Authorities Target Undesirable, Bully Fish

By Tom Bacon

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to kill fish in order to restore fish in three eastern Washington lakes and chains of small lakes.

It may sound contradictory, but the idea is to get rid of bullying, voracious species of fish so that the lake can be restocked with desirable types.

The state agency plans to use rotenone, a naturally occurring pesticide, to wipe out undesirable fish in Spokane County's Badger Lake, in Okanogan County's Spectacle Lake and in two chains of small lakes in Grant County - the Hampton and Pillar-Widgeon chains.

Bruce Bolding, who manages a warm water fish program for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the aim is to restore trout populations by wiping out species that have taken over the lakes. The targeted species range from bass to bullhead to a type called the stunted panfish.

The agency plans a series of public meetings before the poisoning is carried out. The Spokane-area meeting is scheduled July 31 at the Cheney Library at 7 p.m.

Rotenone has been widely used for about 70 years now by the wildlife agency to clean out lakes. It's approved by the EPA as a fish killer and as an insecticide for agricultural use.
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