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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 24, 2018
Contact: Randy Osborne, 509-892-1001, ext. 302

Meetings scheduled on planned rotenone
treatments of eastern Washington waters

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers will host three public meetings the last week of May to discuss plans to treat one lake and two streams in eastern Washington with rotenone, a naturally occurring pesticide commonly used to remove undesirable and illegally stocked fish species from lakes and streams.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is proposing to treat West Medical Lake in Spokane County. The lake will be treated to restore one of the most popular trout fisheries in the Spokane area by removing goldfish, said Bruce Bolding, WDFW warmwater fish program manager.

WDFW is also proposing to treat a 5-mile section of Smalle Creek and a half-mile of Highline Creek in Pend Oreille County to remove non-native eastern brook trout and restore native westslope cutthroat populations, he said.

"The goal is to restore trout populations by removing competing species that have essentially taken over these waters," Bolding said. "Illegally stocked fish compete with stocked trout fry for food and some prey upon them, rendering stocking efforts ineffective."

WDFW has scheduled public meetings to discuss the planned lake and creek treatments as follows:

  • Spokane: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, in the WDFW Region 1 Office, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley.
  • Ione: 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, in the Ione Community Center, 210 Blackwell Street.
  • Olympia: 6 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington Street.

In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will also consider written comments received no later than June 13. The public can comment on WDFW's State Environmental Policy Act website or they can be sent directly to: Bruce Bolding, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200.

A decision on whether to proceed with the planned treatments will be made by the WDFW director in late July.

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.