June 30, 2004
Contact: Jeff Korth, (509)754-4624, ext. 39
or Curt Vail, (509) 684-7452
or Jim Uehara, (360) 902-2738
Proposed eastside fishing lake treatment to be discussed at July public meetings
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) proposals to improve fishing and waterfowl reproduction through treatment of selected eastern Washington fishing lakes will be discussed at public meetings scheduled in July.
The meeting schedule is: Ephrata, Wednesday, July 7 at 7 p.m., in the annex conference room of WDFW’s northcentral regional office, 1550 Alder St. N.W., to discuss treatment of Fish, Rat and Silvernail Lakes in Okanogan County and Hampton and Pillar-Widgeon chain of lakes (including Upper and Lower Hamptons, Hen, Dabbler, Marie, Pillar, Snipe, Cattail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Lemna, Poacher, Hourglass, Sago and Widgeon lakes) and the North Potholes Reserve in Grant County. Colville, Thursday, July 15 at 7 p.m., in the USDA/Stevens County Conservation District building, 230 Williams Lake Rd., just off Highway 395 northwest of Colville, to discuss treatment of Rocky Lake in Stevens County and Ellen Lake in Ferry County. Olympia, Thursday, July 22, at 7 p.m., in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St., S.E., to discuss all proposals.
All the lakes proposed for treatment have declining trout and/or other resident fish populations and some have declining waterfowl populations, due to competition or habitat impacts from infestations of other introduced or undesirable fish species.
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. Waterfowl reproductive success also increases due to improved habitat.
The target species in the proposed lake rehabilitations are: Fish Lake (Okanogan County), largemouth bass Rat Lake (Okanogan County), brown bullhead Silvernail Lake (Okanogan County), pumpkinseed sunfish Hamptons and Pillar-Widgeon chain of lakes (Grant County), yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish North Potholes Reserve (Grant County), carp Rocky Lake (Stevens County), pumpkinseed sunfish Ellen Lake (Ferry County), largemouth bass
"These lake rehabs are just proposals at this time," explained WDFW district fish biologist Jeff Korth of Moses Lake. "Our meetings should give everyone interested a chance to learn about the procedure, ask questions and make comments."
WDFW Fish Biologist Jim Uehara notes 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 approval of all proposed lake treatments across the state is slated for late August. Approved projects would get under way this fall or next spring.