry wants. I LOVE PIKE FISHING. anybody ever heard of pike unlimited, until u do we are stuck.
 

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well tfb just so you know in my years i have traveled out of the state and no one and i mean no one has ever asked me how it the pike fishing in colorado
but i have been asked how is the trout and what are the best streams to fish for them in colorado
because in other states all you hear is about the trout
when i went to sierra vista az. you know that i was asked how the snow was and where are the best places to ski
im a 6' 350 mexican the only time i slide on snow is when im in my truck
but because im from colorado they just asume i ski and fish for trout
and tourist money is a big thing to this state thats what im trying to get acrossed to you
 

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Pike have long been the fish of choice for me.  Having lived in Alaska for a while I have seen where pike and trout live together without any problems and both grow to state size proportions.  I agree that they are very good tasting fish to eat and man are they fun to catch.  I would like to see them in more of our waters although sparingly in some.  Some years ago I caught a 42 incher out of Spinney.  The fish weighed 16 pounds.  A fish that length in most waters might tip the scales over 30.  I hate to see any starving fish and pike is an easy underdog to root for in this trout state.  I think what is worse than pike getting into various waters is situations like the perch at Blue Mesa.  Perhaps the Blue could use a few good pike to help with that problem.  Pike and perch occupy the same depths.  I bet pike could do a better job cleaning them up than the macks do.
 
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