Public meeting scheduled and SEPA public comment period open on planned rotenone treatments in Eastern Washington

ARCHIVED NEWS RELEASE

This document is provided for archival purposes only. Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

News release

Contact: Kenneth Behen, 360-463-2299
Media contact: Mark Yuasa, 360-902-2262

OLYMPIA – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fishery managers will host an online public meeting on June 14 to discuss plans to treat six lakes and the West Medical Ponds in Eastern Washington with rotenone, a naturally occurring pesticide commonly used to remove undesirable and illegally stocked fish species from lakes and streams.

WDFW is proposing to treat William’s Lake in Stevens County, West Medical Lake’s intermittently watered ponds in Spokane County, June Lake, North-North Windmill, North Windmill, Windmill, and Canal Lake in Grant County.

“These waters will be treated with the goal of restoring popular trout fisheries by removing goldfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill sunfish, yellow perch, and other competitive species detrimental to trout growth” said Kenneth Behen, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. “These fish compete with and sometimes prey on stocked trout fry, rendering our trout stocking efforts ineffective.”

WDFW has scheduled an online public meeting to discuss the planned lake and stream treatments from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, 2023. Members of the public may tune into the meeting on Microsoft Teams, or call in to the meeting by dialing 1-564-999-2000 and entering the conference ID: 130 951 180#.

A State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Addendum has been issued for the proposal and is now undergoing a public comment period through June 23 at 5 p.m. The Addendum and supporting documents are available on the WDFW website. Members of the public can submit comments on the SEPA determination online or email, or by mail to: Kenneth Behen, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200. 

All members of the public are invited to share their perspective and participate in WDFW public feedback opportunities regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, language proficiency, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, veteran status, or basis of disability. 

A decision on whether to proceed with the planned treatments will be made by WDFW Director Kelly Susewind 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.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.