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Old 05-31-2011, 04:49 PM
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Question Ashurst rumors... Pike removed...

Late last fall, as the final golden leaves fell upon it waters, three fishermen engaged in a discussion on the shores of Ashurst Lake. There was a fly-fisherman tossing big streamers, a self proclaimed "in-the-know" old timer prepping to troll for stockers, and myself.

The old timer was quite friendly at first, offering to let me troll with him on his tiny skiff. When I pointed out that I was fly fishing for pike, he exclaimed "Good! Get all them @&^#*% *&@%^& pike outa here! Kill them all, will you!"

I calmly expressed that I myself felt fortunate to have an opportunity to catch 20+ lb pike so close to home - the kind of fishing people travel all the way to Canada for, at a cost of $1000's per trip, right here in good ol AZ! In fact, this is one of things I look forward to the most during the work week

Boy, did this strike a nerve! He blew his top and ranted that I was this and that, no sense, etc... Then, in a surprisingly spiteful tone, announced that "he was very pleased that soon his "friends" in the DFG were going to finally net the damn pike out of the lake so he'd have another place to catch the good eatin' (hatchery) trout which are supposed to be in there" - which, he admitted he shouldn't be eating anyway because of the elevated mercury on Anderson Mesa...

Yes, I too ponder the link between this fact and his behavior

This is when the other flyfisher pointed out that there are already over a dozen lakes within an hour that were stuffed with stockers, but that this is the ONLY place within a thousand miles, at least, where an angler has a good chance of catching a true record Pike! He went on to reason that the DFG would recognize this benefit as a rare and precious gift to the public and would never commit such a grievous act against the public - the people who support the agency with license purchase.

We'd hope...

Well the road to Ashurst was closed until curiously late this year, but since it 's opened I've spent a good amount of time up there, with zero, I mean ZERO action. Nada. None.

As of a few days ago, I've now been approached twice on ULM, by two different anglers, who each told me they knew "someone" in DFG, and that this "someone" admitted DFG had indeed netted Ashurst Lake in late spring and removed "literally a truck bed full of large pike". One went so far as to say that they kept the road closed so late into the season specifically to prevent public observation of the act, an attempt to prevent the obvious potential aftermath.

Rumors...

Anyone know for a fact if this is true?

Ain't seen a big pike yet this year...

Curious...

Last edited by RollininZona; 05-31-2011 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:59 PM
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There were posts here on this forum concerning this topic earlier this year. I got the idea that yes it was gonna happen, the choice was made and the pike were gonna be netted and killed.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:01 PM
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There were posts here on this forum concerning this topic earlier this year. I got the idea that yes it was gonna happen, the choice was made and the pike were gonna be netted and killed.
Oh, outta the loop I guess...

What a bummer.

So much for the DFG recognizing these huge fish as a "rare and precious gift to the public".

Last edited by RollininZona; 05-31-2011 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:13 PM
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Pike were removed from Ashurst

It is true. Game and Fish did intensive gill netting to reduce the pike population. They were illegally stocked in Ashurst, a designated trout fishery, and returns of stocked trout to anglers creel were far below expected levels because the pike were eating them. So they logically removed many of the illegal pike.

If you want to catch pike, try Upper Lake Mary. It's full of pike.

Last edited by stoneflynut; 05-31-2011 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:14 PM
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According to AZ game and fish, they netted 200 pike from Ashurst, but they admitted there are still plenty of pike in Ashurst. They do not intend to eradicate pike from the lake, just reduce the number so that they don't start cannibalizing each other.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by flyinfisher View Post
According to AZ game and fish, they netted 200 pike from Ashurst, but they admitted there are still plenty of pike in Ashurst. They do not intend to eradicate pike from the lake, just reduce the number so that they don't start cannibalizing each other.
Cannibalizing each other had nothing to do with it.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneflynut View Post
...If you want to catch pike, try Upper Lake Mary. It's full of pike.
Yeah, I've caught lots o' 30 inchers in ULM, but nothing like the monsters in Ashurst. I get the policies and procedures required to run a government, the incredible quagmire of bureaucracy (father was a fed in DC 40 years under 6 presidents), etc... but I sure wish there had been a bit more creative thinking in this decision. The ONLY reasonable cause for such action is the cost of feeding these fat fish those yummy stocker trout!

Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Manitoba here I come !
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:53 PM
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It is more complex than that, Rollin'. Sure, the cost of raising stocker trout is high but even more important is that we anglers are paying to raise and stock them. There are agreements with the Coconino N.F. and developed campgrounds. There is the economic impact of all those campers and anglers coming into and passing through Flagstaff. And there is the official "designation" of Ashurst as a trout fishery and the fisheries management plans that has a public comment period involved plus AGFD Commission approval. Game and Fish had to go through a public process and have a management plan for Ashurst and it didn't include managing it as a trophy pike lake. Please don't take my rambling on too seriously. Have fun up in Manitoba.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:18 PM
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If the bucket biologist would just leave them in the lake and not spread them around to other lakes they would probably leave them alone to grow to massive dimensions. I for one have seen nice size pike in McNary, just need to go to the right spots I guess...

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Old 05-31-2011, 10:11 PM
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JBatina JBatina is offline
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I have fond memories of Ashurst as a kid, catching nice sized trout in clear water on a fly rod with my dad. As a matter of fact he landed a 20 inch 'bow right before they originally treated the lake. I went back after they treated the lake and the water was like chocolate milk and it wasn't too long before they had pike in there again. They are never going to keep pike out of there and that is a reality. In my opinion, they should leave the lake to pike and put the trout elsewhere as they are only expensive pike protein as it is.
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