DEEP: Northern Pike Management

Northern Pike Management

The northern pike is the largest freshwater gamefish currently inhabiting Connecticut waters. The Fisheries Division has worked to increase the size of pike populations in Bantam Lake and the Connecticut River in order to diversify recreational fishing opportunities. In 1992 the Fisheries Division initiated efforts to develop an additional pike fishery in Mansfield Hollow Reservoir. Management of northern pike in Connecticut waters is accomplished through enhancement of the pike's natural reproduction in managed spawning marshes, and by stocking the fingerlings which are produced. Production is increased by maintaining ideal water levels and vegetation types in more than 64 acres of marshes. The Fisheries Division presently has three projects with objectives to enhance and expand pike fishing opportunities.

Northern Pike Management in Bantam Lake: Since 1987, between 1,000 - 3,000 fingerlings, and a much greater number of fry, have been produced each year and liberated into Bantam Lake and its surrounding marshes. This has resulted in dramatic increases in angler effort (from 3,500 to over 10,000 angler hours per year) and catch (from 280 to nearly 3,000 pike per year.)

Development of a northern pike fishery in Mansfield Hollow Reservoir and continued management of Haddam Meadows Marsh: Since 1990, an average of 9,200 fingerlings, and a greater number of fry, have been produced each year in Haddam Meadows Marsh. These fingerlings are distributed to 1) the Connecticut River to replace adults lost during spawning (typically 1,200 - 2,000 fingerlings), 2) Mansfield Hollow Reservoir (4,500 fingerlings), and 3) to the Connecticut River (all surplus fingerlings). These stockings increase the number of adult pike in the Connecticut River by up to 40%. In Mansfield Hollow Reservoir, these stockings are expected to establish a population of four pike per acre and to generate 2,700 hours of directed angler effort.

Preparation of a statewide northern pike fisheries management plan: A management plan is being prepared to ensure that the most cost efficient method of producing fingerlings is being used. An evaluation of the opportunities and needs for additional pike fisheries will be addressed. It may be advantageous to establish pike populations in waters where predators are needed (to improve size structure and growth of other fish populations) and where angler interest is high. A review of the scientific literature will be conducted.

Content last updated January 2014