While there are northern pike in Yuba, it is probably not the best spot to go bank fishing or tubing for them. They are widely scattered and you need a boat to cover the best spots. And, they are few enough that even the pike pros have difficulty finding and catching them. Again, probably not worth a special trip. Redmond would be better.
Now...if you want to catch carp...Yuba is a great spot.
The lake was down to mud puddle status at the end of 2004. It was refilled in 2005 and trout were planted to provide a fishery. They grew big and fat until the perch ate all the fathead minnows. The perch were planted from Jordanelle by DWR with the help of Rocky Mountain Anglers. They took off well and like you experienced there were some big ones from the first year class. But then they spawned and died out and since then there have been mostly small perch...and few of those.
Between the pike, the few walleye and the hordes of carp there is little recruitment from an annual perch spawn. Not enough young to supply all the hungry mouths.
There are very few walleyes but the ones that are in there are fat. They have lots of baby carp to eat along with whatever perch they can find. But they are not easily caught. Guys who drag crawler rigs all day go through dozens of crawlers but about all they get are carp.
Lots of armchair biologists pointing fingers at DWR, water users and anybody else they can blame. But the situation is that the lake is overrun with carp and there is little chance of turning it around until it is again drained and the biomass eliminated for another cycle.
Channel cats are the apex predators in the Bear River...with a few walleyes in the mix. And they have plenty of minnows and other forage...plus lots of brush and holes for spawning and structure.
Yuba Res. cats are almost at the bottom of the food chain...being subservient to pike and walleyes...and even perch and carp. The fish that don't eat the cats themselves prey heavily on unprotected eggs and young. There just ain't the kind of structure in Yuba that it takes to keep kitties happy.
In Yuba the cats run up the Sevier River to spawn in the brush and the few rocks when water levels are high enough. Like perch they do not have good spawns if there is not suitable spawning area. They have to spawn out in the open instead of back inside rocks or brush where the males can protect the eggs and young until they are ready to get out on their own. The carp in Yuba make short work of any nests...of any species...if they are left unprotected.
There are a few cats that survive the buglemouth brigade each year and there is a small population in Yuba. And there are some big cats in there. But the overall population is not enough to make it worthwhile for someone to make a special trip for them. The cats are like the walleyes in many spots...they are caught by accident by people fishing for other species.
Let's all get together and install a giant flush handle on Yuba Dam. But, the sad thing is that no matter how successful the flush it will only be temporary. The history of Yuba is boom and bust...and much of that is because of the water situation. One or two bad water years in every 10 will ruin whatever fishing has developed during good water years and it will be back to square one. It takes several years for the lake to recover and then WHAMMO. Dead again.
DWR does not have any minimum pool agreements so the downstream water users can suck the lake dry whenever they want to. Gotta have more control than that to maintain a fishery.
To me, Yuba is a good example of an ecosystem with a multitude of "doors"...or factors that can affect the whole shebang...for good or evil.
It is no different than almost any other reservoir in Utah from the standpoint that the health of the system is first and foremost dependent upon having enough water. That's one door.
After that it depends on which other doors are opened or closed...species mix...species numbers and ratios...water quality...available structure...food resources...annual cycles by species...unique needs of individual species...angling pressure...predator-prey relationships...human interference, etc.
I really have to chuckle when Ivan Popoff posts the "real" reasons why there are no perch and walleye...without any consideration of the big picture. Damned DWR guys just don't care and don't know how to manage nuthin'.
Kinda hard to manage the unmanageable.
Anybody who has fished long enough accumulates experience and develops insights. And who is to say that their opinions are not sound? After all, if you spend enough time on any given water you should know it pretty well...at least from an angler's viewpoint. Right? The only flaw in the angler's logic when it comes to suggesting/demanding changes is that the reasoning is usually based more upon emotions and personal passions than upon good biology. Been there, done that.
When it comes to Yuba I have just about given up on ever seeing it return to former days of glory. I ain't gonna live that long. But...I still got my memories. At least I think I do. What were we talking about again?