Mack Mesa Reservoir being drained to remove pike

Northern Pike can grow up to 20 pounds and more than four feet
Northern Pike can grow up to 20 pounds and more than four feet(KTUU)
Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 7:40 PM MDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 7:41 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Crews with Colorado Parks and Wildlife began draining the Mack Mesa Reservoir today in Highline Lake State Park.

CPW began the project as a result of northern pike being illegally introduced to the lake. It’s a kind of fish that is considered an apex predator and can grow up to 50 inches. Park manager Alan Martinez says these pike would eat everything in the reservoir if given enough time, so Parks and Wildlife say they were forced to drain the entire body of water.

“A lot of time and effort has been spent to keep fish like this out of the Colorado River,” says Alan Martinez, Park Manager for Highline Lake State Park. “That’s the reason our hands are tied and we are in this situation where we have to pump this dry.”

Anglers first discovered the fish around Labor Day weekend of 2020. CPW tried to use shocking techniques to get rid of the pike, but that did not work as hoped.

Some drainage from the reservoir will go into Highline Lake, although they are working to maintain separate ecosystems in each body of water. CPW says that anyone who is aware of any illegal practices should contact Parks and Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief.

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