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NFC: Blue Pike Bio 4 the upcoming Blue Pike Page (fwd)
J. L. Wiegert
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 16:07:59 -0600
From: robert rice <lepomis at email_msn.com>
To: Tim Ayers <tayers at bridge_com>,
nfc at actwin_com
Subject: Blue Pike Bio 4 the upcoming Blue Pike Page
THE BLUE PIKE (Stizostedion vitreum glaucum): EXTINCT
The blue pike was an endemic fish of the Great Lakes region in the United
States and Canada. It was once commonly found in the waters of Lake Erie,
Lake Ontario, and the Niagara River. It preferred cool, clear waters, living
in deep water in summer, and switching to nearshore waters as they cooled
and became less murky in the winter.
The blue pike was pursued intensely by commercial and sport fishers, who
together landed a billion pounds of the fish between 1885 and 1962. At
times, the blue pike made up more than 50 percent of the commercial catch in
At the same time the fishing industry was growing in the Great Lakes, the
number of Euroamerican settlers in the region was increasing as well. With
the increasing human population came increased habitat degradation. The
settlers drained marshes and wetlands, built dams in tributary rivers, and
caused large increases in the amount of pollution and sediment that entered
the lakes. All of these actions contributed to the deterioration of the
cool, clear habitat needed by the blue pike. During the 1900s, several
non-native species of fish were introduced to the Great Lakes, including the
sea lamprey, alewife, and rainbow smelt. These contributed to the decline of
the blue pike through predation and competition.
The population crashed in 1958, but the species lingered on until it became
extinct in 1970. In the same general time period, three other species of
fish endemic to the Great Lakes also disappeared. These were the deepwater
cisco (C. johannae) in the 1950's, native to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan;
the blackfin cisco (Coregonus nigripinnis) in the 1960s, native to all of
the Lakes except Erie; and the longjaw cisco (C. alpenae) in the 1970's,
native to Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan. Each of these species succumbed to
the cumulative effects of overexploitation by fishers, pollution, siltation
and other forms of habitat degradation due to development, and predation and
competition from non-native species.
Check out the Native Fish Conservancy