Expanding Northern Pike Habitat

pike-habitat-restoration

LEDGEVIEW, Wis. (WBAY) – The effort to restore areas for northern pike to spawn in Brown County stretches into the Town of Ledgeview.

Dozens of miles of water and wetlands will now be open those migrating fish.

As Pike Habitat Restoration Manager for Brown County Land & Water Conservation, Chuck Larscheid is excited about what’s no longer in this tributary to the East River.

“We think this is over 50 years old, we took one out yesterday on the East River itself we know is over 85 years old,” says Larscheid.

The before and after pictures illustrate the dramatic difference in water flow.

“It was an old farm crossing, a culvert that medium and low water conditions stopped pike from getting through there, so there’s miles of wetlands they could have spawned in that were prevented by this culvert,” says Larscheid.

Thanks to funds set aside from the on-going billion dollar Fox River PCB clean-up project, the county has completed more than 50 pike habitat restoration projects since 2007 totaling more $200,000.

By removing impediments, like the old culvert on the East River, and restoring wetlands, Larscheid hopes the bay’s pike population can soar to the levels of other popular game fish.

“Pike is one of the big three, muskies, walleyes and northern pike and the pike numbers have really gone down over the years and DNR, the state and county don’t know why, but we think just the lack of access to spawning habitat is probably a big cause of that,” says Larscheid.

Six more restoration projects are already planned for next year in Green Bay, Ashwaubenon and Allouez.

“You just have to walk some of the tributaries, you look during the summer, look during the fall, in spring with the high water it’s harder to find them, but some people will tell you about them, they know the old farm crossings and you can look on aerial photographs,” says Larscheid.

 

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