Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The most looney of Californians

1 March 2005

LAKE DAVIS, Calif. - The Calif. Department of Fish and Game is about to poison this lake, again, after having tried to rid it of a fish they fear more than the budget cuts of Arnold Schwarzenegger - the Northern Pike.

In the photo with this blog, you see a female swelled with eggs, caught by the anglers of the DFG. Since they started a program to get rid of the fish in the late 1990s, they have drained the lake, poisoned it, spent $15 million (much of it on lawsuits) and killed about 50,000 pike.

The problem is the pike are pretty hardy and if fact there are now more than 100,000 of the buggers swimming happily around waiting for springtime and mating season. And the problem for the DFG is that the pike like to eat trout fingerlings. Every spring the DFG seeds the lake with thousands of trout to boost the fishery and pull in trout fisherman. But, well, the pike are waiting and have a wonderful spring feed right after the tiny trout are dropped in the water.

The DFG apparently isn't smart enough to figure out that promoting fishing for the Northern Pike - considered a great game fish everywhere else in the country but California - might get rid of them more quickly than dynamite or poison.

The DFG has managed to demonize the fish to the point where the public thinks it's a good idea to poison their own water supply.

Californians pride themselves on their dedication to the environment. But in this case, they need to eradicate the Department of Fish and Game and let the damned Northern Pike go its own way.

The full story, published in the Sacramento Bee, can be read at:



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