OLYMPIA - State fishery managers will host three public meetings in late July to discuss proposals to treat three lake systems in eastern Washington with rotenone, a naturally occurring pesticide commonly used to remove undesirable fish species from lakes and streams.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is proposing to treat McDowell Lake in Stevens County, the Hampton Lake chain and Sago, Hourglass, and Widgeon Lakes in Grant County this fall to remove species including bass, bullhead, stunted panfish and tench.
The Hampton Chain is made up of Upper and Lower Hampton Lake, Hampton Slough, Hen Lake, Dabbler Lake, Marie Lake and Juvenile Lake.
"The goal is to restore trout populations by removing competing species that have essentially taken over the lake's resources," said Bruce Bolding, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. "Illegally stocked fish compete with trout fry for food and prey, rendering efforts to stock trout fry ineffective."
Public meetings to discuss the lake treatments proposed by WDFW are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following dates at the following locations:
- July 23 - Ephrata, at the WDFW Region 2 Office, 1550 Alder St. N.W.
- July 23 - Colville, at the WDFW District 1 Office, 755 S. Main St.
- July 24 - Olympia, at the Natural Resource Building, 1111 Washington St., Room 175.
In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will consider written comments received through Aug. 22. Comments should be addressed to Bruce Bolding, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
Final consideration of the proposals will be made by the WDFW director in early September.
Rotenone is an organic substance derived from the roots of tropical plants, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved for use as a fish pesticide. It has been used by WDFW in lake and stream rehabilitations for more than 70 years, and is commonly used by other fish and wildlife management agencies nationwide.