Native fish could die alongside invasive ones under eradication plan 
CA Source: CBC News 1/10/2020

Department of Fisheries and Oceans scientists say there's no point trying to save some of the native fish in a New Brunswick lake that may soon be deliberately poisoned.

The report suggests fish in Miramichi Lake should be allowed to repopulate naturally in the years after it is treated with rotenone, a natural product that quickly kills fish and then dissipates on its own into the environment.

The DFO science review is in response to plans by salmon conservation groups hoping to eradicate invasive smallmouth bass from the 300 hectare lake.

If accepted it would mean all fish in the lake, invasive or native, would be killed by the treatment.

The original plan for the lake was to remove some of the native fish, like white suckers and yellow perch, set them aside in tanks, then return them to the lake after the chemical had dissipated.

Smallmouth are not native anywhere in Atlantic Canada and are viewed as a serious threat to young Atlantic salmon if they are allowed to become established in the Miramichi River system. Smallmouth populations can grow quickly and turn to young salmon as a food source.

With the discovery last summer of smallmouth in the Southwest Miramichi downstream from the lake, the groups are now hoping to also treat about ten kilometres of the river itself at the same time, and at the same cost to native and non native fish alike.

The North Shore Micmac District Council and the Miramichi Salmon Association and the Atlantic Salmon Federation are involved in the project.

The science review is dated Oct. 21 but was released publicly last week.

It acknowledges "an ongoing risk of spread and establishment" of smallmouth bass in the Miramichi River system, and that application of a "chemical piscicide" like rotenone is the most effective approach.

Miramichi Lake Bass, Smallmouth Salmon, Atlantic Sucker, White Continue...

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