From a DF&G press release:
On June 7, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was alerted to the sighting of a small northern pike in Cheney Lake. Department staff verified the presence of pike in Cheney and over the next two days used gillnets to catch two pike, each about 18 inches long.
Nets were placed in the lake every day last week and no more pike have been seen or caught. This October, immediately before freeze-up, an intensive netting program will be conducted.
Cheney Lake was treated with the chemical rotenone in October 2008 to remove illegally stocked pike. Rotenone levels lethal to pike persisted in Cheney Lake for several months.
Sentinel fish placed in cages throughout Cheney Lake during this treatment died, and gillnets frozen into the lake all winter failed to catch any fish throughout the winter.
Rotenone was detectable in the lake into early March 2009, but not detectable by late March.
In May 2009, right after ice-out, Cheney Lake was intensively sampled with variable mesh gillnets without catching a fish. No northern pike were reported to have been seen or caught in Cheney Lake in either 2009 or 2010.
In the 1990s, before the illegal introduction of northern pike, Cheney Lake was one of Anchorage’s most popular stocked lakes and averaged 5,208 angler days a year. During the five years before treatment of the lake to remove pike, the average annual effort dropped to only 744 angler days.
After pike were removed and the rainbow trout stocking program was resumed, effort increased to 2,307 angler days in 2009 and 3,485 angler days in 2010.
Moving live fish without a fish transport permit is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a $10,000 fine and up to a year in jail.
If you have any information regarding illegal stocking or see anyone who appears to be releasing fish into your local lake or stream, call Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377 or your local ADF&G office (Anchorage 267-2218).
For more information, contact Fisheries Biologist Dan Bosch in Anchorage at (907) 267-2153.