Colorado Parks and Wildlife along with Colorado Water Conservation Board have given anglers an opportunity to catch pike, make money and save native fish. Several years ago, Green Mountain Reservoir was illegally stocked with Northern Pike- a predatory fish that feeds on trout among other species. State biologists are now concerned that the Pike will move out of Green Mountain Reservoir and into the Blue River that confluences with The Colorado River.
The reach of the Colorado River that concerns biologists and conservationists is federally listed as critical habitat that is home to the state's endangered native fishes - the Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, razorback sucker and bonytail.
"Northern pike are aggressive predators with big appetites and if their population continues to grow in Green Mountain Reservoir, that will have profound impact on the fish we have stocked there, as well as potential impacts to the endangered native fish we are currently trying to recover," said CPW's Jon Ewert, aquatic biologist from Hot Sulphur Springs.
In order to combat the Northern Pike potentially moving downstream, CPW created the Green Mountain Reservoir Angler Harvest Incentive Package. Beginning Thursday, May 26, the program will give anglers the opportunity to earn $20 for every northern pike caught in the reservoir and delivered to Heeney Marina.
To participate, anglers must bring their northern pike to the Heeney Marina along with their driver’s license and fishing license. CPW will keep fish heads for analysis, returning the body of the fish to the anglers. Anglers not wishing to keep northern pike can donate their catch to the Marina for later distribution.
For more information, contact CPW's Hot Sulphur Springs office at 970-725-6200.