KREMMLING, Colo. — Love to fish and looking to make a little extra cash?
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is once again offering anglers a reward to catch northern pike at two Colorado reservoirs this summer.
The $20 reward is paid to anglers for each pike they catch and bring to the Heeney Marina at Green Mountain Reservoir and Wolford Campground and Marina at the Wolford Mountain Reservoir.
>Watch above: What does it take to deliver 12,000 fish to a frozen lake?
According to CPW, northern pike are a predatory species that can be harmful to trout fisheries.
CPW is also concerned that if northern pike reached a critical habitat along the Colorado River, they would would prey on the state's endangered native fishes, like the Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, razorback sucker and bonytail.
“Pike are voracious predator fish,” said Jon Ewert, CPW aquatic biologist. "They can decimate the trout fishery and, if they escape through the outlet system, they can significantly impact the Gold Medal waters of the Blue and Colorado Rivers downstream.”
CPW said it will keep turned in northern pike fish heads for analysis but will return the body of the fish to anglers. Those not wishing to keep northern pike can donate their catch to the marinas for later distribution.
A valid fishing license and photo ID will be required to claim the payment.
The CPW program has been in place for several years and biologists are hopeful it's helping to reduce the numbers of illegally introduced northern pike.
“The incentive program is a win-win,” Ewert said. “Anglers can make a few bucks while also helping protect several important fisheries - the reservoir fishery, the downstream fisheries, and the endangered fish reaches.”
To report illicit stocking or any other illegal wildlife activity anonymously, anglers can call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648.
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