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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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June 27, 2007
Contact: Jon Anderson, 360-902-2711
Chris Donley, 509-892-1001 Ext. 307
Jeff Korth, 509-754-4624, Ext. 39

Proposals to improve eastern Washington fishing,
habitat to be focus of public meetings July 10-12

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will conduct a series of public meetings July 10-12 on plans to improve public fishing and waterfowl habitat by treating more than a dozen lakes and streams in eastern Washington with rotenone.

Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance derived from the roots of tropical plants that has been used by WDFW and other fish and wildlife agencies nationwide to rehabilitate lakes and streams for more than 50 years.

“The treatments we are proposing for this fall are designed to reduce numbers of undesirable fish such as carp and tench that compete with game fish and destroy aquatic vegetation,” said Jon Anderson, a WDFW fish biologist. “Rotenone has been tested extensively and found to present no significant health risk to people, pets, livestock or non-targeted wildlife.”

Public meetings on treatment plans for this fall are scheduled at the following places and times:

  • Olympia, Tuesday, July 10, 7 p.m. at the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St S.E., in Room 172

  • Ephrata, Wednesday, July 11, 7 p.m. at the WDFW Northcentral Region Office, 1550 Alder St. N.W.

  • Spokane Valley, Thursday, July 12, 6 p.m. at the WDFW Eastern Region Office, 2315 N. Discovery Place

  • Prosser, Thursday, July 12, 7 p.m. at the Benton Rural Electric Association building, 402 7th St., in the conference room near the east entrance.

The waters proposed for treatment, along with the fish species targeted for removal, are:

  • Sprague Lake and associated waters in Adams and Lincoln counties, including Hallin, Cow and Finnell lakes, Sheep Springs, Negro, Damage, Cow, and Lugenbeal creeks, and Dixon’s pond for carp, tench, and walleye.

  • Corral, Blythe, Chukar, and Scaup lakes on the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge (Grant County) for pumpkinseed sunfish and crappie.

  • Chopaka Lake (Okanogan County) for smallmouth bass.

  • Blue Lake (Okanogan County) for bullhead catfish.

  • Byron Ponds on the Byron unit of WDFW’s Sunnyside Wildlife Area near Prosser (Yakima County) for carp to allow restoration of waterfowl habitat and warmwater fisheries.

Application of rotenone is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and locally through the Washington Departments of Ecology and Agriculture, Anderson said.

Under WDFW’s plan, fishing lakes will be re-stocked the following spring with the preferred species of fish after treatment in fall, he said. More specific information about the proposed Sprague Lake rehabilitation can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/factshts/sprague_lake_rehab_may07.htm.

In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will also accept written comments received by Aug. 15. Written comments should be addressed to Jon Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

WDFW will also initiate a separate comment period in August through the department’s State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA) process. The deadline for that comment period will be announced when the SEPA process is initiated in mid-July.

Final approval consideration of the proposals by the WDFW director is scheduled for late August.