The Northern Pike ... a useful predator!

Issued on 14th February 2017

It is greatly loved by a large number of sport fishermen and yet, the pike is a fascinating species, combative and the quality of its flesh is excellent.

It guarantees the balance

While the northern pike is a predator of yellow perch and, to a fewer extent, walleye, the role of this species is of paramount importance to the health of aquatic ecosystems. Standing proudly at the top of the food chain, it ensures the balance of the lower trophic levels, and consequently, allows the ecosystem to maintain itself. A healthy ecosystem promotes quality fishing.

Cohabiting within the same ecosystem ...

The idea that northern pike is a nuisance to walleye prosperity is widespread within the sport fishing community. However, these two species have lived together for thousands of years in many lakes in Quebec. How is this possible?

Walleye and northern pike tend to feed on the same prey, but their preferred habitats differ, along with their lifestyles. Northern pike hunts mostly during the day, unlike the walleye that hunts at dawn and sunset. The great diversity of forage fish species (prey) found in the Gouin Reservoir allows the two species to cohabit "harmoniously" to the delight of sport fishermen. Also, pike mainly use coastal habitats, unlike walleye that prefer the pelagic (deep) areas of the lakes. The reservoir Gouin, created by the establishment of an imposing dam in 1915, is a body of water that greatly facilitates the coexistence of these two species by offering on one hand, large lakes with zones of great depth, And on the other hand, kilometers of shoreline favors the development of aquatic grasslands. It is shown that the dominance of one of these species relative to the other is closely related to the spatial configuration of a body of water.

Highlighting the Northern Pike ....

This species is very combative wich makes the fly fishermen happy. Like you, the pike loves to warm up in the sun along the beaches. Take advantage of the less productive hours for the walleye and stop at the edge of the aquatic grass beds and on the sandy points. Keep specimens of medium size for the quality of the flesh and to ensure you retain large specimens for your next fishing sessions.

Whe outfitting, do not hesitate to ask your guides to indicate sites suitable for pike fishing. Substitute the northern walleye fillets with pike for your "shore lunch". You will reduce the pressure on the walleye in addition to enjoying a quality meat obtained after a sporting fight. In skewers or in the form of pogo, the pike fillets are exquisite.

To find out where to fish for pike, check out this list:

14 February 2017

By Raphaël Dubé

Community Wildlife Area of ​​Gouin Reservoir



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