FWP Will Not Implement Plans for Bass Lake Restoration Project
By angelamontana

Posted: April 1, 2013

In a draft environmental assessment (EA) dated August 9, 2012, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) proposed removing an illegal introduction of northern pike from Bass Lake and Mud Creek in northwest Montana by applying a commercial formulation of rotenone (a pesticide poisonous to fish) to the lake and nearby stream system, and then restocking the lake with westslope cutthroat trout.

The draft EA was out for public review through October 9, 2012, and a public meeting with landowners was held on December 12, 2012, in Eureka. Based on the comments received during the public comment period and at the public meeting, MFWP acknowledges the public’s concerns, and it is recommended that MFWP does not implement plans to chemically remove northern pike from Mud Creek and Bass Lake at this time. Instead, over the next two years FWP will involve the landowners in exploring alternative means of suppression including use of electrofishing, nets, and traps. FWP will also work with interested parties to understand how rotenone functions in the environment. At the end of two years FWP will analyze the information and develop a long-term management plan for Bass Lake, conducting additional environmental assessment if necessary.

No changes were made to the draft EA; therefore, the draft together with the decision notice will become the final document. Copies of the decision notice are available at the FWP office, 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell; Montana State Library, 1515 E 6th Ave., Helena; Lincoln County Libraries, 220 W 6th St., Libby, 207 N 3rd, Troy, and 318 Dewey Avenue, Eureka; and the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov under Public Notices.

Contact person: FWP Fisheries Biologist Jim Dunnigan, (406) 293-4161, Ext. 200, or e-mail to jdunnigan@mt.gov with questions or comments.

(Report by John Fraley, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks – Region 1)

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