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ODFW to host public meetings on plans to treat eight trout fisheries

Friday, April 23, 2015

Enterprise, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a series of public meetings in early May to discuss plans to treat several water bodies in northeast Oregon to remove unwanted fish and improve trout fisheries. The agency plans to treat eight lakes and ponds in Baker, Union, Umatilla and Wallowa counties.

At meetings in Baker City, La Grande, Enterprise and Pendleton, ODFW staff will describe plans to use rotenone, a plant-based fish toxicant, to remove unwanted fish species from Balm Creek Reservoir (Baker Co.), Kinney Lake (Wallowa Co.), Lugar and Boundary ponds (Union Co.), and Keyhole, Granite Meadows, Goldfish, and Yellowjacket ponds (Umatilla Co). The goal is to remove illegally introduced brown bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie and/or goldfish. The water bodies will be treated this fall, when water levels are at their lowest.

According to Kyle Bratcher, assistant fish biologist in Enterprise, these fish have overpopulated the water bodies and compete with rainbow trout reducing recreational fishing opportunities.

More important, Bratcher added, these fish can become a source population for other illegal introductions.

“It’s not just about improving the treated fishery; it’s also about protecting nearby fisheries,” he said.

ODFW has successfully treated several other water bodies throughout the state in recent years including Diamond, Mann and South Twin lakes, and a number of small ponds. These fisheries have been greatly improved by removing many of the same species targeted in the Northeast Oregon projects, Bratcher said.

“We have demonstrated that rotenone projects can improve trout fishing and increase angler satisfaction in these fisheries,” he added

Rotenone is often used to remove undesirable fish species because it is an affordable and effective method with little threat of long-term environmental damage. Rotenone 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.

Meeting Times and Location

Baker City
Location: Baker County Library: 2400 Resort Street
When: Monday, May 4 at 5:30 p.m.
Focus: Balm Creek Reservoir

Location: Clover Leaf Hall: 688 NW First Street
When: Wednesday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m.
Focus: Kinney Lake

La Grande
Location: Blue Mt. Conference Center: 404 12th Stree
When: Wednesday, May 14 at 5:30 p.m.
Focus: Umatilla Forest Ponds

Location: Pendleton Convention Center: 1601 Westgate
When: Monday, May 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Focus: Umatilla Forest Ponds




Kyle Bratcher (541) 426-3279
Jessica Sall (503) 947-6023

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