BEND, Ore. – Effective immediately, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has relaxed fishing restrictions at North Twin Lake (Deschutes County), which is scheduled to be chemically treated this fall to remove unwanted brown bullhead catfish.
The agency plans to treat North Twin Lake to remove the illegally-introduced brown bullhead in order to improve the rainbow trout fishery. Under the temporary regulations now in place, there are no daily bag or possession limits, no size limits and anglers may harvest fish by hand, dip net and angling.
The goal is to give people the opportunity to harvest these fish before they are removed, said Erik Moberly, ODFW fish biologist in Bend.
The temporary regulations will be in effect until 12:01 a.m., Oct. 19 when North Twin Lake will close to all fishing during chemical treatment. The lake will re-open on Jan. 1, 2016 and will be re-stocked with hatchery rainbow trout in the spring.
“The two-month closure gives us some flexibility in scheduling the treatments, and will keep the public from harvesting fish that may survive the treatment,” said Moberly. “While rotenone is not toxic to humans, we’d rather take a conservative approach in order to protect the public.”
The agency plans to begin the treatment of North Twin Lake to remove brown bullhead catfish on Oct. 26. According to Moberly, brown bullhead catfish compete with hatchery rainbow trout reducing the overall condition of rainbow trout in the lake.
The treatment of North Twin comes four years after the successful treatment of nearby South Twin Lake, where illegally introduced brown bullhead had also decimated the trout fishery. Today trout fishing in South Twin has fully recovered.
“We have demonstrated that rotenone projects can improve trout fishing and increase angler satisfaction,” Moberly said.
Anglers and other members of the public who have questions or concerns about this project can contact Erik Moberly, ODFW fish biologist, at su.ro.etatsnull@ylreboM.R.kirE or at (541) 388-6145.
Rotenone is often used to remove undesirable fish species because it is an affordable and effective treatment with little threat of long-term environmental damage. Rotenone has been approved as a fish toxicant by the Environmental Protection Agency. 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.