Toothed Invaders In Alaska

Toothed Invaders In Alaska
Invasion of the muskies –

By Craig Medred –  Add muskellunge to the list of south-coastal Alaska’s modern-era, climate-change invaders. First it was northern pike, then largemouth bass, and now the Monsters of the Midwest.

Historically, the largest of the pike – a fish that can grow to the size of king salmon – have never been found north of central Ontario or west of the Rocky Mountains.

And yet what is believed to be a reproducing population showed up in a Kenai Peninsula lake last fall, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Give Alaska the records for westernmost and northernmost musky.

“Numerous muskies of varying ages were found…which is a terrifying thought,” Dave Rutz, the director of the state Division of Sport Fisheries said in a Tuesday statement.

Rutz at one time directed a state program that hoped to eradicate northern pike, a cousin of the musky, from the wild, 20,000-square-mile Susitna River drainage just west of the state’s largest city. The task proved impossible, and the state is now engaged in a costly pike control project that could go on indefinitely.

Pike basically killed the remote community of Alexander Creek, only about 25 miles northwest of Anchorage. It once supported busy fishing lodges and bustled with anglers chasing Chinook (king) salmon in late May and June and coho salmon (silvers) in July and August. Continue reading –


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