Wednesday, March 12, 2014
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Lost Valley Reservoir, just west of Tamarack will open to public fish salvage beginning Friday, September 21 and continuing through Sunday, November 4.
The salvage order, which suspends fish bag, possession and size limits, is the first step in rehabilitating the reservoir following an illegal yellow perch introduction some years ago.
Questions, comments or concerns about the treatment should be routed to Dale Allen at the Fish and Game McCall office - 208-634-8137.
In late October, Fish and Game fisheries staff will conduct a rotenone treatment on the Reservoir to kill all remaining fish.
"Unfortunately, there is no way to target only the yellow perch for removal from the Reservoir, fisheries manager Dale Allen said. "When applied to water, rotenone is lethal to fish but harmless to livestock, wildlife, pets and humans."
All permits have been applied for and required notice has been given to appropriate public agencies.
Because of their robust reproductive capability, yellow perch can quickly overpopulate a small reservoir like Lost Valley, stunting their own growth, while also prohibiting the growth of other fish, in this case, rainbow trout.
"Trout fishing success at Lost Valley has drastically declined due to the dramatic increase in perch, following their illegal introduction," Allen said. "The end result of this action is a stunted yellow perch population where both yellow perch and rainbow trout cease to grow."
Coinciding with the end of irrigation season, the treatment will be conducted in late October, when water levels in the reservoir are at their lowest. Rotenone will be applied to the streams entering the reservoir, in the reservoir pool itself by aerial application and in the pool below the reservoir. The reservoir outlet gate will be closed the day of treatment, and the rotenone will naturally dissipate in the weeks following treatment.
To get the reservoir back on its feet, Fish and Game will stock 15,000 nine-inch rainbow trout just before Memorial Day 2013.
To take advantage of the salvage order on Lost Valley Reservoir, anglers must have a valid fishing license. With the exception of firearms, explosives, chemicals and electricity, fish may be taken with any method, including seines and dip nets. All fish must be killed prior to transport from Lost Valley Reservoir.
When managed strictly for trout, the Lost Valley Reservoir fishery is a valuable recreational and economic asset to west-central Idaho. A 2011 sport fishing report documents total annual spending associated with Lost Valley at $644,000 and just over 4,500 fishing trips.
"Lost Valley Reservoir is the third most fished water in Adams County behind the Little Salmon River and Hells Canyon Reservoir," Allen said. "The economic benefit to the region makes the $12,000 price tag well worth it. Still, it's frustrating to have to spend any sportsmen's dollars in this manner because of a thoughtless, criminal act by one person."
Moving living fish without a permit is a misdemeanor crime in Idaho that carries a mandatory license revocation, fines and possible jail time. Illegal fish stocking is a nationwide problem and is costly in the loss of opportunity and economic activity.
Please report these types of activities to any Department office or call the CAP (Citizens Against Poaching) hotline toll-free at 1-800-632-5099. Callers may remain anonymous, and a reward may be paid if an arrest is made or a citation issued to the suspected violator.