The state plans to treat the Hampton Lake chain, and other eastside waters, to remove unwanted fish species.
The public will be able to comment on the proposal at three meetings to be held this week; or by mail through Aug. 22.
Fish managers from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife propose treating three lake systems in Eastern Washington with rotenone. The naturally occurring pesticide will be used to kill undesirable fish from lakes and streams, according to a department news release.
The agency wants to treat the Hampton Lake chain, Sago, Hourglass and Widgeon lakes in Grant County, and McDowell Lake in Stevens County. The work would take place this fall to remove species including bass, bullhead, stunted panfish and tench.
The Hampton chain is made up of Upper and Lower Hampton lakes, Hampton Slough, Hen Lake, Dabbler Lake, Marie Lake and Juvenile Lake. They and the other Stevens County lakes are on the Seeps Lake Wildlife Area, just south of Potholes Reservoir.
“The goal is to restore trout populations by removing competing species that have essentially taken over the lake’s resources,” Bruce Bolding, warmwater fish program manager for the department, said in a prepared statement. “Illegally stocked fish compete with trout fry for food and prey, rendering efforts to stock trout fry ineffective.”
A final decision to proceed is expected to be made by the agency director in early September.
Rotenone is derived from the roots of tropical plants, and has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as a fish pesticide, the release said. It has been used by the state agency in lake and stream rehabilitations for more than 70 years.
The sessions are scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at the following locations:
Ephrata: Wednesday, WDFW Region 2 Office, 1550 Alder St. NW
Colville: Wednesday, WDFW District 1 Office, 755 S. Main St.
Olympia: Thursday, Room 175, Natural Resource Building, 1111 Washington St.
In addition to input received at the public meetings, WDFW will consider written comments received through Aug. 22. Comments should be addressed to Bruce Bolding, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091.