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Plan to remove Diamond Lake fish OK'd
Published December 21, 2004
The U.S. Forest Service has decided to remove all
fish in Diamond Lake - including an explosive
population of non-native chubs - in the hope of
stopping a recurring bloom of toxic algae.
Rotenone will be used
to kill fish that can't be gathered in nets, said
Kirk Haskett, a Diamond Lake fish biologist for the
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The poison
will kill all fish in the lake.
The plan was signed by
the Umpqua National Forest supervisor Monday, and
the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has
approved the use of the poison.
"The tui chubs were
brought in by anglers to mimic bait-like minnows,"
Tui chubs help bring on
toxic algae blooms because they have a heavy
appetite for zooplankton, which normally eats
anabaena, or blue-green algae. Without the
zooplankton, the blue-green algae goes unchecked and
makes the water toxic, he said.
As the population of
tui chubs has topped out, blue-green algae blooms
have boomed at the popular fishing and recreation
The high algae levels
have caused restrictions and closures to the lake.
Haskett said officials considered other options, and
have tried to curb the tui chubs by netting the
fish. But some chubs hidden in reeds and weeds
escape the nets.
Rotenone is a fish
toxicant that cuts off oxygen to the fish. It's been
used at Diamond Lake before.
The plan is subject to
a month-and-a-half long appeal period, according to
a U.S. Forest Service release.
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