By Jennifer McRae

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4)– Crews are refilling a drained lake near Grand Junction. Colorado Parks and Wildlife drained Mack Mesa Lake a few weeks ago.

(credit: CBS)

The goal is to remove a large number of invasive and aggressive northern pike fish. The northern pike were first spotted at Mack Mesa Reservoir by anglers last fall, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. CPW officials conducted an immediate sample count and removed several adult northern pike. Additional fish were later discovered during a time when northern pike are known to spawn.

Efforts to drain Mack Mesa began earlier this month. It was emptied until all fish in it were caught. The pike was eliminated while the other species were transferred to nearby Highline Lake.

(credit: CBS)

Mack Mesa will be re-stocked with trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, and channel catfish.

Refilling the lake could take weeks.

“We anticipate it will take a few weeks and in that time we will be working on habitat structures and working on the overall fishery so when we do restock it will be a great fishery,” said Ashlee Wallace with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

(credit: CBS)

Both Mack Mesa and Highline Lake are part of Highline State Park and are located about 10 miles east of the Colorado-Utah border, north of Grand Junction.

The last time the lake was drained was in the 1950s.

Jennifer McRae