Mack Mesa Reservoir Being Drained Due to Predator
Western Colorado's Mack Mesa Reservoir is currently being drained due to an illegal introduction of a predatory fish.
Mack Mesa Reservoir is located just west of Grand Junction at Highline Lake State Park, which is widely known by locals and tourists alike as a great place to go biking, birding, boating, camping, hiking, hunting, jet skiing, paddle boarding, swimming, water skiing, and of course, fishing.
However, because of the introduction of the predatory northern pike to the reservoir, Colorado Parks and Wildlife are now being forced to drain the large body of water.
The northern pike falls into a category of fish known as an apex predator and can grow up to 50 inches long. Manager of Highline Lake State Park Alan Martinez justified the draining of the reservoir by noting that if allowed, the northern pike would devour every other living animal in the lake:
A lot of time and effort has been spent to keep fish like this out of the Colorado River. That’s the reason our hands are tied and we are in this situation where we have to pump this dry.
It's unclear how or why the northern pike was introduced into the reservoir, or who is responsible for it, but because they were found, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is now forced to take drastic measures to get rid of them.
This is not the first attempt to get rid of the northern pike, however, as CPW tried to use electric shocking techniques Labor Day weekend of 2020 when they were first found, but their efforts proved to be not enough.