Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife May Lift Fishing Limits on South Twin Lake

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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has proposed suspending all daily catch limits, possession limits and minimum length requirements for fish from South Twin Lake from Sept. 3 through Oct. 23, 2011.

According to Mike Harrington, ODFW fish biologist in Bend, ODFW will lift the fishing limits on the lake if funding to treat the lake with rotenone (a fish toxicant) is approved by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Thursday.

The water body would be treated to remove illegally introduced bullhead catfish and restore a popular rainbow trout fishery. Since the introduction of bullhead catfish in the early 2000s trout fishing has declined as the population of bullhead has increased.

In addition, biologists hope the treatment will reduce the threespine stickleback population that also has been impacting the trout fishery.

If funding is approved, South Twin Lake will be closed to all fishing beginning Oct. 24; it normally closes each year on Oct. 31. It will be restocked with catchable rainbow trout as soon as access opens in spring 2012.

By early summer 2012, Harrington said, the trout fishing should once again be very good at this popular family fishery.

Rotenone, a plant substance, has been approved as a fish toxicant by the Environmental Protection Agency. At the concentrations used to kill fish, rotenone is not toxic to human, other mammals or birds. It breaks down completely in the environment and will not be detectable within weeks of treatment. For more information about rotenone to the ODFW website at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/diamond_lake/FAQs.asp.

If the Commission approves funding for the rotenone treatment, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the treatment plan at a public meeting in Bend that will be scheduled in September or early October. If funding is not approved, fishing limits as described in the 2011 Sport Fishing Regulations will remain in effect.