Assistant Area Management Biologist
December 21, 2015
Beginning Tuesday, December 22, sport fishing through the ice at East and West Mackey, Union and Derk’s lakes will be limited to two closely attended lines. In addition, retention of all species of fish is prohibited at these lakes.
These restrictions will be in effect through December 31, 2016.
In September 2014, the Mackey Lakes, Derk’s Lake, and Union Lake were successfully treated with rotenone to eradicate non-native northern pike. Prior to the treatment, when pike were present in these lakes, anglers could have used up to five lines to target pike while sport fishing through the ice.
During 2015, department staff captured and transported approximately 30,000 native fish from Soldotna Creek to these lakes to aid in the restoration of the native fish assemblages. These restrictions are needed to protect these native fish until they can propogate naturally.
“Given the recent application of rotenone to remove pike from these lakes, we expect sport fishing effort on these lakes to be minimal until more catchable-sized fish are present,” Jason Pawluk, the Assistant Area Management Biologist in Soldotna said. “The sport fish transported to these lakes are primarily small juveniles. There are many other locations on the Kenai Peninsula where anglers can target various species through the ice – including pike.”
Pawluk added that anglers may still use up to five lines while sport fishing through the ice on Sevena Lake and the unnamed northern pike lakes in the Tote Road and Stubblefield Road area. These lakes have yet to be treated with rotenone and pike are still present although Sevena Lake northern pike have been subjected to intense netting harvest this year. Ice fishing with up to five lines is a special regulation and is only allowed on the Kenai Peninsula lakes listed here.
There is no bag or possession limit on northern pike in Southcentral. Anglers are encouraged to retain all pike they catch and not to release live pike back to the water. Sport fishing for northern pike through the ice using five lines is allowed provided that standard ice fishing gear is used, the lines are closely attended and all other non-target species are released immediately.