When Northern Pike become established in the Columbia River below Grand Coulee Dam, some surprisingly large fish species may become potential forage. Northern Pike are capable of growing to at least four feet in length – and capable of consuming slender fish more than half their length.
That means that jack salmon, some steelhead on their initial return and even some adult pink salmon are potentially on the menu – as are the smolts of all the river’s salmonids.
As for good news – well they are fun to fish for and they will likely reduce the numbers of other fish species that also prey on salmonid smolts – including northern pikeminnows.
Although their presence in the salmon waters of the Columbia is pretty much a certain future occurrence – let’s hope it’s a much delayed one.