Meeting scheduled on planned rotenone treatments of Eastern Washington waters


Kenneth Behen, 360-902-2826

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers will host an online public meeting in early June to discuss plans to treat four lakes and a stream 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 McDowell, Keogh, Hatch, and Little Hatch Lakes in Stevens County.

“These lakes will be treated with the goal of restoring popular trout fisheries by removing illegally introduced yellow perch, pumpkinseed, and tench,” said Kenneth Behen, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. “These fish compete with stocked trout fry for food and some prey upon them, rendering stocking efforts ineffective.”

WDFW is also proposing to treat a 4-mile section of Flume Creek to remove non-native eastern brook trout and restore native westslope cutthroat trout, Behen said.

WDFW has scheduled an online public meeting to discuss the planned lake and stream treatments from 6 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Information on how to log in and participate in this meeting will be posted at

In addition to input received at the public meeting, WDFW will also consider written comments received no later than June 10, 2020. The public can comment on WDFW’s State Environmental Policy Act website at or send comments directly to:

Kenneth Behen
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 June.

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.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email ( For more information, see