State plans to rehab eastside lakes, streams

Brown bullhead

Brown bullhead

— State fishery managers will host three public meetings in late July to discuss plans to treat several lakes and a stream in eastern Washington with rotenone, a naturally occurring pesticide commonly used to remove undesirable and illegally stocked fish species from lakes and streams.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is proposing to treat Park, Blue, Vic Meyers and Mirror Lakes in Grant County this fall to remove species ranging from bass and bullhead to stunted panfish. The department is also proposing to treat a five-mile section of Smalle Creek in Pend Oreille County.

“The goal is to restore trout populations by removing competing species that have essentially taken over these waters,” said Bruce Bolding, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. “Illegally stocked fish compete with trout fry for food and prey upon them, rendering efforts to stock trout ineffective. At Smalle Creek, we are proposing to remove non-native eastern brook trout in order to restore a population of native westslope cutthroat.”

WDFW has scheduled public meetings to discuss the planned lake and stream treatments as follows:

· Olympia: 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 22, in Room 175 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St.

· Ephrata: 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 25, at the Grant County Public Works Department Building, 124 Enterprise St. SE

· Newport: 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 28, at the Create Art Center, 900 W 4th St.

In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will consider written comments received through Aug. 4. Comments should be addressed to Bruce Bolding, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

A decision on whether to proceed with the planned treatments will be made by the WDFW director in early September.

Rotenone is an organic substance derived from the roots of tropical plants, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved for use as a fish pesticide. It has been used by WDFW in lake and stream rehabilitations for more than 70 years, and is commonly used by other fish and wildlife management agencies nationwide.


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