Pike Eradication Options Up for Discussion at May 24 Lake Davis Coalition Meeting

May 20, 2004

PORTOLA - With the emphasis now on eradication of northern pike at Lake Davis, and away from the “control and contain” efforts of the past four years, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has released an Options for Eradicating the Pike in Lake Davis document.

The document, found online at www.dfg.ca.gov/northernpike/options.pdf will be presented and discussed at the next Lake Davis Coalition meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, May 24 at the Portola Station Baptist Church, 171 South Gulling in Portola.

The new report describes the known methods for eradicating pike and the criteria DFG is using to evaluate those options. Initial analysis offered in the report indicates that a drawdown of Lake Davis and the use of powdered and formulated rotenone could be the most feasible, effective and safe eradication method.

The DFG hopes to have a decision on a project and begin a lengthy planning and environmental review process this fall. A date for the project implementation would be set at that time, and would depend on both weather and the results of the environmental analysis.

Since non-native pike were rediscovered in Lake Davis in May 1999, about 40,000 of the fish have been removed by DFG biologists using mechanical means. Last January, Resources Agency Secretary Mike Chrisman responded to a request from the Lake Davis Steering Committee that the DFG quickly move forward in researching the alternatives to rid Lake Davis of northern pike. Chrisman wrote back that it was imperative that the DFG “determine and implement a safe and effective way to rid them from the state.”

Long-time Lake Davis activist Fran Roudebush will chair the May 24 meeting, which will feature a presentation by Ivan Paulsen on the options for getting rid of the pike in Lake Davis, followed by an “open house” format allowing one-on-one discussions on several topics, including Lake Davis field work (Mike Morrison, DFG); Lake Davis water levels (Curtis Levine, Department of Water Resources); and chemicals in rotenone (Dr. Ron Tjeerdema, Department of Environmental Toxicology, UC Davis). In addition, Dan Flory, DWR, will be in attendance to address issues related to drawing down Lake Davis, and Mike McNamara, California Department of Health Services, will discuss his agency’s role in protecting the public health.

For more information on pike in Lake Davis, including last year’s three-year northern pike summary, along with the original mechanical removal plan from 2000, go to DFG's northern pike web site at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/northernpike/index.html

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