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

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June 24, 2003
Contact: John Hisata, 360-902-2797
Joe Foster, 509-754-4624 Ext. 13
Chris Donley, 509-456-3039

Proposed fishing lake treatments to be discussed at public meetings July 8-15, 2003

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) proposals to improve fishing through treatment of six trout lakes in the eastern and northcentral regions of the state will be discussed at public meetings scheduled July 8-15.

The meeting schedule is:

  • Ephrata, July 8 at 7 p.m. in the annex conference room of WDFW's northcentral regional office, 1550 Alder St. N.W., to discuss treatment of Blue Lake (Sinlahekin) in Okanogan County and Dusty and Magpie lakes in Grant County

  • Cheney, July 9 at 6 p.m. at the Cheney Public Library, 610 First St., to discuss treatment of Williams and Hog Canyon lakes in Spokane County and Fishtrap Lake in Lincoln County

  • Olympia, July 15 at 7 p.m. in Room 175A of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St., S.E., to discuss all proposals

The lakes have declining trout populations due to infestations of other introduced or undesirable species that out-compete trout. Treatment of the lakes with rotenone, a natural chemical derived from a plant root that kills fish, allows for rejuvenation of fishing with more cost-effective stocking of trout fry.

The target species in the proposed "rehabilitations" by water are:

  • Williams Lake, Spokane County, pumpkinseed sunfish and tench
  • Hog Canyon Lake, Spokane County, pumpkinseed sunfish
  • Fishtrap Lake, Lincoln County, brown bullhead catfish and yellow perch
  • Blue Lake, Okanogan County, redside shiner and smallmouth bass
  • Dusty Lake, Grant County, dace and goldfish
  • Magpie Lake, Grant County, carp

"These lake rehabs are just proposals at this time," explained WDFW district fish biologist Chris Donley of Spokane. "Our meetings should give everyone interested a chance to ask questions, learn our rationale, and make comments."

WDFW fish biologist John Hisata of Olympia noted that surveys of Washington anglers indicate trout fishing is preferred. The latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recreation survey in 2001 showed that resident and non-resident anglers over 16 years of age spent almost $202 million on trout fishing trips alone in Washington.

Final WDFW director approval of all lake treatments proposed across the state is slated for late August. Those approved would get underway this fall or next spring.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a new rotenone use plan in April of 2002, following a year-long moratorium on treatments and WDFW staff and public review of concerns about human health and cost effectiveness.