The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced an immediate relaxation of fishing restrictions on 10 bodies of water including Kinney Lake in Wallowa County.
The agency plans to treat lakes and ponds in Baker, Union, Umatilla and Wallowa counties with an EPA approved fish toxicant, rotenone, to remove illegally introduced brown bullhead catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie and/or goldfish in order to improve trout fisheries.
Under the new temporary regulations, there are no daily bag or possession limits, no size limits and anglers may harvest fish by hand, dip net and angling. The temporary regulations will be in effect until 12:01 a.m., Sept. 26 when these water bodies will close to all fishing during chemical treatment. These fisheries will re-open on Jan. 1, 2016 and will be re-stocked with hatchery trout in the spring.
Other ponds in which fishing restrictions are relaxed include Peach, Lugar and Boundary ponds (Union Co.), and Keyhole, Granite Meadows, Goldfish, Yellowjacket and Windy Springs ponds (Umatilla Co). These are in addition to Balm Creek Reservoir, where fishing restrictions have been lifted since July.
“By relaxing the rules, we hope to give people the opportunity to harvest these fish before we remove them,” said Kyle Bratcher, ODFW fish biologist in Enterprise.
Rotenone is often used to remove undesirable fish species. At the concentrations used to kill fish, rotenone is not toxic to humans, other mammals or birds. It breaks down completely in the environment and will not be detectable within weeks of treatment, according to ODFW.