SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (KKTV) - Get paid to fish. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering a cash-based incentive alongside the Colorado Water Conservation board encouraging anglers to catch northern pike at Green Mountain Reservoir.
The reward program resumes on May 25. Started last year, the program encourages anglers to participate directly in ongoing efforts to remove the illegally introduced predators from the reservoir.
To participate, anglers must bring their northern pike to the Heeney Marina along with their driver’s license and fishing license. Each northern pike will net anglers $20.
Biologists say the presence of the predatory fish in Green Mountain is a significant concern. In addition to the potential impacts to fish in the reservoir, if they escape and take up residency downstream in Gold Medal sections of the Blue and Colorado rivers, sportfishing opportunities for trout could see negative consequences. If the predatory fish eventually reach federally-listed critical habitat in the Colorado River, they would prey upon 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 likely have profound impacts to local fisheries in the future," said CPW's Jon Ewert, aquatic biologist from Hot Sulphur Springs in a release. "This is beneficial in several ways. Anglers can catch a predatory fish and earn some money, it helps us protect fishing here, and helps with our native fish recovery efforts as well.
For more information, contact CPW's Hot Sulphur Springs office at 970-725-6200, or Heeney Marina at 970-724-9441
To report illicit stocking or any other illegal wildlife activity anonymously, anglers can call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648.