|Note from Rachel Thomas, who found this gem of an
article: It was a sucker fish that caused the water to be shut off
for the farmers in Klamath basin. Now Alaska wants to poison
suckers. Where is the science?
I hope Alaska people do their home work on the lake poisoning before it
happens. Check out what has happened after Lake David, CA was
poisoned to remove unwanted fish.
And according to a recent article. The northern pike of Lake
Davis have survived despite being poisoned, scooped up in nets and
snatched by anglers.
Agency wants to poison suckers
The Associated Press
Published: February 23, 2002
Fairbanks -- The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has come up with an
idea for ridding three lakes of unappealing northern longnose suckers.
The agency wants to poison the lakes on Fort Greely near Delta Junction
so it can restock them with tastier fish like rainbow trout and Arctic
The Division of Sport Fish is seeking approval from the Department of
Environmental Conservation to use a chemical called rotenone to kill
in Chet, J and Nickel lakes.
Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance found in the roots and stems
of several tropical plants. It works by inhibiting a biochemical process
in the fish cells, resulting in a fish's inability to use oxygen in the
release of energy during normal body processes.
"In effect, the fish suffocate due to lack of oxygen," said
Fronty Parker, area management biologist with Fish and Game's Delta
The state poisoned the same lakes in 1975 in order to stock them with
game fish but a high-water year in 1989 evidently allowed longnose
suckers to find their way from the Delta River through tiny streams into
J Lake, which flows into Chet and Nickel lakes. By 1998, the suckers had
taken over the three lakes.
Biologists captured 60 to 70 percent of the remaining game fish in the
lakes two years ago and transferred them to nearby stocked lakes,
rendering the three lakes basically useless in terms of fishing.
The Army also built a dam at the outlet of J Lake to prevent fish from
passing into the other lakes.
Unlike northern pike, suckers don't eat other fish, but they do fight
them for food and usually win.
"You can have a sucker fishery or a rainbow trout fishery, but you
can't have both," Parker said.