State targets carps, tench during rotenone treatment in lakes

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to improve public fishing and habitat by treating more than two dozen lakes and one stream in eastern Washington with rotenone.

Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance derived from the roots of tropical plants that has been used by the department and other fish and wildlife agencies nationwide to rehabilitate lakes and streams for more than 60 years.

“The treatments we are proposing for this fall are designed to reduce numbers of undesirable fish such as carp and tench that compete with game fish and destroy aquatic vegetation,” said Jon Anderson, a department fish biologist. “Rotenone has been tested extensively and found to present no significant health risk to people, pets, livestock or non-targeted wildlife.”

Waters proposed for treatment, along with the fish species targeted for removal, are:

-- Fourth of July Lake in Adams and Lincoln counties to control fathead minnows.

-- Ellen Lake in Ferry County to control largemouth bass and green sunfish.

-- Worth and Powerline lakes in Franklin County to control yellow perch and carp.

-- Canal, Heart, June, Windmill, North Windmill, North North Windmill, Pit and North Teal lakes in Grant County for pumpkinseed sunfish and carp.

-- Desert, North Desert, Aztec, Dune, Lizard, Meadowlark, Harris, Sedge and Tern lakes and 16 Ponds in the Desert Wildlife Area in Grant County for bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish and largemouth bass.

-- Beda and Brookies lakes in Grant County for pumpkinseed sunfish.

-- Big Buck Lake in Okanogan County for pumpkinseed sunfish.

-- Starzman Lake in Okanogan County for largemouth bass.

-- Cee-Cee-Ah Creek in Pend Oreille County to remove non-native trout as part of a restoration project to restore native westslope cutthroat trout.

-- Hatch, Little Hatch, Keogh, and Williams lakes in Stevens County for yellow perch.

Rotenone is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a fish pesticide, and regulated locally through the Washington Departments of Ecology and Agriculture.

Under the state’s plan, after treatment in the fall and spring, fishing lakes will be re-stocked the following spring with the preferred species of fish, Anderson said.

The department will hold public meetings in Ephrata at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the department’s Northcentral Region Office, 1550 Alder St. NW, as well as meetings in Olympia, Spokane Valley and Colville.

Written comments will be accepted, and should be received by the state by Aug. 15. They should be addressed to Jon Anderson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 98501.

Final approval consideration of the proposals by the department director is scheduled for late August.