Hines, Ore. -- The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a public meeting on May 12 in Burns to outline plans to remove invasive goldfish from Mann Lake in order to restore the popular Lahontan cutthroat trout fishery.
The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Oregon State Offices, 7809 W. Jackson, Suite 500, Burns, Ore. 97720. ODFW staff will outline plans to restore the fishery and describe a variety of volunteer opportunities for anglers who want to participate in the project.
According to ODFW district biologist Shannon Hurn, ODFW will treat the lake in August with rotenone, a plant-based fish toxicant that will kill the goldfish, and other fish species. The rotenone will break down quickly into non-toxic substances. Once the goldfish have been removed, the lake will be restocked with Lahontan cutthroat trout later this fall or early next spring.
“These desert lakes are very productive,” Hurn said. “If all goes well, Mann Lake should recovery quickly and anglers could be fishing for trophy-sized trout by 2012.”
Until recently, Mann Lake was a popular fishing destination known for its crystal clear waters and large Lahontan cutthroat trout, Hurn said. Lahontans are native to desert lakes in parts of California, Nevada and southeast Oregon and have been stocked in Mann Lake since the 1950s.
According to Hurn, goldfish first appeared in Mann Lake in 2001, probably from an angler using live bait. Biologists initially hoped that the Lahontan cutthroat trout, which are aggressive feeders, would control goldfish populations. However, by 2005-2006 the trout fishery had begun to decline and instead anglers were catching goldfish up to 13.5 inches long.
Prior to the rotenone treatment, Hurn hopes to coordinate a volunteer effort to catch or net any remaining Lahontan cutthroat trout. They will be held in a nearby pond and placed back into Mann Lake once re-stocking begins.
Anglers interested in volunteering for the project should contact Shannon Hurn at the ODFW Hines office, (541) 573-6582.