Tribe resumes netting pike in bid to protect cutthroat trout in Idaho

(Photo courtesy of Vexilar)

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Coeur d’Alene Tribe is using gillnets to cut down on northern pike in hopes of helping cutthroat trout populations in northern Idaho.

Northern pike are prized by some anglers, but they eat native cutthroat trout, which return to Lake Coeur d’Alene every year as they migrate to their spawning grounds.

The Spokesman-Review reports the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are using the nets so they can catch, tag and then transport the predators to an area of the lake where they are less likely to eat the trout.

The tribe is also offering rewards to anglers who turn in pike caught in the southern third of the lake. Coeur d’Alene Tribe spokeswoman Heather Keen says anglers can get $5 per fish, and some fish marked with special tags carry rewards of between $50 and $500.

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