David Orbutt holding pikes Dave Orabutt facing the challenges of bad whether Stagecoach Reservoir




Northern Pike in Selected Colorado Reservoirs

Principal Investigator: Eric Bergersen
Graduate Student: David Orabutt
Start: July 1, 2002
Completed: Ongoing
Funding Agency: Colorado Division of Wildlife

Introduction: Legal and illegal northern pike introductions into numerous Colorado trout lakes have greatly compromised trout management options in these waters due to pike predation. The magnitude of this problem varies throughout the trout reservoirs into which pike have been introduced. Our research addresses the estimation of pike in these reservoirs and evaluates habitat suitability.

Objectives: The primary objective of this project is to explore and evaluate management options by determining reservoir habitat characteristics and current management strategies that lead to stable populations of northern pike in high elevation reservoir trout fisheries.

Progress: Mark-recapture studies have been conducted for northern pike on Lake Catamount, Stagecoach Reservoir and Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Habitat evaluations on the eight study reservoirs (Elevenmile, Spinney Mountain, Tarryall, Crawford, Lake Catamount, Elkhead, Stagecoach and Williams Fork) have been completed. Data is currently being analyzed and management options are being evaluated. A thesis is currently being drafted and is scheduled to be completed spring 2004.

Orabutt, D.E., Jr. May 2005. Northern pike in selected Colorado Reservoirs. Partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree Master of Science.

Orabutt, D. E., Jr. January 2004. Northern pike and trout interactions in high elevation reservoirs in Colorado. Angler Coalition meeting. Denver, CO

Orabutt, D.E., Jr. February 2004. Northern pike populations and habitat in Colorado’s high elevation trout reservoirs. Colorado State University Student Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting. Fort Collins, CO

Orabutt, D.E., Jr. March 2004. Northern pike populations and habitat in Colorado’s high elevation trout reservoirs. Western Division American Fisheries Society annual meeting. Salt Lake City, UT