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NFC: Press release BLUE PIKE NEWS

Press Release : The Native Fish Conservancy a federal 501 c 3 non profit
THE BLUE PIKE (Stizostedion vitreum glaucum): EXTINCT ?

NEWS FLASH: September 10 1999-A suspect Blue Pike skin from Ontario
Canada has been turned over to the US Fish and Wild Life Service For
Analysis. The Fisherman Involved learned about the Blue Pike here on this
website. Contacted the NFC and away we went. DNA analysis is ongoing.We
have a video of the capture and expect to have stills up in a short
time.Details to follow.

NEWS FLASH: October 11 1999- The NFC in partnership with Joe Tomelerri
Has set up a $500 minimum reward for the first fishermen to provide a
recently caught , live frozen Blue Pike or Hybrid. Take a picture of your
suspect fish along with it's capture location and date and mail the
picture to NFC Blue Pike Hunt 8436 Meadow Lane Leawood Kansas 66206. If
it looks like you have a winner we will contact you within thirty days to
arrange shipping of the frozen fish. After conformation by proffessionals
the winner will recieve their rewards. If you'd like to contribute to the
Blue Pike Hunt reward fund Please contact the NFC President at
352-337-9676 or president at nativefish_org we are looking for sponsors to
make this effort even more effective.

WHATS A BLUE PIKE  (Stizostedion vitreum glaucum) ?

The blue pike (really a walleye but that's it's common name) 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 Lake Erie.

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.
Still today ,  there remains conflicting stories about its demise.
Fishermen report catching Blue
Colored Pike in lakes in Canada and Minnesota. Rumours have for years
about the Blue Pike translocated by private individuals and goverment
stocking programs outside their Great Lakes homes and still carrying on.
Could it be true ?