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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Washington wildlife officials propose treating six Medical Lake ponds

From staff reports

Fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will host an online public meeting on Wednesday to discuss plans to treat six lakes and the West Medical Ponds with rotenone

The naturally occurring pesticide is commonly used to remove undesirable and illegally stocked fish species from lakes and streams.

The department is proposing to treat Williams Lake in Stevens County; West Medical Lake’s intermittently watered ponds in Spokane County; June Lake; and North Windmill, Windmill and Canal lakes in Grant County.

“These waters will be treated with the goal of restoring popular trout fisheries by removing goldfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill sunfish, yellow perch and other competitive species detrimental to trout growth,” Kenneth Behen, WDFW warm water fish program manager, said in a news release.

“These fish compete with and sometimes prey on stocked trout fry, rendering our trout stocking efforts ineffective.”

The department has scheduled an online-public meeting to discuss the treatments from 6-to-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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: 130 951 180#.

A State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) addendum has been issued for the proposal and is undergoing a public comment period through June 23 at 5 p.m.

The addendum and supporting documents are available on the WDFW website.

Members of the public can submit written comments by mail to: Kenneth Behen, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, P.O. Box 43200, Olympia, 98504-3200.

Montana trout decline

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials announced this week that they plan to invest in research to monitor the trout population declines in southwest area of the state.

The department is also proposing temporary angling restrictions on the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby rivers to the Fish and Wildlife Commission.

“Trout populations in many streams in southwest Montana have seen decline in recent years, and research continues to point to perennially low stream flows and high water temperatures as contributing factors,” Eileen Ryce, fisheries division administrator for FWP, said in a news release.

High temperatures and low flows cause stress on fish, which in turns makes them more susceptible to disease impacts.

“Coldwater fish like brown and rainbow trout really struggle in low, warm flows, particularly when this happens during spawning or after the eggs hatch,” Ryce said.

To limit additional stress on trout, FWP will begin to assess the impacts of angling on some of the rivers in southwest Montana.

“FWP is committed to bringing more resources to bear to protect trout and get to the bottom of population declines in southwest Montana,” said Quentin Kujala, chief of conservation policy for FWP.

In the short term, FWP is proposing new angling restrictions on the Big Hole, Beaverhead and Ruby rivers to the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its Thursday meeting.

In general, the proposed restrictions would limit fishing during the brown trout spawning season, as well as limit take in some stretches of water. (To see these regulation proposals, click here.)

From staff reports