Northern Pike Management and Research


Both sport and subsistence fishers target northern pike. The Sport Fish Division of ADF&G manages these fisheries in Alaska. Subsistence surveys are conducted by both Commercial Fisheries and Subsistence divisions.

In areas where northern pike are an invasive species (generally the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, around Anchorage, and lakes on the Kenai Peninsula), programs are underway in many places to eradicate these fish, for they can cause significant damage to salmon and rainbow trout populations.


Alaska Department of Fish and Game research on northern pike focuses on collecting data for population management. Management biologists rely on stock assessment data (how many and what size northern pike there are in a lake or stretch of river). They also need to know how many northern pike are caught in a given season. Based on this information, managers can estimate how big a particular northern pike population is, and how many fish are harvested from that population each year.

Other life history information helps biologists understand the affect development can have on northern pike populations. For example, northern pike are radio-tagged to track their movements to ensure that habitat manipulation (culverts, dams, and other instream construction) does not keep fish from reaching critical (spawning, feeding, overwintering) areas.