Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The pike are coming

The official Montana fishing regulations now say that there is no limit on northern pike in the East Gallatin , Gallatin, and Madison rivers (along with the Jefferson). The fact that pike are explicitly addressed apparently means they're definitely in there. I only wish they'd have included the regulation that it's mandatory to keep them, like lake trout in Yellowstone Lake.
There has been a rumor about pike the East for a while, but as far as I knew, it was only a rumor. There has been an official record of pike in the Jefferson for many months. And when looking into other pike sightings, I found an article in the Billings Gazette that mentions them in the lower Gallatin.
This column from the Montana Sporting Journal summarizes my thoughts.
There has been a well-known pike fishery around Toston Dam on the Missouri River for a while, where ice-fishers do quite well, apparently.
From the Gazette article:
"The source of the pike was apparently some ponds in the East Gallatin River valley. Those ponds were poisoned out by FWP last year. But before the poisoning, some fish got out and moved down the drainage."
Meaning they probably found their way into the East Gallatin in high-water, and migrated up through the East, mainstem Gallatin, and the Missouri.
The time has come for catch and keep - just get them Y-bones out and they're good eatin'. 
I'm gonna be seriously mad if/when a pike is found in the Big Hole.


Unknown said...

I hope an active encouragement of fish and keep is preached in your parts. Pike really are great eating! It really is too bad to hear they are in these great Montana fisheries.


Josh Bergan said...

I hope so too. C&R is a cornerstone of the Montana flyfisher's culture. I know guys that release carp, which would shock many people across the country. But, if it's to save trout, anglers around here would probably do almost anything, including killing pike.

Matt "Gilligan" Koles said...

Get rid of those bastards...They will ruin everything, and that ain't no joke. We have a lake here called lake davis, and it has never been the same since some asshole put pike in there.The poison don't work either.

Josh Bergan said...

I've heard about Davis Lake - it's kinda the horror story that gets harkened upon when folks talk about what pike can do. Hey, pike are great, but they have a place and it ain't in trout water.

Ivan said...

it is going to be hard to kill a fish. but, I am more than willing to do it to help those fisheries out. I will shit the bed if they make it to the big hole.

Josh Bergan said...