Unwanted fish that are competing with popular gamefish species will be removed from Spokane County’s Fish Lake as well as Burke Lake in Grant County and Little Beaver Lake in Okanogan County under a proposal put forth by state fisheries managers.
Targeted at Fish Lake, located five miles northeast of Cheney, will be an infestation of illegally released northern pike that have taken over these waters. Before the advent of pike dominance, fish and wildlife department records show Fish produced the most recent state record tiger trout, a 14-pound specimen. Fish also receives brook trout.
In Little Beaver Lake, one of a string of lakes along the Chesaw (Oroville-Toroda Creek) Road on the Okanogan National Forest, it’s yellow perch that are competing with what once was a good crop of eastern brook trout.
Burke Lake, one of four finger lakes in western Grant County south of Quincy, is managed by the department for an annual March 1 trout fishing opener. To that end, fingerling rainbow trout are released in early fall to grow through the winter in Burke’s seep-fed waters. Unfortunately, a bevy of competing fish species is stymieing this strategy, which, by the way, is a less costly way to provide trout fisheries.
If approved by the state fish and wildlife director, rotenone will be put into the lakes this fall. Prior to the onset of the project, the department often temporarily suspends bag limits to allow anglers an opportunity to take as many fish as possible before the waters are treated.
Comments on the proposal should directed to Bruce Bolding in care of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.