The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host public meetings July 12 to 20 to discuss proposed treatments to improve trout broodstock production and trout fishing in four eastern Washington waters.

WDFW fish biologists propose using rotenone to remove rainbow trout from Kings Lake in Pend Oreille County where the fish are hybridizing with westslope cutthroat trout.

The treatment is needed to maintain the genetic integrity of Kings Lake cutthroat trout, which are the source of hatchery production for fish stocked throughout the eastern region, said WDFW District Fish Biologist Bill Baker. After treatment, Kings Lake would be re-stocked with cutthroat but- as a broodstock source-the lake will remain closed to fishing, Baker said.

In Okanogan County, rotenone treatment is proposed for Alta and Fish lakes and Schallow Pond to remove bass, bullheads and goldfish that compete with rainbow trout, according to WDFW District Fish Biologist Bob Jateff. After treatment, all three waters would be re-stocked with rainbow trout.

Rotenone is a naturally-occurring substance derived from the roots of tropical plants. It has been used in lake and stream rehabilitation for more than 60 years by WDFW and other fish and wildlife agencies nationwide. Rotenone is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a fish pesticide, and is regulated in Washington through the state departments of Ecology and Agriculture.

Public meetings to discuss the rehabilitation proposals are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on:

  • July 12 in Twisp at Aspen Professional Building, 20268 State Route 20
  • July 13 in Newport at Create Art Center, 900 West 4th St. (4th and Fea streets)
  • July 14 in Spokane Valley at WDFW’s Eastern Region office, 2315 N. Discovery Place (in Mirabeau Point, between Evergreen and Pines streets)
  • July 20 in Olympia at the state Natural Resources Building, 111 Washington St., Rm. 172

In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will accept written comments on the rehabilitation proposals through Aug. 12. Comments should be addressed to Jim Uehara, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.

Final consideration of the proposals by the WDFW director is anticipated in late August. If approved, lake treatments would begin this fall.

Jim Uehara, (360) 902-2738, Bill Baker, (509) 684-2362, ext. 23, Bob Jateff, (509) 997-0316

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