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NFC: Re: Fw: [bluepike] my reasearch on the existance of the Blue Pike

Well actually there is quite a bit of debate these days around here if the
"Blue Pike" is/was just a color morph of Walleye. Blue Pike have been/were
introduced in many lakes here in NW PA in the 1950s and 1960s including Lake
Edinboro, Pymatuning Reservoir, and Kinzua Reservoir. I was told this by
someone from the Fish and Boat Commision here in PA. (we have a HUGE
hatchery/ fish farm here in Corry where I live) They never did quite
establish themselves. Even in Kinzua (near Warren PA) which is deeper and
cooler than Lake Erie. The thought at the time was that they were just a
color morph of regular walleye and that color morph ceased when they
interbred with regular walleye. Even today in Lake Erie you can still find
many blueish looking Walleyes as is mentioned in the article. I have cought
several myself over the years. The debate will always linger on around here.
My feelings are that they were just a color morph as a result of them living
in deeper waters. This deeper water ecosystem was very hard hit with
pollution and destruction and that hurt the color morph. The old timers say
you could only catch them in deeper waters. There is a push around here for
people who catch blueish walleyes to try and keep them alive and give them
to the commision. I have not cought one since I knew this however, but I am
looking forward to trying again in the spring when the lunkers come into the
river mouths around here :)

----- Original Message -----
From: robert a rice <robertrice at juno_com>
To: <nfc at actwin_com>;
Sent: Saturday, December 15, 2001 6:27 PM
Subject: NFC: Fw: [bluepike] my reasearch on the existance of the Blue Pike

> Robert Rice
> NFC president
> www.nativefish.org
> --------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "novegon" <novegon at hotmail_com>
> To: bluepike at yahoogroups_com
> Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 06:48:47 -0000
> Subject: [bluepike] my reasearch on the existance of the Blue Pike
> Message-ID: <9verof+6oo2 at egroups_com>
> Hi All,
> My name is Timothy Moore and I now once again live on the shores of
> Lake Erie here in Ohio. My family has always lived on the shores of
> Lake Erie and my Great-grandfather and his father before him were
> commercial fishermen. Stories have been told in my family for
> generations of the magnificant catches of Blue Pike taken through the
> early parts of the 20th century. So....I did a little research on the
> web and what I found is of little consolation.
> I found a Naturalists article that said to wit:
> Stizostedion vitreum glaucum (Hubbs, 1926)
> Order: Perciformes
> Family: Percidae
> Significance: The blue pike was an important commercial species of
> Lake Erie where annual catches frequently exceeded 20 million pounds.
> In 1955 the catch was 19.7 million pounds before its decline and near
> disappearance. It was also prominent in the commercial fishery in
> Lake Ontario but the annual catch never exceeded 500,000 pounds.
> Distinguishing characteristics: Pelvic fins whitish blue and body
> bluish gray. Otherwise much like the yellow pike or walleye but with
> the eyes larger and closer together and without brassy or yellow
> mottlings.
> Present distribution: Very uncommon in deeper and cooler areas of
> Lake Erie and possibly Lake Ontario.
> Former distribution: Same.
> Status:Endangered. Although a few hundred pounds of blue pike have
> been listed in catches of commercial fishermen in recent years,
> biologists have found that these were mostly small yellow pike.
> Estimated numbers: Very few or possibly extinct.
> Fecundity: Spawned in moderately deep areas in early summer.
> Reasons for decline:Physical, chemical and biological environment in
> Lakes Erie and Ontario have deteriorated measurably in the past 20
> years, creating conditions that seem to be unfavorable for survival
> of eggs and young. Severe oxygen depletion in central Lake Erie
> shortly after the spawning period is an obvious contributing factor.
> Protective measures already taken: In 1969, a pair of Lake Erie
> Stizostedion, believed to be blue pike, were spawned at the
> Pennsylvania Fish Commission's Linesville Fish Culture Station. About
> 9,000 of the fry were transferred to Gavins Point National Fish
> Hatchery at Yankton, South Dakota. Some of the fingerlings were
> stocked in an isolated lake in northern Minnesota.
> Measures proposed:Additional spawning stock should be obtained for
> culture.
> Number in captivity:None.
> Culture potential in captivity: Good.
> Remarks: Data submitted by Dr. Stanford H. Smith, National Marine
> Fisheries Service, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Region 3, U. S. Fish and
> Wildlife Service, Twin Cities, Minnesota.
> Selected References
> Hubbs, C. L. and K. F. Lagler. 1964. Fishes of the Great Lakes
> region.
> University of Michigan Press, 213 pp.
> Trautman, M. B. 1957. The fishes of Ohio. Ohio State University
> Press,
> 683 pp.
> Parsons, John W. 1967. Contributions of year-classes of blue pike to
> the commercial fishery of Lake Erie, 1943-59. J. Fish. Res. Bd.
> Canada, 24(5):1035-1066.
> OK....please note the paragraph titled "Protective Measures Already
> Taken"
> Following up on this, doing more research and writing a lot of
> e-mail to various people in the National Fish and Wildlife service I
> finally received the following e-mail reply:
> Mr. Moore,
> Herb passed on your e-mail enquiring about blue pike.
>   Many of the oldhatchery records are pathetic.  I did review several
> years worth of annual reports and no mention of blue pike.
>   I've been at this facility since 1991 and had the priveledge of
> working with Clair Sudbeck, a 30 year fixture(Biological Technician)
> here at Gavins Point.
> I called Clair before I began digging through old records in search
> of information that I had not come across in the past.
> Clair mentioned that at least two years and possibly three years
> that
> Gavins Point Hatchery crew members traveled to Pennsylvania to
> collect
> these fish in cooperation with the Linesville SFH staff.
>   The fish were cultured in ponds in the same manner as our
> walleye fingerlings.
> These fish were raised to approximately 11-12 inches
> and thenresearchers lethally sub-sampled the fish.
>   All information that Clair provided me over the phone was that the
> fish appeared to be identical towalleye.
> They felt the bluish coloration may be related to the
> waters that they were collected from??????
>   Any fish that were not sampled for comparison were disposed of
> rather than stocked out.
> That's all the information that I have.  I hope this answers your
> question.
> Mark
> Please, once again, note some of the following lines:
> "Clair mentioned that at least two years and possibly three years
> that Gavins Point Hatchery crew members traveled to Pennsylvania to
> collect these fish in cooperation with the Linesville SFH"
> "These fish were raised to approximately 11-12 inches and then
> researchers lethally sub-sampled the fish."
> "...the fish appeared to be identical to walleye. They felt the
> bluish coloration may be related to the waters that they were
> collected from??????"
> (I think the 5 question marks at the end of this line speaks tacit
> volumes about the authors opinion of the biological research methods
> used in this case T.M.)
> "Any fish that were not sampled for comparison were disposed of
> rather than stocked out."
> So, They probably destroyed the last viable population of the Lake
> Erie Blue Pike in a government research and fish hatchery site.
> My anger at the sloppy biological reasearch work is over shadowed
> only by the fact that I have personally shed bitter tears at the now
> more than probable extintion (at hands of those who should have known
> better)of such a legendary species as the late, great, Lake Erie Blue
> Pike.
> Yours Truly,
> T.C.Moore
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