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ODFW lifts fishing limits on Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake

 
September 3, 2009

 

BEND, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced that all daily catch limits, possession limits and minimum length requirements for fish from Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake will be suspended from Sept. 1 to Oct. 18, 2009.

Mike Harrington, ODFW fish biologist in Prineville, said the water bodies are scheduled to be treated with rotenone (a fish toxicant) later in October and he wants anglers to be able to remove as many rainbow trout and bullhead catfish as they can before then.

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday weekend, an additional 750 legal-sized rainbow trout have been stocked in Walton Lake.

“We wanted to give anglers a little extra incentive to get out and fish Walton Lake,” Harrington said.

The water bodies are being treated in order to remove illegally introduced bullhead catfish and restore popular rainbow trout fisheries. Since the introduction of bullheads in the late 1990s and early 2000s trout fishing has declined on both water bodies as bullhead populations have grown.

The rotenone treatment not only will clear the lake of unwanted bullheads, but will also eliminate the threat of smallmouth bass escaping from Walton Lake into Ochoco Creek, a native redband trout fishery.

Rotenone, a plant substance, has been approved as a fish toxicant by the Environmental Protection Agency. At the concentrations used to kill fish, rotenone is not toxic to humans, other mammals or birds. It breaks down completely in the environment and will not be detectable within weeks of treatment. For more information about rotenone go the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/diamond_lake/FAQs.asp.

Antelope Flat Reservoir and Walton Lake will be restocked with catchable rainbow trout as soon as access reopens in the spring of 2010.  Given the historically high growth rates in both water bodies and the improved water quality that should occur with the elimination of bottom-dwelling bullhead, anglers should find significantly better fishing in 2010.

“We expect the overall fishing experience should return to what people remembered almost immediately,” said Harrington.

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Contact:

Mike Harrington (541) 447-5111
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

Fax:

(503) 947-6009

 
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