ROSEBURG, Ore. – ODFW biologists from around Southern Oregon are converging on Diamond Lake to electro-fish for golden shiners, a bait fish recently found in the lake during routine trap netting.
“The electro-fishing crews have found 204 golden shiners so far this week, most of them concentrated in one spot, and many of them ripe for spawning,” said District Fish Biologist Laura Jackson. “Crews are e-fishing nightly from three boats for two weeks so we can cover the entire perimeter of Diamond Lake and more quickly get a handle on the shiners.”
Jackson said crews are targeting the northwest corner of the lake where most of the shiners have been found. The total number of shiners found in the lake since July 17 is 224.
“After such a successful rotenone treatment in 2006 to rid Diamond Lake of tui chub, we are really disappointed to find another invasive fish in the lake. We hope to knock back or at least control the shiners with the combination of predacious rainbow trout stocked last year and this summer, and e-fishing as much as possible right now to disrupt their spawning season,” Jackson said.
After next week’s electro-fishing, ODFW will evaluate its efforts and future actions.
Golden shiners are native to the East Coast and have the potential to spawn in Diamond Lake, although they are not as prolific as tui chub and require warmer water to successfully reproduce.
ODFW documented that golden shiners were illegally released into the lake in 1977. However, they did not affect the lake like the tui chub that were discovered in 1992 and quickly reached a population of 98 million prior to the 2006 rotenone treatment. During mechanical removal before the treatment, golden shiners composed less than 10% of the fish netted.
Golden shiners are a popular bait fish although it is illegal to use them in Oregon’s fresh waters. Anyone witnessing an angler using live bait fish should get as much information as possible, including a description of the person, boat, vehicle, boat number and license plate and call Oregon State Police at 541-440-3334.