Public meeting scheduled June 26 on planned rotenone treatments of Eastern Washington waters

News release

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

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers will host an in person and online public meeting on June 26 to discuss plans to one lake 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. 

“West Medical Lake will be treated with the goal of restoring popular trout fisheries by removing goldfish and pumpkinseed sunfish and any other competitive species detrimental to trout growth” said Kenneth Behen, WDFW warmwater fish program manager. “These fish compete with stocked trout fry, sometimes prey on them or otherwise disturb habitat rendering our trout stocking efforts ineffective.”

WDFW has scheduled an in person and online hybrid public meeting to discuss the planned lake and stream treatments from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26.

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: 731 965 05#, or participate in person at the WDFW Regional Office, 2315 North Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216-1566.

A State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Addendum has been issued for the proposal and is now undergoing a public comment period. The Addendum and supporting documents are available on the WDFW’s SEPA webpage. Members of the public can submit comments on SEPA determination online or email through the Public Input comment portal, or by mail 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 early 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.

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. 

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

Request this information in an alternative format or language at, 833-885-1012, TTY (711), or