Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Pike Eradication in Cottonwood Creek

Scope

This project will eradicate invasive northern pike from the Cottonwood Creek drainage by conducting physical and biological assessments of the two lakes known to contain pike (Anderson and Kings Lake), surveying the remainder of the drainage for the presence of pike, conducting a public scoping process to determine the level of support for eradication, and, if favorable, acquiring needed permits and implementing pike eradication activities.  Conducting these pike surveys will also allow ADF&G to document the occurrence of other invasive species such as Elodea.  Surveying for pike throughout the remainder of the Cottonwood Creek drainage will employ the use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in the Mat-Su Valley and will develop eDNA monitoring protocols that may eventually be used throughout the Susitna basin.

Project Status

Catch-per-unit-effort gillnet and minnow trap surveys for pike in Anderson and Kings Lake are complete with bathymetric and water quality data collected.  Environmental DNA samples were collected in Cottonwood Lake and Wasilla Lake in September 2017 and were processed by USFWS to address inconclusive results from May 2017 eDNA survey.  All samples came back negative which confirms that pike presence is restricted to Anderson and Kings Lakes and that eradication is possible to rid the Cottonwood Creek drainage entirely of invasive northern pike.   Once eDNA results are available, a management plan will be written that details the options under consideration for northern pike removal and public meetings will be scheduled. A management plan is in development and public meetings for this project will begin during winter 2018 and spring 2019 (outside this contract timeline). ADF&G hopes to eradicate pike from Anderson and Kings Lakes in 2020.